A match that had been a good contest in the first half turned into a rout as Leyton Pennant collapsed in alarming fashion.
Admittedly, they were up against a well-marshalled Hitchin side who have almost made sure of promotion to the Premier division.
But alarm bells will be ringing at Pennant, because although they should be safe from relegation, any repeat of this performance would send them spinning towards the drop zone.
Pennant made three changes for the match with centre-half Bradley Brotherton coming in for the suspended Paul Salmon. Tyrone Hercules replaced Kevin Stewart in midfield and Billy Cove returned after injury for Gary Richefond up front.
Early signs were encouraging for the Lilywhites with Tony Dixon and Hercules both coming close. However, Hitchin made the breakthrough on 21 minutes when a patient build-up freed Turner down the left wing and his excellent cross was headed in from close range by an unchallenged Abbey.
The Lilywhites’ only response of the half was when the overlapping Ben Wood had a shot that beat the Hitchin keeper but, unfortunately, also hit the post.
Then for the third Saturday running, Pennant conceded two goals within ten minutes of the restart. On 47 minutes, Gary Dixon curled in a shot from the edge of the area, past an unsighted Craig Knox. Three minutes after that Knox was given no chance when Turner cut the ball back from the right for Williams to unleash a screamer with the outside of his right foot.
Pennant’s confidence was ebbing and it was no surprise when Hitchin’s Bone added the fourth after Abbey flicked on another Turner cross.
Kevin Stewart and Cyril Baffour were introduced late on in a bid to regain midfield control but by this time it was much too late. To prove that fate was really against them, a late Dixon “consolation” was ruled out for offside.