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Hitchin Town FC - Weekly Bulletin 31st January

Hitchin Town FC - Weekly Bulletin 31st January

2020-02-03 
| by Roy Izzard, Mark Burke | Posted in Hitchin News, Hitchin Sport

FIXTURES

Saturday 1 February – Away to Tamworth – League – kick-off 3.00pm. Coach leaves at 10.45am.
Tuesday 4 February – Away to Berkhamsted – Herts Charity Cup – kick-off 7.45pm. There is no coach to this game.

HERTS SENIOR CUP
Potters Bar play Hemel Hempstead on Tuesday 4 February and we will be away to the winners on Tuesday 11 February.

PLAYER NEWS

Dan Webb, Josh Bickerstaff and Jhai Dhillon face fitness tests ahead of the Tamworth game.
Max Ryan has signed dual registration with Braintree after an approach from the National South League side. Max will be part of the Braintree squad this Saturday as they take on Weymouth. We would like to thank Max for his contribution to the Club but are hopeful we will see him again this season on a similar basis as the arrangement with Matt Lench.
We have signed Kye Tearle. He is a 16 year old midfielder who has been playing for the U19’s team whilst attending the Pro-Direct Academy college programme. An article about Kye’s progress will follow.
Lewis Rolfe has received a 2 game suspension for reaching 10 yellow cards and misses the game at Tamworth and next week’s game against Banbury.

JOHN GRAY
It was a sad week for the club as we learned that lifelong supporter John Gray passed away last Saturday. Please see our website for the full tribute to a true gentleman who had volunteered for the club for many years.

YOGA SESSION FOR SQUAD
On Thursday the players had a yoga session instead of the normal training session after a tiring few weeks where the football matches have come thick and fast.

UPDATE FROM KATE DELLER
Our thanks to the Three Alans who once again turned up for Wednesday’s Volunteer Army, They have done a great job starting to stain the old woodwork fascia of The Canary Cub. We are so grateful for their time and its really making a difference.

The Soul Man – There are currently 17 tickets available online and 10 available from The Canary Club if you wish to purchase please don’t miss out— Ticket Home | Hitchin Town Web

We will this year be supporting the Football V Homophobia Campaign on 15 February when we play Royston Town at home. Top Field has always been very welcoming of new supporters and we look forward to a bumper crowd.

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
Football v Homophobia exists to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression at all levels in football. As an international initiative FvH engages in campaigning, education, advice and guidance, research, policy consultation and capacity building to:

Make existing football structures safe, welcoming and inclusive for LGBTI people
Create opportunities and promote engagement of LGBTI people in football at all levels and in all forms
Improve the representation and visibility of LGBTI people throughout football
To realise the potential of football in society as a tool to create positive change

DATES FOR THE DIARY

Hitchin Town V Royston Town Football V Homophobia Saturday 15 February.
The Soul Man Friday 21 February 2020.
Quiz and Curry Night Thursday 27 February 2020 (£6.00 per person maximum 6 in a team) Entries please contact Kate Deller.
The Canary Club Karaoke Night Friday 28 February 2020.
Race Night Thursday 19 March 2020.
Youth Day Saturday 4 April V Redditch Town (Herts Disability Foundation will be in attendance to fundraise, we look forward to welcoming our Charity Partner).
Cider & Cheese Festival Friday 3 July and Saturday 4 July.

YOUTH DAY
Our annual Youth Day has been arranged for Saturday 4 April when we host Redditch. The aim is to get as many young supporters to Top Field as possible. Further details will follow.

HITCHIN TOWN UNDER 19’S
The college team did not have a fixture this week . On Wednesday 5 February they are at home to St Albans at the Arena with a 11.30am kick off. The young Canaries currently lie 3rd in the National League U19 Alliance.

HITCHIN TOWN LADIES WITH CALLUM ELLIS
It was derby day on Sunday 26 January 2020. Local rivals Hitchin Belles had only picked up a point in the ten games since promotion into Division One so they were looking to get their 2020 year up and running.

Hitchin scored through Darling to begin with but a Belles free kick pulled it level. Just before half time Hitchin doubled their tally and it was Darling again. When the half time whistle blew it was HTLFC Firsts that were in front and comfortable. The second half got underway and the Belles battled hard but conceded an own goal. The final whistle went and it was the first time HTLFC Firsts had done the double over the Belles! Final score 3-1 to HTLFC Firsts.

Upcoming fixtures – Sunday 2nd February 13:30 – Quarter finals

League Cup
Herts Vipers V HTLFC Firsts – The Arena, Baldock

Chris Renshaw Trophy
Northwood v HTLFC Reserves – Merchant Taylor’s School, Sandy Lodge, Moor Park.

