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Hitchin Town 5 Biggleswade Town 4

Monday, November 7 2011

Nine goal thriller or slapstick circus? Whatever way you look at it, this game didn’t lack incident or entertainment. And after 120 minutes, Hitchin won through to the second round of the Red Insure Cup.

Hitchin took the lead after 37 minutes, John Frendo hit the post with a shot and Ieuan Lewis netted the rebound. Only an acrobatic save from Martin Bennett on the stroke of half-time prevented Biggleswade from equalizing.

But two minutes into the restart, a Frendo free kick found Louis Lee, who headed home Hitc
hin’s second goal.

The Top Field regulars could be forgiven for thinking that the game was virtually won, but the Waders pulled a goal back in the 56th minute, Ashley Fuller scoring from close range. Twelve minutes from time, a mix-up in defence, involving Bennett and Jack Nelly allowed a Fuller free kick to sail into the net.

And so, extra time, and then the fireworks started! Mitchell Cole and Nelly both hit the woodwork before Hitchin regained the lead on 105 minutes, Jamie Arlick applying scoring after his first effort had been saved by the Waders’ keeper.

Biggleswade wouldn’t give up, though and Stuart Lochhead levelled in the 109th minute. Hitchin restored their lead three minutes later through Cole, who had two bites of the cherry to score.

Incredibly, Biggleswade came again and a Steve Gentle header on 115 minutes hinted at a penalty finale.

But it was Frendo – who else? – who clinched the tie, racing onto a Cole through ball and finishing in style with a minute to go.

There was still time for Bennett to prevent a fifth Biggleswade goal with a couple of fine saves, so thankfully there was no shoot-out. The crowd had already been treated to something along those lines…

The teams


Hitchin:
Bennett, Fontenelle, Pepper, Stewart (Nelly h/t), Gilbert, Lee, Donnelly, Gregson (Cole 58), Burke (Arlick h/t), Frendo, Lewis



Goals: Lewis 37, Lee 47, Arlick 105, Cole 112, Frendo 119



Biggleswade: Leggatt, McGowan, Mead, Gatti, Hewitt, Reynolds (Gentle 69), Daniel, O’Brien, Field (Rydeheard 65), Woolf (Lochhead 87), Fuller



Goals: Fuller 56, 78 Lochhead 109, Gentle 115



Referee: S.Pawley

Assistants: G.Daish & P.Hancock


Attendance: 103



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