Match day

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Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Wed Apr 17

Match day

Team logo
Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Wed Apr 17 14:00
The National League U19 Alliance

Ten-man Rebels beaten at Hitchin

Hitchin Town

Hitchin Town

Smith (27), McNamara (70, 82)
Slough Town

Slough Town

S Harris (29)
League Attendance: 315 Scott Harris
A first-half red card for Slough Town goalkeeper Mark Scott changed the complexion of this match at Top Field, with Hitchin capitalising in the second half to claim all three points.

Stuart Lake came straight in to the Slough lineup to replace the absent Guy Hollis, whilst Warren Harris made his 50th appearance in a Rebels jersey.

Hitchin carried the greater attacking threat in the opening 20 minutes, with Kane Smith firing over after a long run at the heart of the Slough defence. Former Slough striker Simon Martin headed a corner over, whilst Callum Donnelly’s long-ranger was easily held by Scott.

The Slough stopper, though, had a moment of madness in the 23rd minute which ultimately cost his team dear. After being provoked by a trip by Lewis Rolfe, Scott reacted by thrusting his head towards the Hitchin player, which resulted in Rolfe going to ground dramatically, and, after consultation with his assistant, referee N Smith produced the inevitable red card for Scott.

With the incident occurring in open play, a penalty was awarded, which Jonny McNamara had to wait almost five minutes in the aftermath of the incident. Slough were fortunate to have Luke Williams on their substitutes bench, and he replaced Callum Webb, who was sacrificed to make way. Williams is currently recovering from glandular fever and would probably have hoped for a cooler day to make his comeback, with the conditions at Top Field very warm. When the kick was eventually taken, Williams did brilliantly to make the save, but in the goalmouth scramble which followed, Kane Smith fired home.

Slough reacted almost immediately, equalising two minutes afterwards. Lewis Putman found himself in space on the left and his cross was deflected and sat up nicely for Scott Harris to nod in his fifth goal in his last three games to make it 1-1.

The Rebels seemed fired up after Scott’s dismissal, and started to come to life. Putman again beat his man and got in a low cross from the left, which Warren Harris hit, with the ball deflected away.

Before the interval, Hitchin missed a golden chance to go back in front, as dangerman McNamara got in down the right, but his cross was too far ahead of Simon Martin.

A man light in warm conditions, Slough more than held their own in the second period. Hitchin’s next good chance fell to Simon Martin on 59 minutes, but he dragged a shot well wide and was replaced shortly after.

Three minutes later, Scott Harris headed an Adrian Sear free kick down into the ground and, agonisingly for Slough, over the bar.

Hitchin started to pile on the pressure and tire the Rebels out with long spells of possession, and Williams made a superb save from McNamara to keep the scores level.

However, despite Slough holding their shape well, the hosts took the lead in slightly fortuitous circumstances on 70 minutes, as a ricochet in the box fell kindly to McNamara, who finished past Williams.

Slough showed great spirit to try and fight their way back into the game, with Adam Martin forcing a save from Charlie Horlock, and Scott Harris putting a shot wide after using his strength to force his way past two defenders.

With eight minutes remaining and Slough chasing the game, Hitchin scored a third to settle the game. After Slough lost possession in midfield, McNamara was released down the left, and the midfielder ran fully 50 yards before firing into the bottom corner past Williams.

Scott Harris was in no mood to give up, with the striker putting another effort off target after outmuscling his marker, but there was to be no late heroics on this occasion.

Hitchin Town Lineup

Charlie Horlock, Kane Smith, David Corran (Ben Walster '82), Alasan Ann (c), Dan Webb, Will Wright, Jonny McNamara, Callum Donnelly, Simon Martin (Matt Lench '56), Lewis Rolfe, Lucas Kirkpatrick (Robbie Burns '45). Sub not used: Michael Johnson.


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