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Hitchin Town FC Weekly Bulletin 27th Sept

Hitchin Town FC Weekly Bulletin 27th Sept

2019-09-27 
| by Roy Izzard, Mark Burke | Posted in Hitchin Sport

ONE FIXTURE

Saturday 28th September home to Stratford Town League kick-off 3pm. Discounted online tickets can be purchased until 11am on Saturday.
There is no midweek game for the first team.

COMMENTARY
North Herts Radio will be broadcasting live commentary of the Hitchin Town versus Stratford Town match on Saturday 28 September 2019 from 2:45pm. Freddie Cardy and Marac Alionic will be the hosts for full and uninterrupted live commentary on the North Herts Radio Extra Channel.

THANKS TO SUPPORTERS
On behalf of the players, management and officials can I thank the Hitchin supporters for their great support at Barton last week. It has been a difficult start to the season but of the 381 attendance I am certain there were at least 250 from Hitchin which is an amazing turn out. Your great support is really appreciated and everyone at the club is determined to see an upturn in results to reward our loyal supporters.

PLAYER NEWS
Ben Walster, Bradley Bell and Jhai Dillon have been signed and are in the squad for tomorrow’s game against Stratford. Ben needs no introduction having enjoyed a previous spell at Top Field. Last season he was at Biggleswade Town and has been playing for Cambridge City. Bradley is a midfield player who was also at Biggleswade Town last season and Cambridge City this season while Jhai has played for us before and has also played against us for among others Redditch, Chesham and Royston.

Dan Webb returns to the squad for the Stratford game.
Alex Anderson is still injured.
Harry Draper is awaiting the results of his scan and remains on the sidelines.
Layne Eadie is expected to be about for a further 8 weeks.
James Verney is still not fully fit.
Brett Donnelly will be missing for some time with his injury.

NON LEAGUE DAY SATURDAY – 12TH OCTOBER
We received a suggestion from Colin Ridgway that we decided to implement and we are pleased to offer the following online promotional code to our new and existing supporters.

For the Non-League Day game against Bromsgrove Sporting on Saturday 12th October, we will be offering 25% off the gate price for adults and concessions if the online tickets are bought using the promotional code CANARY25.

This would be 25% off the normal gate price, so £12 becomes £9 and £8 becomes £6. Also, all supporters aged under 20 will be admitted free of charge for this game.

If the promotional code is not used, online prices will stay the same at £11 for adults and £7 for concessions.

This promotional code is ONLINE only and is not transferrable at the turnstiles.

We are always pleased to welcome any ideas that our supporters may have and will endeavour to turn them into reality whenever possible. Thank you to Colin and please share the code with as many people as you can so that they can take advantage of this promotion. Let us see a great attendance on Non-League Day.

Tickets are now on sale, so click here, enter the promo code and grab your tickets today!

EMIRATES FA CUP
We have been drawn away to Maidstone United in the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup. The game will be played on Saturday 5 October. Tickets for the coach which will leave at 11.30am can be purchase online.

Maidstone play at The Gallagher Stadium, James Whatman Way, Maidstone ME14 1LQ. Admission prices will be £10 for adults, £5 for concessions, £5 for 11 to 16 year olds and under 11’s are free. Maidstone will play in amber shirts and black shorts and socks. Hitchin will play in all green.

Hitchin last played Maidstone on 21 November 1970 in the Isthmian League at their old ground. They moved to the £2.6 million Gallaher Stadium in 2012 so it will be a new ground for Hitchin. The team for that game 49 years ago in 1970 which we won 1-0 was as follows–Terry Moore, Ian Reid, Peter Robinson, Brian Baigent, Paul McHale, Hugh Pratt, Kenny Fulkes, Bernie Mapp, David Ricardson, Tony Brothers, Paul Giggle. Mapp scored the only goal and I was one of the 230 in attendance!

CURSED?
While manager Mark Burke does not want to look for sympathy over our plight so far this season it seems only fair to point out the terrible bad luck and adversity that has undermined us so far. Mark has just not been able to play his preferred team due to a spate of injuries. The season started with goalkeeper Charlie Horlock and Jack Green injured and things have never improved. The season started with Harry Draper and Jay Bird the front duo but Jay was injured in our second game and is out until Christmas and Harry then got injured and has not played in September.

The injuries have continued to come and it is eye opening to look at how stretched we were at Barton. Draper and Bird were obviously missing while Brett Donnelly had got injured at Wisbech and will be out for some time. New signing Layne Eadie was in hospital after a car crash while Although Dan Webb and James Verney were named as substitutes neither was fit to play. Indeed our six substitutes included two goalkeepers as well as the two injured players while new signing Steve Cawley was only fit to play for about half an hour. With Max Ryan suspended on top of the injuries the win at Barton was a fine result.

On Tuesday at Kings Langley it did not get any better as although Ryan returned Alex Anderson was injured and Ross Hannah unavailable, while we will now lose Lewis Barker for three games after a harsh red card. Even some potential new signings that Mark has approached have subsequently picked up injuries so I am wondering has he run over a black cat or is he cursed! Hopefully our luck will change very soon.

HITCHIN TOWN ACADEMY TEAM
On Wednesday 2 October our under 18’s are at home to Peterborough Sports in the F A Youth Cup second qualifying round kick-off 7.45pm. The game is at Top Field and admission prices are £5 for adults, £3 concessions, £1 for teenagers whilst under 13s get in for free. Come along and cheer them on.