EJA NEWS WITH NICK CARR
It was a clean sweep for our EJA teams at the weekend with all four registering impressive wins.

Our U14s took their A game to 2nd placed Cambridge City and came away happy after a very impressive win. Despite dominating proceedings, our boys found themselves 1-0 down at half time. However, a fine second half performance saw Zion Kelly and Rafael Miles share four goals without reply as the boys ran out 4-1 winners.

Our U15s maintained their lead at the top of the U15 Brown Division with a hard fought win over Bishops Stortford. The first five minutes of this game were frantic, to say the least with Bishops Stortford taking a first minute lead before our boys then hit the bar twice followed by goalkeeper Neo Donoghue pulling off an impressive save when finger tipping a shot onto the post and away to safety. The game then settled down as our boys took control with Cathal Fee getting us level and Jamie Hickman then scoring with a stunning shot into the roof of the net from what must have been all of 30 yards to give us a 2-1 lead at half time. Teague Gardiner rounded off the scoring in the second half with a fine individual effort and the game finished 3-1.

Our U17s earned a place in the London FA Challenge Cup with a fine 4-1 victory away at Barkingside Youth. Ajay Lidder was in impressive form again with another hat-trick (how many is that now Ajay?) whilst Jack Hewitt scored the other goal. The final will be played at Fisher Athletic’s, St. Paul’s Sports Ground Stadium on 29th March.

There was incredible drama in our U18s Hertfordshire FA County Cup 4th round tie at Bushey & Oxhey. Finding themselves 2-0 down at half time and having lost goalkeeper Harvey Moss through injury, to be replaced by outfield player Josh Adams at half time, the boys fought back to 2-2 in the second half with goals from Jack Holmes and Ben Chapman. So to extra time and they then found themselves trailing again early into the first half of extra time but went on to equalise from a penalty, converted by James Thompson, when a Bushey & Oxhey player saved a goal bound effort with his hands and was duly punished with a red card. With the game deadlocked at 3-3 at the end of extra time, it was on to penalties and as the saying goes, cometh the hour, cometh the man in the form of Josh Adams who saved all three Bushey & Oxhey penalties whilst Liam Campion, Ben Chapman and James Thompson coolly converted ours to put us into the quarter finals.

This week it’s our U15s turn in the Hertfordshire FA County Cup when they take on Evergreen Youth at The Arena, Baldock with a 10:30am kick-off.

Our U14s will be hoping to follow up last week’s impressive league win with another when they entertain table-toppers St. Ives Town at North Herts College, 11am kickoff.

Our U18s are away to Ware FC Academy in a league future with a 10am kick-off whilst our U17s find themselves without a game this weekend.

MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE

ALVECHURCH

I was very pleased that we made a bright start to the game and deservedly took the lead. Credit must go to Alvechurch who fought back well and equalised with a very good goal. We continued to play well and regained the lead with a fortunate own goal. Earlier in the season we did not appear to get any luck at all so I was happy to receive some good fortune this time.

We scored early in the second half and while we were not spectacular for the remainder of the game we were professional and showed good game management. Alvechurch never really looked like getting back in to the game and we achieved back to back wins for the first time since October. It was our best home performance for some time.

STRATFORD

I had set the target of four points from the games with Alvechurch and Stratford but when we went in at half time it did not look likely we would get any reward at Stratford. Yet again we made a very slow start and conceded from a corner after just 2 minutes. We recoverd well from this set back and were the better team for the remainder of the half. We missed some good chances so it was a real body blow when Stratford increased their lead against the run of play on the stroke of half time.

To make matters worse Dan Webb was injured and did not come out for the second half. However I must complement the players for the grit and determination they showed in the second half and we deservedly drew level. Then Stratford scored a third goal against the run of play but our heads did not drop and we got an equaliser in injury time. We have now won 4 drawn 2 and lost just 1 of our last 7 games.

TAMWORTH

We face a tough trip to Tamworth on Saturday. They are second in the table and ended Royston’s long unbeaten record on Tuesday. They have won 9 of their 14 games and along with Royston have conceded the fewest goals in the league so far (26 in 25 games).

However we are currently on a good run and confidence is high. There will be no pressure or expectation on us so we should enjoy the experience. The only worry is the injuries and suspension that could affect our defence.

BERKHAMSTED

I think supporters know by now that I take our County Cups seriously and I want us to go as far as possible in the Senior and Charity Cups. Berkhamsted are having an exceptional season and they are currently second in the Bet Victor Southern Central Division. But we will be going there looking for a victory that would see us travel to Cheshunt in the semi-final. The other semi- final is between Hemel Hempstead and Royston.

BY ROY IZZARD

 

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