Hitchin Town v Tamworth FC
The Lambs travelled to the Top Field for the first ever time to face The Canaries on their own turf for a rare Wednesday runout.
Gary Smith and Andy Danylyszyn were forced to make three changes to the starting eleven with Chris Lait unavailable and both Kristian Green and Jordan Gough ruled out through injury and this handed starts to Rashaan Frances, Revarrnelle James and a return to the club for Kyron Stabana, joining on loan from AFC Wimbledon for a month. Tamworth looked for their 6th game unbeaten and 5th win on the bounce against a side positioned above the relegation zone.
Hitchin kicked off proceedings and the home side nearly opened proceedings after Webb beat the offside trap to meet a through ball into the box, but he fired over the target from 12 yards.
Johnson was forced to head the ball away from the run of Waite ad out for a throw on 6 and James sprinted onto a through ball down the right channel on 12 but it was too strong for him to chase down.
On 17 James made headway into the box down the right and whipped a warning shot towards goal which went out of play before it got close to testing Johnson.
A free header from Forde off a short corner on the right nearly caught The Lambs out but he put his effort wide of the near post on 18.
Kettle picked up a booking on 22 for preventing Cue from getting past him in the top left corner of the pitch, but Tamworth broke forwards and forced a corner on the right which was cleared, but another was forced quickly after from Frances ball for Beswick.
Waite went close to opening the scoring on the half hour, receiving the ball in the box and picking his spot but he found Johnson in the way to smother the chance.
Dias forced another corner on the right on 34 and Beswick whipped it in.
It took a touch and handed Beswick his first corner from the left but it came to nothing and quickly made it’s way back to Singh.
The Hitchin defence opened up enough for Clement to hit a hopeful shot from 30 yards on 35 but his effort failed to trouble Johnson and rebounded off the sparsely populated terracing.
Cain tried his luck from a similar position on 38 and it rebounded off the wooden stand behind Singh’s goal.
Clement found the run of Stabana down the left on 44 and his ball into the near post was met by Waite but he couldn’t get it the right side of the woodwork.
One minute added time was shown and Concannon fired over the target from the edge of the area before the whistle blew.
HT: HITCHIN TOWN 0 0 TAMWORTH
Tamworth got the second half underway attacking the wooden stand / main road end of the ground but the home side went on the attack and forced The Lambs to defend strongly in the early exchanges.
At the other end on 50 though, Clement worked his way to the touchline on the left and his cross box ball was inches away from being met by Waite.
Hitchin took the lead on 52 though when Galliford exploited space down the left of the box and his cross wasn’t dealt with.
Singh got his hands to the ball twice but it was pinging around and Cue finished it at the far post. (0-1, 52 mins)
Gordon came on for Concannon on 61 and The Lambs changed formation to accommodate him on the right alongside James in the centre and Waite on the left.
Cue was brought down 30 yards from goal in the left channel on 65 and Cain hit a hopeful freekick high and wide.
Magunda’s wayward clearance handed Hitchin a right sided corner on 73 and Kettle smashed it clear but the home side punted the ball back in and another corner on the same side was the result.
Cain then lashed a 25 yard shot wide of the left hand upright on 75.
Gordon went to go past his marker on the right on 78 but a handball prevented his advance and cross so Beswick stepped up to the deadball and Johnson grabbed it bravely just ahead of the boot of Maphosa.
Singh pushed a dangerous low freekick towards the far post away for a corner on 82 in the move after Dwyer replaced Frances and the sub picked up a yellow card for a mistimed challenge when the homeside broke from a corner on 84.
Dwyer was then upended on 87 and he lined up with Beswick to strike the ball 30 yards out and Dwyer struck it well enough on target but at the keeper.
Johnson was sent off for sliding out and handling the ball to prevent James from going past him on 90 and so Bickerstaff went into net for the final few minutes.
Beswick took the freekick but any hope of an equaliser from the ensuing play was halted by the offside flag.
Despite packing out the final third for the final moments of the game Tamworth were unable to force an equaliser and the find whistle blew full time on the unbeaten run.
Singh, Frances (Dwyer 79), Stabana, Beswick, Kettle (c.), Magunda, Concannon (Gordon 61), Clement, Waite, Dias (Maphosa 69), James R.
Subs: Shaw, Jemson
YC: Kettle 22, Dwyer 84
Hitchin Town Team:
Johnson, Green, Chesmain, Bickerstaff, Webb (c.), Ferrell, Cain, Belgrove (Bird 66), Forde, Galliford, Cue (Ryan 80)
Subs: Dowie, Mensah, Didik
YC: Chesmain 87, Ferrell 87
Referee: Mr. J. Crofts