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Hitchin Town 3 Ramsgate 6

Saturday, November 1 2008

Top Field was shell-shocked on Saturday evening after Hitchin were completely dismantled by Ryman Premier Division Ramsgate in this bizarre FA Trophy tie.

Hitchin were well and truly trounced by a team that had not won for two months in the league. The Canaries’ performance sent their normally patient fans streaming out of the ground more than 10 minutes from time. Manager Darran Hay has hinted at changes in the past fortnight - this defeat may well have accelerated his plans for his team.

For the period of the game, Hitchin were pinned back in their own half as Ramsgate raced into a two-goal lead inside 16 minutes. The first came from Ryan Royston, a header in off the post on 13 minutes, but three minutes later, Ben Laslett increased the Kent side’s lead with a volley that took a deflection on its way past Martin Bennett.

There seemed little in the way of encouragement for Hitchin until 10 minutes from the break when Michael Cox was seemingly upended just inside the penalty area. Tyron Sealey netted from the spot to give the Canaries some hope. A minute from the interval it was - surprisingly - all-square as Luke Gregson volleyed from Rodney Hicks.

Although Hitchin were level, few were convinced and this was underlined when the second period started. Ramsgate regained the lead after 52 minutes when Steffan Ball scored after a fine double save from Bennett. Even then, Hitchin could have staged a comeback if Sealey’s shot had been just inches lower.

But Ramsgate extended their lead after 58 minutes, Andy Hadden shooting through a crowded area with a low effort that gave Bennett no chance. It got worse as Jay May scored after 65 minutes after being set clear. And in 79th minute, May netted from the penalty spot to send a number of Hitchin fans off to the car park.

The only consolation was Gregson’s 87th minute goal that put some respectively on the scoreline. It was the first time that the Canaries had ever conceded six goals at home in the FA Trophy. Darran Hay’s lonely walk across the pitch after the game said it all - he may soon be whistling the Bob Dylan’s song, "the times they are a changing."

Hitchin Town (2)3 Ramsgate (2)6

Hitchin: Bennett, Barr, Pepper (Geraghty 28), Stupple, Gilbert, Cox (Williams h/t), Sealey, Gregson, Draycott (Bull 53), M.Barnes, Hicks    

Scorers: Sealey-pen 35, Gregson 44, 87

Ramsgate: Twyman, Hadden, Walder, Davis, Eastwood, Royston, Laslett, Schulz (Sutton 79), May, Ball (Tsangarides 67), Walker (Duff 76)                

Scorers: Royston 13, Laslett 16, Ball 52, May 65, 79-pen

Attendance: 246

Referee: P.McCaul

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The FA


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