Jan 26 2011 By Tim Street
Zamaretto League One Central: Hitchin Town 2 Uxbridge 2
UNLUCKY Uxbridge came within seven minutes of becoming the first team to beat leaders Hitchin Town in the league this season on Tuesday night.
The Reds led 2-0 through early strikes from Chris Moore and Andre Costa until the hosts pulled one back on 73 minutes, then equalised 10 minutes later.
Uxbridge started the day second-bottom, while Hitchin enjoyed a 13-point lead at the top, but you wouldn’t have known it from the way the game started.
Tony Choules’ men attacked from the off, and Dean Clarke saw a header pushed round the post by home keeper Martin Bennett, before Stuart Farrell’s header from the resulting corner was cleared off the line.
And on 14 minutes, Uxbridge were in front when Chris Moore was on hand to convert Craig Tomkin’s inch-perfect cross from inside the penalty box.
Reds keeper Michael Pinowski immediately made a fine stop from Callum Donnelly, but shell-shocked Hitchin fell further behind six minutes later when Andre Costa wriggled free in the area to finish off another good ball in from Tomkins.
It really should have been 3-0 soon after when Costa managed to fire against the bar from just a few yards out, but Hitchin’s Dean Gilbert also struck the woodwork just before the break, heading against the post from a corner.
Hitchin came out all guns blazing after the break, and two top-drawer saves in as many minutes from Pinowski kept out Gilbert and John Frendo, while Dave Thomas also headed off the line.
A Tomkins cross-shot was just missed by Clarke at the other end, but as Hitchin turned the screw, Frendo, Zak Burke and Tom Pepper all went close.
Uxbridge were defending like Trojans, but a Hitchin goal seemed inevitable, and it arrived with 17 minutes left, when Burke tapped in from a Pepper cross.
The Reds responded with a low drive from Clarke, which Bennett pushed round the post, before Hitchin hit back with a Burke free-kick, which was deflected just over, and a goal-bound shot from Luke Gregson, which Pinowski spectacularly tipped over.
However, even Pinowksi could do nothing about Hitchin’s equaliser, Burke’s shot from the right hand edge of the area beating everyone as it dipped into the far corner.
But the Reds keeper had to be alert to save at the feet of Burke in the closing minutes and save at least a point for his side.