After winning the trophy for the last two seasons, the Canaries relinquished their grip on the Hertfordshire Senior Cup. However there was no disgrace in losing 3-0 to a full time Boreham Wood side that sits eighth in the National League and selected almost all of their first team squad.
Mark Burke opted for a five man defence with Kevin Byrne returning alongside Dan Webb and Lewis Rolfe, with youngsters Toby Syme and Jack James at wing back. Josh Bickerstaff sat in front of the defence with Brett Donnelly returning up front with Connor Vincent.
The Canaries got off to a bad start after 8 minutes. A Blair Turgott free kick from the left was met with a tap-in by Shaun Jeffers who ghosted in at the far post.
Hitchin showed plenty of endeavour as they went in search of a leveller. Vincent had two shots deflected for corners and from the second corner there was a goal line scramble before Boreham Wood cleared. Webb then had a header cleared from another corner.
There was more fluency than in recent games with loanee James getting forward well and Vincent again having an effort blocked. Robbie Burns also set up Lucas Kirkpatrick for a shot from distance that keeper Grant Smith collected.
Boreham Wood had further chances with Alex Davey nodding wide from a corner, and the overlapping Danny Woodards had a shot turned behind. At the break though the Canaries had matched their opponents from two divisions higher up the pyramid.
If the second goal was to be critical, the 206 fans braving the cold did not have to wait long for it to arrive after half time. A low cross from the left was met by Danny Woodards who got in front of his man to plant a diving header past Michael Johnson on 48 minutes.
Boreham Wood upped the tempo with ex-Stevenage man Turgott – who scored for the Boro at Top Field in a pre-season friendly – playing an influential role. He did though see yellow along with Bickerstaff following a mass brawl that also saw Boreham Wood’s entire coaching staff taking to the pitch.
The third goal came on 59 minutes as Michael Folivi broke clear. As Johnson and Rolfe closed in from different directions to stop him, the defender conceded a penalty. Folivi himself got up to convert low into the corner.
Folivi then forced a good save from Johnson while Jeffers and Turgott also had efforts thwarted as Boreham Wood continued to threaten. The Canaries attacks were becoming more sporadic and their best chance of the half fell to Donnelly who got past his defender but chipped over as the keeper advanced.
There was time for Johnson to pull off two more saves and for a brief cameo by the returning Kane Smith who came on as a late substitute for Boreham Wood. The National League side advanced to the semi-final stage while the Canaries go in search of their first points of 2018 at Redditch United this Saturday.
Hitchin Town – Johnson, James, Syme, Rolfe, Webb, Byrne, Kirkpatrick (Charlie Smith), Vincent, Donnelly (Charles), Burns (McNamara), Bickerstaff; unused subs – Mollinson, Walster
Boreham Wood – Grant Smith, Woodards (Murtagh), Ricketts ()Kane Smith), Harfield, Shakes, Champion, Jeffers, Turley, Folivi, Turgott, Davey; unused subs – Burbridge, Quigley, Balanta
Boreham Wood – Jeffers (8), Woodards (48), Folivi (59, pen)
Hitchin Town – Bickerstaff, Donnelly, Rolfe
Boreham Wood – Ricketts, Turgott