Hitchin Town to kick off 2022-23 campaign with Canary Derby - read Freddie Cardy's take on the fixtures
By Layth Yousif
15th Jul 2022 | Football
Hitchin to kick off 22/23 with the Canary Derby, writes Freddie Cardy
Hitchin Town FC are set to get their 2022-23 season underway in less than a month's time, with a trip to fellow Canaries Barwell FC on the opening day, Saturday, August 6.
The two sides played out a thrilling 3-2 win for Hitchin at Top Field last season, before Barwell were victorious on a bitterly cold afternoon in Leicestershire in the reverse fixture. A change of management after a disappointing season for Barwell makes this an enthralling start to the season for two teams who felt they had underperformed in 2021-22, with Barwell finishing a point below Hitchin.
Fans at Top Field will first see league action a week after the opening day, with last year's playoff contenders Rushall Olympic making the trip to Hertfordshire. Hitchin then travel to AFC Rushden & Diamonds, looking to beat Andy Peaks' side for the first time in the club's history - it is certainly not an easy start to the season on paper.
A host of new sides have entered the Southern League Premier Central for the upcoming season either due to promotion or a geographic change of division. Hitchin host former Northern Premier League side Basford United on August 20, with trips to Bedford Town, Ilkeston and then Basford all in store by the end of the calendar year.
One fixture that fans will always look out for is the traditional Boxing Day game, and the Canaries will be taking on fellow Hertfordshire outfit Kings Langley, with the FA seeking to minimise travel over the festive period. With New Year's Day falling on a Sunday, Hitchin will make the journey to Needham Market on Monday, January 2, with four of the first six games of 2023 away from home.
Hitchin supporters will certainly be pleased to see that their side's final game of the season, scheduled for April 22, will be played at Top Field, against Ilkeston Town. We can only pray for a full season with minimised covid and weather issues too, but it's set to be a fascinating campaign with a host of new sides promising to make 2022-23 both unpredictable and high-quality.
Hitchin Town return to pre-season action on Tuesday, taking on National League and FA Cup upsetters Boreham Wood, before a trip to local Step 5 side Stotfold on Saturday, July 23.