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Cirencester Town 0 Hitchin Town 7

Tuesday, February 21 2006

Rampant Hitchin stormed into the last four of the Errea Cup with an emphatic scoreline at the Corinium Stadium on Tuesday night. The Canaries will now play local rivals Bedford Town in the one-legged semi-final†in March.

Poor Cirencester didnít know what had hit them as the Canaries raced into a five-goal first half lead, aided by a personal milestone for striker and skipper Josh Sozzo, who scored four goals in 37 minutes.

Hitchinís determination to make their first Southern League Cup semi-final was underlined from the start. Liam Folds and David Hicks both had early chances before Sozzo gave Hitchin the lead in the 16th minute, a close range effort from a Neil Pugh cross.

Six minutes later, Sozzo scored again with a 20 yard shot after he had come out on top of a challenge. In the 25th minute, Sozzo claimed the matchball when he ran onto a Hicks through ball and slotted home. In the 29th minute, Gavin Jaggard got on the scoresheet, running onto the long ball to score.

The home side were repeatedly caught out by Hitchinís incisive passing and fast movement up front. But in the 31st minute, they had the chance to pull one back when Richard Wilmot upended Lee Smith in the penalty area. It just wasnít Cirencesterís night, however, and Neil Arndaleís spot-kick struck the woodwork.

Sozzo scored his fourth in the 37th minute as Hitchin went in at half-time already in the next round. And they didnít let up in the opening stages of the second half, with Hicks and Jaggard both going close.

Jaggard grabbed his second goal in the 59th minute, a Parys Okai cross causing problems for the Cirencester defence and the Canaries striker made no mistake from close range.

Two minutes from time, Hitchin netted their seventh goal, a sublime lob by Thomas Hayes that gave tortured goalkeeper Paul Thompson no chance. It was Hitchinís best scoreline since February 1994 when Andy Melvinís team beat Wivenhoe away 7-0.

Hitchin: Wilmot, Pugh (Lochhead h/t), Okai, Hammonds, Folds, Hicks, French (Daniels 60), Cavill, Jaggard, Sozzo (Hayes h/t), Ducket

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