Hitchin Town 4 Beaconsfield SYCOB 1
|Author: Neil Jensen||Published: 19th April 2010 14:56|
On a day when Hitchin threw the doors open to the public to show the public they are more than a football club, it was the players on the field that put on a sparkling show - playing some good football and scoring some fine goals.
Photo courtesy of Geoff ChapmanWatched by a host of past masters, dating back to the 1940s, the 2010 Canaries ended their home campaign in style with 18 wins from 21 home games.
Colin Payne's men are guaranteed second place, but in the final week of the season, they can still win the title - although leaders Bury now only have two games to slip up. It may be looking increasingly likely that Hitchin will have to negotiate the play-offs, but if they do, they can face them confidence.
There were some early frights for Hitchin before they took charge of the game. Jake Lovell shot wide of the post and Adam Taylor Ives saw a header tipped over by Martin Bennett. But in the 11th minute, Tom Pepper swung over a cross and Jamie Arlick applied a textbook header to put Hitchin ahead.
A cluster of chances went begging following the goal, notably when Arlick lobbed just over after a mis-kick by Beaconsfield keeper Ben Harris and a low drive by Ieuan Lewis after the wide-man had cut inside.
Two minutes from the break, Hitchin scored again. Howell's corner was headed on by Arlick and Harry Hunt applied the finishing touch.
Hunt troubled Beaconsfield in the early stages of the second half and Arlick missed an open goal after a Zak Burke free kick. Beaconsfield, who had struck the woodwork through Chris Owens, pulled a goal back in the 76th minute, Craig O'Connor shooting home at the near post after a good run by Lovell. O'Connor didn't last long on the field, however, for three minutes later, he was red-carded for foul.
Hitchin took full advantage and four minutes later, Tony Fontenelle ran through the middle and sent a low shot past Harris from the edge of the area. Two minutes from time, Burke added fourth with a superb shot from more than 30 yards.
Twice in the final seconds Arlick was denied another goal when his overhead kick was cleared off the line and then from a corner, the Canaries leading scorer saw a header similarly kept out by a defender.
Payne and his players were given a standing ovation at the end and rightly so. There may be more drama to come - especially in the next few days, but Hitchin have enjoyed one of the best home campaigns in their history.
Hitchin Town (2)4 Beaconsfield SYCOB (0)1
1-0 Arlick 11, 2-0 Hunt 43, 2-1 O'Connor 76, 3-1 Fontenelle 83, 4-1 Burke 85
Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Fontenelle, Williams (Lee 86), Smith, Gilbert, Lewis, L.Donnelly (Stevenson 64), Arlick, Hunt, Howell (Burke 70)
Beaconsfield: Harris, Lake, Owens, Swift, Bernard, Taylor-Ives, Martin, Ahir (Duffy 61), O'Connor, Lovell, Kirby
Attendance: 562 (6 from SYCOB)