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Saturday 10th April 2010

Zamaretto League Division One Midlands

Bell Close, Leighton Buzzard Attendance: 276

Aylesbury United

3 4

Hitchin Town

  Half-time: (2-1)  
      6Jack SILLITOEPlayer Image1
      6Ashleigh JAMESPlayer Image2
      616 84m Kevin AYODELEPlayer Image3
      615 52m Mark TOMSPlayer Image4
      7Kevin MEALORPlayer Image5
      7Lewis MCBRIDEPlayer Image6
      7Jonny MONTGOMERYPlayer Image7
      6Ashley HAREWOOD-WILLIAMSPlayer Image8
      6Richard PRINGLEPlayer Image9
      6(c) Tyrone TAYLORPlayer Image10
      Ben CLARKEPlayer Image11
      Enzo SILVESTRIPlayer Image12
      Tony JOYCEPlayer Image14
      4 52m Jamie O'GRADYPlayer Image15
      3 84m Danny NICHOLLSPlayer Image16
      James NASHPlayer Image17
        Tony JOYCEManager ImageM
      1Player ImageMartin BENNETT
      2Player ImageTom PEPPER
      3Player ImageTony FONTANELLE
      4Player ImageCarl WILLIAMS
      5Player ImageMark SMITH
      6Player ImageDean GILBERT (c)
      7Player ImageRichard HOWELL
      8Player ImageJon STEVENSON
      9Player ImageJamie ARLICK
      10Player ImageJeff HAMMOND12 83m 
      11Player ImageZak BURKE14 51m 
      12Player ImageHarry HUNT10 83m 
      14Player ImageIeuan LEWIS11 51m 
      15Player ImageLuke DONNELLY 51m 
      16Player ImageLouis LEE
      17Player ImageJon MUNDAY
      MManager ImageColin PAYNE
      Match Report



      High-flying Hitchin Town produced a spectacular comeback to overturn a 3-1 Aylesbury lead and head home with all three points and a 4-3 win.

      For United the match was a throwback to some of the high scoring early season games, and a fifth time they?ve let a two-goal cushion slip as Tony Joyce?s side now stand on the brink of ?relegation?.

      Unsurprisingly, it was the title hopefuls who were the better side in the opening exchanges and after just 81 seconds they went close when Mark Smith volleyed a near post corner just past the upright.

      Jeff Hammond beat Jack Sillitoe to a long ball but his shot dropped wide before Aylesbury showed it wasn?t all to be one way traffic when Ashleigh James released Ben Clarke with a fine pass with his shot deflected behind after he?d cut in from the left flank.

      The Canaries got the early goal they were looking for after nine minutes. Hammond brought the ball into the box before going past Ayodele and Toms too easily and crashing a shot past Sillitoe from an angle. 1-0 Hitchin

      Half chances continued to follow at either end as firstly McBride struck a scissor-kick well over the bar, before Richard Howell hit a rising drive which was also way over the target for Hitchin.

      The game then entered something of a lull as both teams got their breath back with the sunny conditions making hot work for the players.

      On the half hour mark Aylesbury grabbed an equaliser when McBride delivered a pinpoint free-kick from the right which was met by a towering header from captain Tyrone Taylor. 1-1

      Hitchin had a good chance to retake their lead through veteran Mark Smith but he could only head wide a corner kick delivery at the far post.

      Instead, it was United who turned the screw and two minutes after Bennett had tipped Pringle?s header over the bar had the lead. Ayodele?s ball in from the left was handled by Smith which went unnoticed, but it mattered not when the ball dropped to McBride who surprisingly had plenty of time to set himself in the area and stroke a left-footed shot into the net. 2-1 Aylesbury

      With only a minute to go until half-time it meant Aylesbury left the field to warm applause having established something of an unlikely advantage, as most present amongst United?s biggest crowd of the season expected a second half backlash from the visitors.

      Half-time: Aylesbury 2-1 Hitchin

      That wasn?t to be the case though, and it was Ducks dreamland within five minutes with the lead extended. Top scorer Ashley Harewood made a goalscoring return to the starting line-up ? his first full game since January ? when he fired home after Pringle had levered down Taylor?s long throw. 3-1 Aylesbury

      Unfortunately, the two ?goal cushion lasted for just five minutes as Hitchin scored response to fire themselves back into action. A corner kick was worked back into the box for Carl Williams to sweep home a shot from just inside the box. 2-3

      A quick goal, coupled with Aylesbury?s loss of defender Mark Toms and the addition of two key Hitchin substitutions was enough to tip the balance of proceedings the way of the visiting side, and suddenly the Canaries had the wind in their sails.

      However, United could have scored themselves when Pringle got the better of Smith but saw his shot well fielded by Bennett with an hour gone.

      But it was mostly one-way traffic at this point and Williams scored his second to level the match when he made a lung-bursting break from midfield to get on the end of Hammond?s ball and cleverly lift it over the stranded Sillitoe. 3-3

      The league?s top marksman Jamie Arlick had barely had a sniff at goal but he had his first chance when a low cross into him was turned wide at the near post.

      And less than a minute later he showed his quality to ensure his name was on the score sheet. Hammond flicked the ball into Arlick?s path who produced a fine deft finish with the outside of the boot to lob Sillitoe and find the net, with United?s defence nowhere to be seen. 4-3 Hitchin

      That completed the turnaround and had been fully deserved for Hitchin?s raised performance and Arlick went close again when his header from Howell?s cross grazed the outside of the post.

      The Ducks weren?t to leave the pitch without a fight though and Montgomery struck an early effort well wide, before Ayodele was played in but saw his shot from the edge of the area well blocked.

      In the end the result went the way of the form book, but Hitchin?s title credentials had certainly been pushed all the way as the battle for the Championship still looks like going to the wire.

      Unfortunately for Aylesbury though, it now looks like a 30th league defeat of the season at Soham Town will mean confirmation of a bottom two finish after what has been a long, hard campaign.