On Wednesday the Academy team won 4-3 at St Albans. Goal scorers were Theo Reed 2, Hayden Evanson and Luca Cardines (son of Colin Cardines). Theo made his first team debut as a sub at Kings Langley.

HITCHIN TOWN LADIES FC WITH CALLUM ELLIS

I will start off with our Reserves who were away to a Herts Vipers team who had scored 9 in the previous game. Jez Davies commented after the game ‘We played a fantastic side today and despite the 10-0 score line we never gave up and kept going to the end. Well done to Sophie Clarke who was awarded Player of the Game and Becca Buller who picked up Players Player.

For the first team iIt was our return to Ickleford! As we walked into the building we were welcomed by a great cheer of ‘welcome home ladies’ from the staff of Ickleford and it was great to be home again. Our opposition were Hartham United FC Ladies, who were Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires in previous seasons. Hartham United FC Ladies established themselves in fourth place last season and are always going to be a tough opposition. Hitchin got us underway at Ickleford and the crowds had gathered in their numbers for our first home game of the season. The game was pretty open in the first 15 minutes and it was Hartham that got the opener. A pass across the face of the goal fell to the striker who tapped in from 2 yards. However Hitchin responded well and pressurised Hartham and a Chaffey shot was flapped out for a corner. Chaffey delivered a beautiful cross to find the head of Thompson who headed into the net for the equaliser. Hitchin were hunting for more and the Hartham keeper was forced into some great saves to keep Hitchin at bay.

The second half was all Hitchin and Hartham struggled to cope with the pressure from Hitchin and arguments started to form within their squad. One player was sin binned for dissent to the referee and they were down to 10. Hitchin capitalised on an error of the goalkeeper when Cain-Murnane headed the ball through to Coughlan who slotted it past the Hartham keeper. Hartham were back to 11 players but shortly after another player was sent into the sin bin for dissent to the referee. Hartham threw everything they had at Hitchin in the last 10 minutes but the ladies kept their line and the final whistle went and there was a mighty cheer from the home crowd. Hitchin had won! More points on the board than the 2016-2017 season and we moved second in the table –our highest ever recorded position in Division 1.

I am one proud manager.

EJA NEWS WITH NICK CARR

Only three of our EJA teams were in action as our U14 team’s opponents in the Herts FA County Cup didn’t turn up for the fixture, otherwise it was another very good weekend for our teams.

Our U15 team earned a very good 3-0 win over previously unbeaten Cambridge City Youth with Richard Kusorgbor and Brandon Owen both scoring and Teague Gardiner netting a fantastic solo goal.

The U17s kept up their excellent start to the season when overcoming unbeaten Biggleswade Town, who were last season’s league runners-up, by a 4-0 margin. Scorers were Nathan Wing, Ashley Hay, Tyler Lowden and Ajay Lidder.

The U18s drew 1-1 with Harlow Town to maintain their unbeaten start to the season, our scorer was Liam Campion.

This week’s fixtures are as follows:

U14s v Saffron Walden Community Youth, 10:30am kick-off at The Arena, Baldock.
U15s are away v Bishops Stortford Community FC, 12:00pm kick-off.
U17s v Braintree Town FC, 2:00 pm kick-off at The Arena, Baldock.
U18s v Ware FC Academy, 10:30am kick-off at Top Field.

Finally, some of our U17 and U18s will be joining boys from the club’s Academy, in partnership with Pro:Direct, to represent the club in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday, 2nd October v Peterborough Sports, 7:45pm kick-off at Top Field.

MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE

BARTON ROVERS

It was obviously pleasing to get a clean sheet, a win and passage through to the next round of the Emirates F A Cup. I had always thought that it was never going to be a pretty game and so it proved. Barton tested us and were possibly unlucky with a couple of decisions that went against them. I could sympathise with them as we have been experiencing this for most of the season.

I was pleased with our resilience and work rate and must mention Josh Bickerstaff who played through the pain barrier to ensure we would win with the team down to the bare bones due to multiple injury problems.

As Roy has already said it was overwhelming to see so many Hitchin supporters at Barton and it made me very proud to have such a loyal following. The players really do appreciate such great support.

KINGS LANGLEY

We played a very good Kings Langley side on Tuesday who knocked the ball around really well and we were left chasing shadows in the early part of the game. I was disappointed with the defending for the first goal and then we had Lewis Barker sent off. Having viewed the video it seemed to confirm my initial reaction that it was a very harsh decision. His eyes were always on the ball and there was clearly no intent. Lewis used his arms for leverage and collided with the defender.

We came out for the second half and soon conceded another poor goal.. We dragged ourselves back in to the game and enjoyed our best spell and got a goal back. However a third goal secured the win for Kings Langley.

You will have seen I received a red card from the substitute referee and I will outline the course of events that led to this. The referee said he heard a derogatory comment from the direction of our bench and came over to ask me who had made the comment. I turned round to check and nobody owned up. Under a new directive this season if this situation occurs the manager has to be issued with the red card. In this case the referee accepted the comments did not come from me. The F A have confirmed no further action will be taken.

STRATFORD

We go in to the game with Stratford seeking our first league win of the season. It has been a difficult start to the season with me not being to field my strongest team in any game so far. We have been very stretched and I have been forced to play more teenagers in the side at one time than I would have liked.

I have been working hard to recruit players to the squad and have suffered some setbacks. However I have been able to sign three players experienced at this level in Ben Walster, Bradley Bell and Jhai Dillon and I am hopeful another couple will follow.

We need to make Top Field a fortress again and I will be looking for that to start against Stratford.

BY ROY IZZARD

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