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Mangotsfield United 2 Hitchin Town 2

Saturday, September 23 2006

SEVENTEEN year-old Scott Orphanou made a dream start to his first team career at Hitchin with the goal that earned the Canaries a point at second-placed Mangotsfield United.

Orphanou, who came on as a substitute in the 69th minute, showed maturity beyond his years when he slid the ball into the net. The goal completed a remarkable comeback for Darren Saltonís men, who were 2-0 down at the interval.

The point also extended Hitchinís unbeaten run to eight league and cup games - they have not lost since the second game of the campaign.

But it was a jaded Hitchin side that took the field and played out the first half. A relatively bright opening, where Gavin Jaggard shot into the side netting and Liam Folds saw his header saved by Michael Green, evaporated disappointingly early.

In the 20th minute, a free kick from Aaron Cornwall curled round the Hitchin wall and beat goalkeeper Stephen Graham. Cornwall was the scorer six minutes from the interval when Mangotsfield extended their lead, with question marks asked about the Hitchin defence once more.

The second half started much better for the Canaries, and in the 48th minute they were given a chance to get back in the game. Following a corner, Jack Allward handled the ball and from the penalty spot, David Deeney scored.

But in the 61st minute, Graham went down injured and was replaced by Michael Parkin. Hitchin overcome the setback well, however, and continued to work hard.

Parkin turned goal provider seven minutes from time. His long clearance sailed beyond the Mangotsfield back line, but Orphanou showed great anticipation in calculating where the ball would land. He ran through and stabbed the ball past the onrushing Green. It was a magical moment for Orphanou and the Hitchin fans, who showed their appreciation for the youngster.

Scott Orphanou

Scott Orphanou

Three minutes later, Orphanou was handed another chance, but his shot was blocked by Green. And in the last minute, Mark Ducketís volley was well saved by the Mangotsfield goalkeeper.

Darren Salton was delighted with the point. "We showed a lot of character to comeback. What a story though - young Scott has come on a scored a great goal- he has a real chance of making it at this level, I am so pleased for him."

Mangotsfield: Green, Arndale, Allward, Price, Cousins, Wilmot, Cornwall, Casey (Paul 80), Claridge (Meaker 74), French, Lane
Hitchin: Graham (Parkin 61), Pugh, Ducket, Frater, Folds, Deeney, Williams, Lamacraft, Bridge (Orphanou 69), Jaggard, French

Referee: A.Smith

Attendance: 264

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