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Harrow Borough 2 Hitchin Town 3

Saturday, September 15 2007

All the drama of the FA Cup was evident at Earlsmead as Hitchin snatched a last-gasp but deserved victory in a stirring first qualifying round tie.

The Canaries came from behind twice to eventually see off the challenge of a robust Harrow side that was reduced to nine men in the final stages of the game.

If Hitchin embark on a long and glorious run in this season's competition, they may well look back on this game as the turning point of their campaign. For their gritty determination was conjured up from cup runs of old and manager Darren Salton will be hoping that this is merely the start of another memorable chapter in the club's FA Cup history.

Harrow took the lead in the 18th minute with a spectacular curling effort from Danny Leach from the edge of the area. Hitchin had the better of the first half, however, and chances fell to Jason James and Jon Stevenson either side of the goal.

Tyron Sealey, who was a menace for the Harrow defence, had a shot parried by goalkeeper Gary Ross and Stevenson followed up but shot wide. Wayne Mills had another shot saved by Ross. Harrow had a golden opportunity to extend their lead, but Albert Adomah shot wide.

Five minutes into the second half, Stevenson levelled for Hitchin. During a goalmouth scramble, Carl Williams appeared to handball, but the ball rolled out of the area and Stevenson sent a long range shot into the top corner.

Hitchin were only level for four minutes, however, as referee Alison Chapman awarded a penalty to Harrow after Ricky Perks was adjudged to have brought down James Bent. The Harrow striker took the kick and scored with ease.

The Canaries continued to show great determination and were assisted by the first of Harrow's two red cards. Gary Meakin was sent off in the 65th minute for the latest of a series of bad challenges.

Thirteen minutes from time, Hitchin's pressure paid off as Sealey equalised following another goalmouth scramble.

Stevenson and Mills both had chances to give Hitchin the advantage, but their finishing was tame. Elliot Onochie was dismissed for a second yellow card with six minutes remaining and the tie seemed destined for a replay until Richard Pringle headed home from a Williams cross.

Harrow: Ross, Nielsen (Silcott 8), Meakin, Leech, Diston, Highton (Frempang h/t), Bent, Lawrence, Clarke, Onochie, Adomah (Fraser 83)

Hitchin: Perks, Deeney, Mountford (Pringle 75), Frater, Gentle-King, James, Sealey, Hill, Stevenson (Simpson 88), Williams, Hill
Referee: A.Chapman
Attendance: 186

 



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