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Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division

Hitchin Town 6 - 2 Cirencester Town

Cirencester Town's poor start to the season continued with an embarrassing 6-2 defeat away at Hitchin Town on Saturday.

In just the 3rd minute the tone was set for the afternoon when John Frendo found himself with space to drive in a powerful shot which Town's Danny Greaves did well to stay big and make the block. At the other end midfielder Jamie Reid twice got himself in good positions in the 7th & 9th minute only to fire wide with both shots but at least he showed the willingness to get forward and get shots in on the Hitchin goal.

Hitchin took the lead in the 12th minute when after good work from John Frendo he found winger Ieuan Lewis who out muscled Town's Andy Gunn to smash in giving Danny Greaves no chance in the Town goal. Frendo himself then cut inside from the left and his left footed shot whistled just wide of the Town goal.

Hitchin right back Tom Pepper then joined in and went on an overlapping run in the 24th minute and received the ball shooting low down to Greaves left who got down well to save. Hitchin nearly doubled their advantage 4 minutes later when Frendo who was causing panic in the Town back line got in down the left hand channel and fizzed a great ball across the 6 yard box which Louis Lee should have put away but he missed his kick completely and Town escaped with a let off.

It wasn't long though before they did double their lead when Mitchell Cole ran at Town right back Neil Arndale and crossed, Frendo coming onto the ball volleyed firecely forcing Greaves to make a great save but the first man following up was Ieuan Lewis who smashed the rebound into the roof of the net with the Town defence failing to react to make the score 2-0 to Hitchin in the 35th minute.

In the remaining 10 minutes of the first half Town saw a couple of chances to score with first Richard Mansell crossing well from the left hand side only to see Jody Bevan head wide and then after good work by David Murphy, midfielder Tom Etheridge was unlucky to see his volley just go narrowly wide.

The second half got underway and loanee debutant Matt Lock from Gloucester City curled an effort wide of goal before things went from bad to worse for Town when Hitchin went further ahead in the 51st minute when Mitchell Cole once again tore down the wing and pulled the ball back for John Frendo to bury first time to make it 3-0 to Hitchin with Town now facing a mountain to get anything from the game.

In the 53rd minute Town registered their first shot on target when a long throw from Etheridge saw Reid get a shot in which got cleared off the line but only 4 minutes later Hitchin inflicted more pain, with a rasping shot from John Frendo which despite getting a hand to the ball, Greaves couldn't keep out.

With Hitchin well on top their 5th goal of the afternoon was scored from the penalty spot after a culmination of Etheridge and Mansell brought down Ieuan Lewis and John Frendo confidently hammered home the penalty to register his hat-trick.

Town did eventually pull a goal back in the 75th minute when Hitchin goalkeeper Martin Bennett had a moment he would want to forget when he fumbled a simple through ball on the edge of his box and David Murphy, who had gone to shut him down, block tackled Bennett and managed to scramble the ball home to make it 5-1. Sadly for Town Hitchin stung by this went up the other end and after good work by Ieuan Lewis once again he fed the ball to substitute James Edgerley and he fired home to make it 6-1 to Hitchin.

Town did show some late resolve with firstly Town substitute Mike Tambling pulling the ball out the sky and in the same movement getting off a great volley but making up for his earlier error Hitchin goalkeeper Bennett made a wonder save going full length to his left to turn the ball over the bar for a Town corner.

A few minutes later from a corner Town did pull a further goal back when from a goalmouth scramble, centre back Zak Westlake managed to fire home for 6-2 but not long after that the final whistle went to end a miserable afternoon for Cirencester Town.

With Chesham United the visitors to the Corinium Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday, manager Brian Hughes has a big task of lifting the Town squad and making the changes to spark off an improved performance.


Cirencester Town:

1 Danny Greaves
2 Neil Arndale
3 Richard Mansell (c)
4 Zak Westlake
5 Jamie Reid
6 Andy Gunn
7 Tom Etheridge
8 James Mortimer-Jones
9 Jody Bevan
10 David Murphy
11 Matt Lock

12 David Stone (On for Jody Bevan 55 Mins)
14 Ellis Dunton (On for Matt Lock 68 Mins)
15 Adam Mayo
16 Mike Tambling (On for Tom Etheridge 65 Mins)
17 Matt Sysum

Hitchin Town:

1 Martin Bennett
2 Tom Pepper
3 Marc Leach
4 Laurie Stewart
5 Dean Gilbert (c)
6 Louis Lee
7 Ieuan Lewis
8 Luke Gregson
9 Zak Burke
10 John Frendo
11 Mitchell Cole

12 Tony Fontewelle
14 Callum Donnelly (On for Zak Burke 78 Mins)
15 James Edgerley (On for John Frendo 70 Mins)
16 Jerome Anderson (On for Mitchell Cole 65 Mins)
17 Ryan Adam

Attendance: 312

Referee: Mr D Avent

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