Match day

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Tonbridge Angels (A)
Sat Feb 24

Match day

Team logo
Tonbridge Angels (A)
Sat Feb 24 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Town heroes let the mud run free

Slough Town

Slough Town

Dell (12), Baron (2-2), Lay (89 pen)
Hitchin Town

Hitchin Town

Marshall (22, 1-2)
League Attendance: 457 Trevor Baron
There are some nights when the trek to Wexham Park seems a chore rather than a pleasure; when the weather and the calibre of the visitors make an evening elsewhere more desirable.

Spare a thought on such occasions for the players. They have to turn up whether they like it or not. They don't get any shelter or any cups of tea just 90 minutes running through an ocean of mud in the freezing cold.

So well done to the players for sticking this one out and showing the character to produce an unlikely win. With the rain blowing straight at them in the first half, it was 10 minutes before the ball had really left their own half. It was never exactly going to be a classic.

Spare a thought especially for Tony Dell. He has become almost a figure of fun, pass after pass going astray whenever he receives the ball, but on Tuesday night he produced a moment of finesse almost unparalleled this season.

It came in the 12th minute, as a Lay corner drifted to the toothless midfielder 40 yards out. He then executed a beautiful volley which flew in via the underside of the bar.

Marshall hit the post shortly afterward for Hitchin, and then managed their equaliser several misses later on 22 minutes, pouncing as a Scott free-kick came off Bunting's hand.

The second-half began with the sort of bombshell that few teams recover from. A long through-ball released danger man Marshall again, and he ran past Connor to beat Bunting with a measured lob.

But the Rebels did recover, albeit with the scrappiest of goals, as a Lay corner found its way to Baron, who tucked home coolly from five yards.

And so the stage was set for a big winner. Oblivion looked to be opening its arms wide when the game reached the 89th minute still locked; Lay had seen a header fly wide and a lob glance over the bar, while Catlin had also stretched Wilmot.

The ball pinballed around the area in one last desperate attempt. Somehow, it struck a defender's hand, the spot was pointed to, and Dave Lay did the honours with a great kick.

So despite the niggling feeling that maybe Hitchin had been the betters side on the night, the three points were safe.

And in a game when game-plans and tactics went out of the window, who could have hoped for any more?

Hitchin Town Lineup


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