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Hitchin Town 0 Canvey Island 1

Tuesday, September 15 2009

Hitchin can count themselves unlucky to be out of the FA Cup after another stirring performance against Ryman Premier opposition.

The majority of the 251 crowd will probably consider that Colin Payne’s side didn’t deserve to lose, but in the end they were beaten by a team with a little bit more savvy, not to mention tricks of the trade. Late tackles, an elbow here, a shove there – Hitchin had no answer to Canvey’s robust stance.

For all the Canaries’ pressure, they had precious few clear-cut chances. Plenty of balls flying into the area, but seldom did goalkeeper James Russell have to make a save.  Canvey were content to soak it all up and then later in the game seal the tie.

In the first half, Jamie Arlick had Hitchin’s best effort, hooking the ball goalwards after Ieuan Lewis’s shot bounced off Jeff Hammond. At the other end, Martin Bennett did well to palm the ball over the bar from a Greg Cohen free kick.

Hitchin came out strongly in the second half, and a Lewis volley across goal just failed to find Hammond who was lurking in the box. Hammond came in for some rough treatment and Canvey’s Ben Patten was fortunate not to get a red card for stopping him in his tracks. From the resulting free kick, Zak Burke caused problems for Russell.

The deciding goal came in the 75th minute from Canvey substitute Gabriel Fanibuyan. He sent a left foot drive into the corner of the net from outside the penalty area to silence the Hitchin crowd.

Hitchin didn’t give up and tried to get back on level terms. Amid a flurry of activity, balls rained in on the Canvey goal, but nobody could find a way past the visitors’ defence. Hammond had a decent chance, but he was clearly being pushed away from the ball when he got his shot in. It was a frustrating night for Hitchin, but they can be satisfied with their performance over two games – the manner in which they took the game to Canvey was an indication of how far they have progressed since last season.

Hitchin Town (0)0 Canvey Island (0)1

0-1 Fanibuyan 75 mins

Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Grinham (B.Donnelly 86), Williams (Lee 81), Smith, Gilbert, Lewis, Hammond, Arlick, Velandia, Burke

Canvey: Russell, Everett, West, Patten (Davidson 71), Halle, Dobinson (King 80), Gordon (Fanibuyan 64), Edwards, Curran, Hallett, Cohen

Attendance: 251 (40 from Canvey)
Referee: J.Scott



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