Hitchin Town  v  Tamworth

Mon 28 Feb - 19:45 Southern League Premier Central

Hitchin Town

Hitchin Town

1-1

Tamworth

Tamworth

Match Report

Matchday 40:

After smashing Barwell off the park for six of the best a little over 48 hours previously, Andy Peaks took his squad to Top Field for his second game at the helm, hopeful of another 3 points against Mark Burke’s Hitchin Town side which would move them up to 13th if successful.

The game was, of course, a rearrangement due to it having been abandoned on 18 December in the first half following injury to Bilal Yafai. Thankfully Yafai was OK, but, and since then, there had been a lot of comings and goings at The Lamb with no less than 6 of the squad named for that game no longer at the club, including Yafai himself.

The three points against The Canaries of Barwell on Saturday had moved Tamworth up to 16th in the table five points ahead of their hosts, and The Canaries of Hitchin had themselves recorded a much-needed victory at the weekend over local rivals and relegation threatened Biggleswade, their first in 5 games, but found themselves still in the relegation zone four points behind Bromsgrove Sporting who would visit The Lamb on Saturday.

And so, on a very damp rainy night in Hertfordshire Peaks made no changes to the starting eleven that ran out against Barwell with the same substitutes as well.

Hitchin got the game underway and both sides moved the ball around quickly in the seemingly never ending and increasing rain showers that soaked the well maintained pitch which was holding up superbly under the conditions.
The first ten minutes proved to be a frustrating affair with it difficult to take or control possession until 11 when Singh was put under pressure from a Canaries corner on the right which caused some problems and Wilder was forced to acrobatically head it away from danger.
A flowing passing move which linked a seemingly endless number of passes by The Lambs ended with Hurst driving a low ball into the box which Creaney got a touch onto, but he was unable to control it sufficiently to set himself and the home defence cleared.
A foul on Beswick set the captain up with a right sided freekick on 22 and it went over the top of Bailey at the far post.
Hitchin’s Green made good work of the ball down the right on 27 and loaded his cross into the box which The Lambs dealt with.
Singh and Horlock had to be quick on their guard when defensive clearances went astray due to the conditions, and a slip in the middle of the park on 38 allowed Creaney to load a cross form the right but it was cut out before Beswick could get onto the end of it.
Hurst picked up the ball on the right after a neat passing move and fired low at Horlock and the keeper dropped to smother it at his near post.
Hutchinson received the ball on the right on 42, and whipped a right footed cross in which Singh took before it caused too many problems and The Lambs broke from a Hitchin freekick on 45 but the final ball from Creaney was cut out shortly before the half time whistle blew.

HT 0-0

The Lambs restarted proceedings but it was the home side that had a couple of chances with shots on and off target from Hutchinson.
Whittingham found space to cross low into the box from the right on 53 and forced a corner which Beswick planted onto the head of Creaney and he forced Horlock to smother the chance.
But the home side took the lead on 55 when a header out of midfield sprayed back towards the Lambs defence and allowed Hutchinson to run through and lift a shot over Singh and into the back of the net from 25 yards (0-1, 55 mins)
The Lambs heads did not drop as they may have done previously, and a freekick from Beswick on the left found Creaney once again who headed wide of the mark in amongst a crowd of players.
Cawley picked up the first booking for a foul on the half way line on the hour but there was no foul for a pull on Mussa on 64 which perhaps looked more punishable and Hitchin pushed forwards but Tamworth responded and Black was booked for kicking the ball away on 63.
After a couple of changes, The Lambs called on Singh to deny Hutchinson who ran through under pressure and the keeper cleared the ball away from the edge of the box.
Mussa, Beswick, and Concannon combined on 73 and the latter whipped it into the box but Creaney was unable to get around his marker before Horlock caught the bouncing ball.
Whittingham spotted a gap in the Hitchin defence on 78 but fired wide of the mark from 25 yards, and in the next move, after Clement had replaced Beswick, saw Hurst feed Whittingham and his chip was dangerous but cleared until a foul on Thomas set Clement up with the freekick. And from it Hurst headed home in a packed out box to give the travelling faithful a reason to lift the roof of the stand behind the goal (1-1, 82 mins)
Thomas ran half the length of the pitch and forced a corner which Creaney met but Hitchin defended and forced a corner on the right as the minutes ticked down.
Cox conceded a freekick on the right on 90 and Tamworth needed to defend strongly as four minutes added time was shown but nothing could separate the two sides who enjoyed a point a piece in what was a great game to watch, full of passion and belief.

Hitchin Town
Horlock, Green, Brown, Gleeson (Coldicott-Stevens 68), Webb (c.), Jones, Georgiou, Barker, Hutchinson, Cawley (Dasilva 82), Black
Subs: Stevens, Conlon

YC: Cawley 60, Black 63

Tamworth
Singh, Hurst, Wilder, Beswick (c.) (Clement 79), Cox, Bailey, Thomas, Mussa, Creaney, Whittingham, Walters (Concannon 68)
Subs: Brown, Yeomans, Tahra

YC:

Referee: Mr. Swanton

Attendance: 412

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