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Hitchin Town 0 Folkestone Invicta 0

Saturday, September 27 2003

The FA Cup means something special to Hitchin and this rousing second qualifying round tie, although goalless, lacked nothing in excitement or incident.

It was the old cliché-ridden "game of two halves", but if Folkestone had taken some of the many chances they had in the opening 45 minutes, then Hitchin would have suffered an exit in front of their own fans.

The Kent side gave Hitchin a series of early frights that threatened to build up a good lead. James Dryden’s header was just past the post, but the main tormentor was midfielder Martin Chandler, who went close on no less than three occasions, including one effort that goalkeeper James Robinson tipped over the crossbar.

Chandler was not the only threat, for Tony Hogg and Allan Tait both had chances to score, and just before the break, Mark Munday missed a sitter.

After the interval, Hitchin were a different side, and Carl Williams struck the bar with a header from Chris Dillon’s cross from their first attack. Seconds later, Chandler upended Williams, and just escaped a red card.

Adam Parker saw a header cleared off the line by John Guest and then Chris Dillon had a tame header that went just past the post. Hitchin were buoyed by substitute Wayne Mills, who had his best game for the club, his pace causing problems for the Folkestone defence.

But Folkestone were still a threat, with Chandler setting up Tait, but his shot was parried by Robinson.

Hitchin finished the stronger side, with Parker missing two good chances, the first a 25-yard shot that whistled wide and a volley, as he fell, that was way too high.

So ended the first instalment of this Ryman versus Dr Martens League tie, which was a good advertisement for the FA Cup.

Hitchin: Robinson, Bone, Rydeheard, Frater, McElroy (Ayres), Dillon, Williams, Osborn, Drew (Mills 42), Parker, Maynard (Scott 65)

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