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Hitchin Town 3 Gosport Borough 1

Saturday, October 31 2009

Hitchin are adding some icing to the rapidly growing cake that is their season in the form of their best FA Trophy run in a decade.

Another victory, their 13th so far this season, took them into the Third Qualifying Round at the expense of Zamaretto South & West side Gosport Borough.

Dean Gilbert v GosportThe game, which was patchy, but had its moments, was not decided for sure until added time, and there was plenty of that, for Mr Steel, the referee, conjured up almost 12 minutes of bonus material for the Top Field faithful.

The sceptics claimed that Hitchin were not at their best, a strangely familiar cry at the club this season, but there were some talking points. There was Dean Gilbert’s first goal for the club that opened the scoring after 30 minutes, a 25 yarder low effort that deceived slow-to-get-down Gosport keeper Mark Brown.

Jeff Hammond, still to securely find his shooting boots this season, went close to adding a second and Jamie Arlick continued the threaten, but Hitchin had to thank a spectacular tip-over save by Martin Bennett from an Ashley Jarvis effort to remain in front.

The Canaries had the best possible start to the second period. Hammond was dragged down on the edge of the area and the popular Steve Velandia chipped his free kick into the net.

The second goal killed the game for a long period, although Gosport found some renewed energy by a triple substitution. In the 69th minute, they were rewarded for their refusal to give up, Michael Turvey’s cross from the right headed home from close range by Glen Howes.

Gosport sniffed the chance of a replay, and Justin Bennett had two efforts that worried Hitchin, one saved by the Hitchin keeper and another that rolled just wide.

But Hitchin finished the stronger of the two sides, with Zak Burke going close with a low drive and Richard Howell’s pace causing problems down the Gosport flank.

It wasn’t until the 90th minute that Hitchin finished the visitors off. Ieuan Lewis was brought down by Gosport central defender Paul Jones and although Jamie Arlick’s well struck penalty was parried by Brown, he followed up to score his ninth of the season.

So Hitchin move on to the next round, one that promises to deliver a tough tie. They won’t have long to find out who they will face on November 21.

Hitchin Town (1)3 Gosport Borough (0)1
1-0 Gilbert 30 mins
2-0 Velandia 47 mins
2-1 Howes 69 mins
3-1 Arlick 90 mins

Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Grinham (Reece 80), Velandia (Williams 72), Smith, Gilbert, Lewis, Hammond (Howell 71), Arlick, L.Donnelly, Burke

Gosport: Brown, Webb (Arnold 53), Williams, Thomas, Jones, Ford, Ward, Davis osport:(Howes 53), Kirby, Jarvis (Bennett 53), Turvey

Attendance: 268 (20 from Gosport)
Referee: J.Steel

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