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Haverhill Rovers 1 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, September 29 2007

Haverhill scared the FA Cup life out of Hitchin Town at a noisy and partisan Hamlet Croft, but the Canaries go into the replay as favourites.

As banana skins go, this was a tricky one for Hitchin, particularly as their record against Eastern Counties League sides is patchy to say the least. A difficult ground and a determined team made for an uncomfortable 90 minutes.

Hitchin could have buckled at times, but they didn't and for all the home team's honest endeavour and enthusiasm, Haverhill didn't create enough chances to have won the game. But then neither did Hitchin.

In the third minute, Tyron Sealey had the first chance of the game, but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Aaron Benstead.

Haverhill took first blood after 24 minutes, a volley from a throw-in by Andy Palazon that seemed to take an eternity to find the net. The home side's tails were clearly up, but Hitchin had control of the first half, despite failing to create too much. In the 39th minute, the Canaries levelled, however, Lance Gentle-King following up to score after Carl Williamsís shot was parried by Benstead.

On the stroke of half-time, Pringle raced clear of the Haverhill defence but his shot was wide.

Both sides enjoyed long periods of possession in the second half, Sealey was clearly Hitchinís best avenue of attack but he was up against a young full back, Ryan Holder, who had an outstanding game.

Shane Hill had one shot blocked and in the 73rd minute, Pringle thought he had given Hitchin the lead with a header but the referee ruled offside.

Five minutes from time, a header from Colin Vowden grazed the Hitchin upright, but the result ended all-square, probably a fair one.

Haverhill: Benstead, Plicher, Holder, Palazon, Vowden, Harvey, Abbott (Stokes 69), Hunt, Ben-Saud, Heller (Green 85), Goddard (Cowling 82)

Hitchin: Perks, Deeney, Mountford, Frater, L.Gentle-King, James, Sealey, Hill, Pringle (McNeilly 88), Williams, Mills (Simpson 77)

Attendance: 313

Referee: M.Bingham

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