Hitchin have two testing home games this week, with the cavaliers of Canvey Island arriving on Tuesday and Kingstonian, who adopted a similar attitude in the early 1990s, coming to Top Field on Saturday.
Canvey are the most attractive side in the Ryman League in terms of quality of football, and they are welcome visitors to Hitchin. The Canaries had something on an Indian sign over the Essex side, but Jeff King's side completed the double over Hitchin last season. Despite taking the lead in both games, Hitchin lost 3-1 at Canvey and 3-2 at Top Field.
Canvey are coming into form, and their renowned goalscoring power is coming to the fore once more. "They are lethal in front of goal," says Hitchin Manager Robbie O'Keefe. "Our reports tell us that little has changed at Canvey, they are a very dangerous side.
Canvey's players are familiar to Hitchin fans, Lee Boylan scored 40-plus goals last season and FA Cup heroes Neil Gregory, Chris Duffy and Steve Ward are still in the team. But they are not infallible, before yesterday's game with Northwood, Canvey, like Hitchin, had lost two league games. They are often vulnerable to the occasional surprise defeat. "They play good open football which means we invariably have an entertaining game with Canvey," says O'Keefe.
Canvey have filled the role previously occupied by Kingstonian in the early 1990s. The troubled Surrey outfit were a free-scoring, entertaining side in those days, until they closed up shop, became more professional and embraced success.