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Hitchin Town 2 Brackley Town 1

Saturday, February 25 2012


Frendo celebrates after scoring against BrackleyHitchin pulled off a notable victory in deservedly beating table toppers Brackley at Top Field.

Highlights
28- Frendo puts Hitchin ahead from close range 1-0
55- Effiong, from an acute angle, scores number two for Hitchin 2-0
66- Sandy scores from the penalty spot 2-1

Weather: Bright, spring-like, dry

Pitch: Excellent

Attendance: 344

Beating league leaders is always satisfying, but when those leaders are resource-rich, the victory is one to savour.

Brackley’s team may be packed with “star” names, but when it came to battling, they were decidedly second best to a Hitchin side that was determined to compensate for losing at Cambridge a few days earlier.

Hitchin’s team had heroes all over the park, but head and shoulders above everyone was Lawrie Stewart, who kept the Brackley front-line quiet all afternoon. Canaries’ manager Carl Williams would be the first to say, however, that this was a magnificent team effort.

The game took time to catch fire, with the early exchanges fairly even. When John Frendo opened the scoring in the 28th minute, it really came out of the blue. It started with a free kick that found the Canaries’ leading scorer, who tried to get a shot in but the ball ran to Callum Donnelly and then Tom Pepper before it ball arrived back at his feet, only to be fired into the net via a slight deflection.

Inih Effiong had two chances to add to Hitchin’s lead and a dangerous Donnelly cross threatened to cause damage but eluded the Canaries’ frontmen. Just after the break, Frendo again tormented Brackley, running into the area and sending a cross-cum-shot rolling just wide of the target.

But Brackley’s lumbering defence was caught cold again in the 52nd minute, Effiong finishing from an angle after Zak Burke’s innocuous cross was allowed to sail across the Brackley rearguard.

Most people in the 344 crowd expected a Brackley onslaught, but their display was best described as “lack lustre”. In the 66th minute, though, they were handed a way back. A firm, hard cross by Gary Mulligan created some panic and as the ball rocketed across the area, Luke Gregson caught Brett Solkhon. Elliot Sandy scored from the penalty spot with a calm and assured low kick.

Hitchin continued to hold Brackley at bay, although there was a scare when James Clifton’s low shot was fumbled by Martin Bennett. That aside, the Hitchin goal was intact and the Canaries held on to record a very significant win.

The teams



Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Pepper, Stewart, Gilbert, Lee (Gregson 45), Burke, Donnelly, Effiong (King 79), Frendo, Lewis

Subs not used: Leach, Edgerley, Pedrycz

Brackley: Turley, Clifton, Nisevic, Palmer, Marshall, Kemp, Story (Sandy 57), Solkhon, Diggin (Mulligan 57), Robinson (Steele 57), Walker

Subs not used: Magunda, Green

Referee: S.Rubery
Assistants: D.Richardson & J.Sandlin

Photo: Martyn Annetts



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