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Hitchin Town 1 Saffron Walden Town 1

Saturday, September 16 2006

FEW people in the crowd could have begrudged Ridgeons Eastern Counties League Division One side Saffron Walden a replay after this typical blood and thunder FA Cup tie.

Hitchin may have taken the lead with six minutes to go, but the Essex side deserved their equaliser. Their supporters, swelling the gate to 351, played their part by making for a real cup-tie atmosphere.

Saffron Walden started well with Ben Smith heading down for Bradley Green but the ball refused to run kindly. Ben Riches had two chances for the visitors, a volley onto the roof of the net and a shot across goal.

Hitchin settled down, however, and Wayne Mills had a goal disallowed for offside. Chris Dillon mis-hit in front of goal and a low shot from David Deeney was saved by diminutive goalkeeper Jason Harvey.

Carl Williams in action

The Canaries upped the tempo in the second half, with a low shot from Daniel French parried by Harvey and Glen Lamacraft weaving his way through before being stopped in his tracks. A neat exchange between Deeney and Dillon set up Liam Folds, but his volley was tipped round the post by Harvey.

In the 84th minute, a tame cross by Carl Williams was bundled home by a combination of a Saffron Walden defender and Chris Dillon, the latter claiming the goal.

Three minutes later, though, Saffron Walden levelled when Den Godden forced the ball home after a scramble.

There was still time for Hitchin to go close, Ryan Frater shooting across goal after a Mark Ducket free kick.

Hitchin: Parkin, Pugh (Frater 86), Ducket, Hammonds, Folds, Deeney, Williams, Ross (Lamacraft 55), Dillon, Mills (Jaggard 55), French
Saffron Walden: Harvey, Clarke, Strong, A.Riches, Godden, Butchart, Green (Leys 80), Vellis (Newman 87), B.Riches (Richardson 70), Smith

Referee: R.Jaye

Attendance: 351

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