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Hampton and Richmond 5 Hitchin Town 3

Saturday, October 21 2006

Do not be fooled by the scoreline, Hitchin were well beaten by Ryman Premier Division Hampton & Richmond in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy.

Hitchin found themselves four goals down after 68 minutes, but the home side made some hasty substitutions, lost concentration and allowed the Canaries back in to the game. At one time, it looked like one of the comebacks of all time, but
after conceding three goals in five minutes, Hampton netted again and killed the tie off.

The plain truth was that Hitchinís performance was below-par and laden with defensive inadequacies - not for the first time this season. Furthermore, Darren Saltonís side had a number of players in vital positions clearly unfit.
Hampton took full advantage of the weaknesses and were never in danger of losing the game.

Jaggard goes in at Hampton

The first goal came after nine minutes, a free kick from the edge of the area by Glen Harris curling into the net.

Hitchin had a handful of half chances in the first half, notably when debutant Rob Millerís free kick was pounded away from goalkeeper Matt Lovett and when a Daniel French shot was blocked after a good run into the area.

But in the 33rd minute, Hampton took a strangehold on the game. Hitchin goalkeeper Rob Beckwith came out to meet Lawrence Yakuís run but found himself stranded as Marcello Fernandes played the ball into the area and Ian Hodges set
up Barrie Matthews who scored with ease.

Hitchin retaliated just before the break when Ryan Fraterís shot was cleared off the line by Matthews. Early in the second half,†a French cross was met by Josh Sozzo, but his header was saved by Lovett.

Hampton extended their lead in the 65th minute when the impressive Yaku ran on to Glen Harrisís chipped pass and scored. Three minutes later, Yaku scored Hamptonís fourth when he played a neat one-two with Hodges and shot home.

Eleven minutes from time, Hitchin pulled a goal back when Frater shot into the top corner from a Mark Bridge corner. It looked a token gesture, but two minutes later, Josh Sozzo shot into the net from six yards following a goalmouth scramble. In the 84th minute, the recovery gathered momentum when
Bridge headed Hitchinís third from a Carl Williams corner.

Any hopes of a replay were soon crushed, however, when Elliott Godfrey hit a shot into the top corner with the outside of his foot.

Hampton: Lovett, Fernandes, Ulasi, Bartley (Elverson 86), Harris, Wells, Inns, Yaku (Hayden 75), Hodges, Matthews, McIntosh
Hitchin: Beckwith, Cretton, Miller, Frater, Folds, Deeney, Williams, Lamacraft (Orphanou 67), Jaggard, Sozzo, French (Bridge 75)

Referee: S.Fay

Attendance: 229

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