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Hitchin Town 0 Weymouth 1

Tuesday, October 30 2007

Hitchin's FA Cup dreams were destroyed by Blue Square Premier Division Weymouth in a tense tie that was marred by ugly scenes just before the interval.

Regardless of the bitter aftertaste, the Canaries can look back with pride on 180 minutes where they ran Weymouth to the wire. The Dorset side, a function-over-form side, did just enough to win the tie and if Hitchin had a natural goalscorer in their team, the outcome may have been different.

The start of the game could not have been more constrasting to the last three minutes of the first half. Both sides were fairly tentative, with Mark Ducket going close for Hitchin with a left foot drive across the face of goal. Weymouth started to get on top with Craig McCallum denied twice in a matter of seconds by Ricky Perks.

Hitchin's best chance in the first half fell to Tyron Sealey, who chipped over the bar from long range.

In the 41st minute, Weymouth took the lead with an untidy goal. A corner from Nick Crittenden was partially blocked and the ball rebounded to Anton Robinson who shot into the net from close range.

Within two minutes, all hell broke loose as Jon Stevenson was floored by Weymouth's Justin Roberts. Martin Standen retaliated on behalf of his team-mate and both he and Roberts were red-carded. What followed was a free-for-all involving both teams and non-playing squad members who were involved in a scuffle around the dressing room tunnel.

After such disgraceful scenes, the second half was subdued and never really sparked into action. Conal Platt had a shot parried by Perks and McCallum blasted wide after Paulo Vernazza had broken free on the left. McCallum also shot into the side-netting.

Sealey's long range effort sailed high and wide of the Weymouth goal and late in the game, Frater headed over from six yards with the goal beckoning.

As Hitchin poured forward at the end, Leon Simpson mis-kicked in front of goal and Richard Pringle failed to connect when the ball bounced around the Weymouth area.

In added time, McCallum struck the outside of Perks' right hand post.

Hitchin: Perks, Deeney, Mountford (James 58), Mountford (James 58), Frater, L.Gentle-King (Simpson 86), Williams, Sealey, Hill, Standen, Stevenson (Pringle 65), Ducket

Weymouth: Stewart, Platt (Louis 76), Crittenden, Doe, Bernard, Vernazza, Coutts (Browning h/t), Robinson, Kitmarike, Roberts, McCallum

Referee: P.Gibbs

Attendance: 504



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