Hitchin Town v Barnet
Tuesday July 30th 2013
Stadium: Top Field, Fishponds Road, Hitchin, Herts. SG5 1NU
Telephone: 01462 459028
Club Colours: Yellow and Green
Nickname: The Canaries
Current manager is Mark Burke who is a twice promotion winning ex-Captain at Top Field and made over 700 appearances for the club. Hitchin finished 13th in the Southern Premier League last season which this season has been renamed as Calor League Premier (level 7).
Brief Directions by Road:
The A1 is your friend, always remember that. Head up the A1(M) until exit junction 8 (signposted Stevenage North and Hitchin). Take the A602 towards Hitchin, passing through two roundabouts and then straight on at the traffic lights into the one way system (A505) following the signs for Bedford (A600). You will see a large open green space to your right and at the next roundabout turn right into Fishponds Road. The entrance to the ground can be found 100 yards on your left.
There is a small car park at the ground which will fill up early even for a PSF but street parking is available and unrestricted.
Directions by Train:
Hitchin is on the King’s Cross to Cambridge and Peterborough line therefore trains are available from New Barnet, Oakleigh Park, Hadley Wood and Potters Bar etc. It is a mile walk to the ground via Nightingale Gale Road (A505). The ground is actually on the A505 on the right.
Eating and Drinking Locally:
The Canary Club at the ground is open to all supporters and the club are hoping as many Bees fans as possible will drop in for a pre-match drink. The two best pubs close to the ground are co-incidentally the two closest to the ground. The Bedford Arms on Bedford Road is a tiny place but very welcoming while the Sir John Barleycorn on Oughton Head Way is reputedly the oldest pub in the area.
The ground will more than cope with Southern League attendances. Hitchin has always been one of my favourite non league grounds only because it still retains the appearance of the typical non league grounds that were in abundance when I first started following Barnet. A very scarce example of cranked wooden terracing and a small cover can be found behind one goal while the other end boasts a smart also cranked concrete terrace. The low main stand occupies just over half of the touchline while opposite two small covered terraces sit side by side with open terraces flanking them.
Previous Meetings and Memories:
Hitchin were great rivals in the 1940s and 50s in the old Athenian League days but we have only ever met Hitchin Town in Cup competitions in modern times most notably in 1974 in The FA Cup 4th qualifying at Top Field. That mid 70s era was a fairly low period in Barnet’s history as the 0-2 defeat illustrated. We had our revenge some 13 years later when the Bees came out on top 5-0 in a very one sided replayed FA trophy tie, Gary Roberts, Dave Sansom and Sir Nicky Evans the scorers. Our last meeting was back in March 1996 in a Herts Senior Cup semi-final at Underhill. Matt Brady scored in a 1-0 win.