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Hitchin Town 1 Bromsgrove Rovers 0

Tuesday, April 11 2006

Hitchin take a slender lead to Bromsgrove in two weeks time after this Errea Cup final first leg at Top Field.

Although Canariesí officials were thankful to be ahead at the halfway stage in the final, Bromsgrove did enough to suggest that the second leg will be a tough task for Darren Saltonís team.

Hitchin struggled to break down the Bromsgrove defence and chances were at a premium throughout the 90 minutes. Indeed, the winning goal on the night did not come from open play.

In a first half that was edged by Bromsgrove, the main chances all came in the final minutes. Gavin Jaggard went close for Hitchin when he met a David Hicks free kick but his flick was turned for a corner by goalkeeper Lee Evans.

Richard Wilmot, at the other end, had to tip over two long range efforts from Paul Moore and Riad Erraji just before the break. And there was a 33rd minute scare for Hitchin when Kevin Banner had a "goal" ruled out for offside.

After the interval, the Canaries came to life and in the 48th minute, Jaggard was brought down inside the area. Josh Sozzo netted from the penalty spot for his 27th goal of the season - this one could be his most vital strike of the entire campaign.

Almost immediately, Jaggard had a chance to extend that lead, but his lob was easily saved by Evans.

Bromsgrove had a golden opportunity to equalise in the 67th minute, but Neil Davis blasted over from close range. Hitchin also had half chances to consolidate their lead, a low shot by Mark Ducket and a volley by Daniel French. In the closing seconds, Davis just failed to get on the end of a Wayne
Dyer cross.

Bromsgrove are expecting a near-1,000 crowd for what promises to be a tense evening for Hitchin on April 25. The crowd for this leg was barely 400.

Hitchin: Wilmot, Pugh, Ducket, Hammonds, Folds, Deeney, Lamacraft, Hicks (Lochhead 68), Jaggard (Hayes 63), Sozzo, French (W.Mills 86)




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