FOOTBALL - Ebanks scores second hat-trick in three games as Stratford Town win Hitchin thriller - The Stratford Observer

FOOTBALL - Ebanks scores second hat-trick in three games as Stratford Town win Hitchin thriller

Aaron Sutcliffe 12th Feb, 2024 Updated: 15th Feb, 2024   0

CALLUM Ebanks scored his second hat-trick in the space of three games as Stratford Town beat Hitchin Town 4-3 in a thriller.

Ebanks scored all of his goals in the second half after Dan Lafferty equalised for the Bards at Top Field as the Bards recorded a fourth straight league victory.

The result means Stratford sit fifth in the Southern League Premier Central table.

Hitchin took the lead after just 12 minutes when Layne Eadie applied a simple finish after Stratford failed to deal with a long ball and the Canaries switched the play quickly to find the scorer in space.

Stratford were unable to draw level before the break as Lewis Ludford-Ison missed from close range before Charlie Williams fired straight at Hitchin goalkeeper Charles Horlock.

However, the Bards equalised on 55 minutes as substitute Lafferty fired home after Liam Daly flicked on Ludford-Ison’s long throw.

And Stratford completed a sensational turnaround two minutes later when Ebanks tapped home Williams’ early cross.

The Canaries drew level on 74 minutes as Joshua Popoola scored from outside the penalty area despite the Stratford defence appealing for offside.

However, the Bards reclaimed the lead from the restart when Ebanks beat Horlock to Lafferty’s pass and turned the ball into the net.

And Ebanks completed his hat-trick on 80 minutes as the striker lobbed the ball over Horlock after Bards goalkeeper Callum Smith launched a goal kick upfield and caught out the Canaries defence.

Hitchin scored a consolation goal deep into injury time as Popoola grabbed his second of the game from distance but it proved too little too late as the Bards held on to secure a fourth successive win.

Stratford are next in action at home to AFC Telford United on Saturday, February 17 with kick-off at 3pm at the Arden Garages Stadium.

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