Match Report: Hitchin Town (Home - League)
Rebels keep on winning, Slough go top, hat-trick for James Dobson
1 - 0 (Dobson, 24m); 2- 0 (Dobson, 71m), 3 - 0 (Dobson, 77m); 4 - 0 (Dunn,86m)
Man of Match: James Dobson
Slough moved to the top of the EVO-STIK South Premier table with a comprehensive win over last season’s Playoff finalists Hitchin.
James Dobson repeated the achievement of Brad Wadkins by scoring a hat-trick, with Simon Dunn also on target late on as the Rebels made it seven consecutive victories in all competitions ahead of Saturday’s visit of Dulwich Hamlet in the Emirates FA Cup.
There was little threat to either goal in the opening 20 minutes – George Wells and Chris Flood both saw shots blocked as the ball ricocheted around the penalty area, and at the other end Josh Bickerstaffe was well wide with an attempted overhead kick.
But Slough took the lead on 24 minutes with a goal which resulted from a corner kick needlessly conceded by Lewis Rolfe, who headed the ball behind with no Slough attacker near him. The Rebels punished Hitchin in full, as former Canaries playmaker Matt Lench crossed the ball in to the back post, where Dobson had time to control and fire the ball into the roof of the net.
Hitchin’s best chance of the first half was carved out by Callum Donnelly, who found Jonny McNamara with a forward pass, but the midfielder’s effort was easily held by Jack Turner. The visitors also wasted a free kick opportunity, with full-back Ben Walster ballooning a shot over from distance.
Hitchin’s best spell of the match by far came in the first 15 minutes of the second half. The visitors saw plenty of the ball but were nowhere near clinical enough, and failed to test Turner. A storming run from Jack Green ended with a weak strike which Turner dealt with easily, and later Donnelly shot wide.
There were a couple of scares for Slough, with Turner twice needing treatment after picking up a knock. He was thankful to his back four for giving him a relatively easy evening, as in the main he only had a handful of crosses to catch and kicks to make thereafter. George Wells also escaped with only a yellow card after putting in a tough tackle on McNamara just before the hour mark.
After that spell from Hitchin, Slough looked the more likely to find a second goal, and on 71 minutes Dobson added his second when he side footed into an open goal after fine work from Flood on the right.
The visitors sensed the game was up after this, and Slough extended their lead just four minutes later with the goal of the night.
Slough cut through Hitchin with a series of precise passes, and after Flood had played a one-two with Manny Williams, he pulled the ball across goal again for the onrushing Dobson, who finished past Michael Johnson to complete his treble.
The Rebels could well have added more goals than the four they did register, but Dunn’s finish on 86 minutes completed the scoring. Again Flood was the provider as he beat Walster and laid the ball off to the midfielder, who netted his first of the season.
A goal from Flood would have been fitting, and he went close in stoppage time, but put a header from Lench’s cross just wide.
Slough Town: Jack Turner, Josh Jackman, George Wells (Yellow), Alan Inns, Mark Nisbet, Lee Togwell, James Dobson (Warren Harris), Simon Dunn, Manny Williams (Sean Fraser), Chris Flood, Matthew Lench
Hitchin Town: Michael Johnson, Lewis Rolfe, Ben Walster, Jay Dowie, Dan Webb (c), Josh Bickerstaffe, Jonny McNamara, Callum Donnelly, Liam Brooks, Jack Green, Charlie Smith. Substitutes: Lucas Kirkpatrick, Toby Syme, Kieran McCaffrey, Tremayne Charles, Elliot Bailey.