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Clevedon Town 1 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, October 14 2006

A controversial second half penalty sent this FA Cup third qualifying round tie to Hitchin for a replay.

The Canaries had led by an early goal when referee Mr Bull awarded the home side a spot kick for handball. Overall, however, nobody could deny that Clevedon were worthy of a draw and the result was considered a fair one by supporters of both teams.

Hitchin manager Darren Salton unveiled his latest signing on the long journey to Clevedon. Josh Sozzo, after a three month spell with St.Albans, rejoined Hitchin last week and although his arrival was kept under wraps, few were surprised by his appearance.

Hitchin made an excellent start at Clevedon and after 10 minutes took the lead. David Deeney’s shot struck the crossbar and in the melee, the ball rolled to Daniel French who shot home from a tight engle.

The Canaries enjoyed their best spell in the opening half hour and from a neat interchange of passing, Neil Pugh found Deeney who beat one man before seeing his shot parried by goalkeeper Danny Greaves.

By the interval, though, Clevedon had started to dominate and Rob Beckwith pulled off two good saves from Mitchell Page. Hitchin still looked good on the break, however, and French was denied by Greaves.

The second half started with a setback for Hitchin. In a goalmouth scramble, the ball ricocheted around and struck Deeney on the arm, although it was clearly a case of unavoidable contact. Despite mild protests, a penalty awarded and Leon Hapgood made no mistake with a well taken kick.

Both sides could have gone on to win, although Hitchin had lost their first half impetus. Carl Williams had the best chance when he attempted, a la Pele, a long range lob with Greaves stranded off his line. Deeney and Folds also had half chance but volleyed over the bar.

Clevedon: Greaves, Witcombe (Haines 28, Rawlins 63), Bater (Jacobs 67), Trought, Hendy, Clark, Hapgood, Scott, Pitcher, Page, Sheppard

Hitchin: Beckwith, Pugh, Ducket, Frater, Folds, Deeney, Williams, Ross (Lamacraft 55), Jaggard, Sozzo, French

Attendance: 203


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