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Folkestone Invicta 3 Hitchin Town 0

Wednesday, October 1 2003

The harsh facts of life were hammered home to Hitchin on Tuesday night, three times. The loss of key players like Andy Douglas, Dean Brennan and Matt Nolan has proved too much to the Canaries young squad and they were overawed by a lively and highly motivated Folkestone side in this FA Cup replay.

If Adam Parker had scored after five minutes with a volley that whistled past the post, things might have been different, but the Dr Martens League side were worthy winners and over the two games, the better team.

Folkestone took the lead in the 36th minute through defender Tony Hogg, a shot from outside the area after the Hitchin defence failed to clear a free kick. Four minutes later, the home side's lead was extended, a scruffy goal from close range by Allan Tait.

Robbie O'Keefe's side struggled to recover from this double blow although the second half opened with them enjoying the greater share of possession. But Folkestone's James Dryden caused problems for the Hitchin defence and two crosses, which goalkeeper James Robinson failed to hold, almost ended with further goals.

In the 77th minute, Hitchin appealed for a penalty when substitute Wayne Mills was upended in the penalty area, but the referee ignored the protests. In the 82nd minute, Folkestone's path through to the third qualifying round was secured, Tait outpacing the Hitchin defence before finishing in style.

Mark Munday and Tait both had chances to add to Folkestone's tally, and Hitchin had two late efforts, James Ayres' header being turned over the bar and Mills' shot well saved by goalkeeper Tony Kessell.

Hitchin: Robinson, Bone (Mills h/t), Rydeheard, Frater, Ayres (Childs 67), Scott, Williams, Osborn, Dillon, Parker, Maynard

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