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Hitchin Town 1 Lowestoft Town 3

Saturday, November 5 2011

The FA Trophy road came to an end for Hitchin as an experienced Lowestoft side proved too good for Carl Williams’ team.


Highlights

13- Frendo scores after a through ball by Lewis 1-0

20- Defensive slip up and Nolan rounds Bennett to score 1-1

77- Long range effort by Mitchell makes it 1-2

89- Penalty from Francis wraps it up 1-3

Weather: Slight mist, damp

Pitch: Firm

Attendance: 282


 Lowestoft Town manager Micky Chapman was relieved to get through a potentially sticky tie that turned out to be more comfortable than expected. 

“We came here anticipating a tough afternoon, but we were the better side from start to finish,” he said, after a trouble-free victory. “In cup-ties, performance is almost secondary, but I couldn’t be happier with the way we handled this game.”

Lowestoft came from a goal down – admittedly scored by Hitchin against the run of play – to take charge of a full-blooded trophy tie.

Hitchin’s 13th minute opener came from their talismanic striker John Frendo, who ran onto a through ball by Iuean Lewis and shot past goalkeeper Andy Reynolds, who slipped  as he came out to meet the Canaries’ leading scorer. Frendo had another chance to score just after the goal, but Reynolds turned his shot past the post.

Lowestoft levelled, however, after 20 minutes and there was  touch of irony about the goal. Former Hitchin striker Matt Nolan, who has developed a habit of scoring against his old club, took advantage of a slip-up in defence, and rounded goalkeeper Martin Bennett to stroke the ball into the net.

Bennett was called into action just after the goal, saving a Lubo Guentchev volley and then preventing another effort by Nolan from finding the net.

Lowestoft ended the half on top and opened the second period in much the same vein. As the Suffolk side pressured Hitchin in the early stages, the massed ranks of Lowestoft fans appealed in vain for a penalty as the ball ricocheted around the penalty area.

Callum Donnelly shot over the bar and Zak Burke tried to beat Reynolds to the ball as he ran onto a long pass. But the best opportunity fell to Frendo, who shot across goal after Reynolds was stranded out of goal.

In the 77th minute, Lowestoft banished any hopes of a replay when Scott Mitchell hit a shot into the roof of the net from 25 yards after the ball was played out of the penalty area. It was a memorable strike from the Lowestoft defender.

Hitchin had little left in their armoury and Lowestoft began to look very comfortable. In fact, Nolan almost added a third in the 88th minute when he went with Bennett and almost knocked the ball into the net. Within 60 seconds, Frendo had brought down Andrew Fisk in the area and Joe Francis scored from the penalty spot.

That goal finished Hitchin off and they could have few complaints. “We were beaten by an experienced side who had a little too much know-how for us,” said Hitchin manager Carl Williams.

Teams


Hitchin:
Bennett, Pepper, Leach, Stewart, Gilbert, Lee, Donnelly (Cole 72), Gregson (Arlick 81), Burke, Frendo, Lewis



Goal: Frendo 13

Lowestoft: Reynolds, Okay, Smith, Fisk, Crane, Mitchell, Guentchev (Owuchukwu 76), Cockrill, Nolan, Forbes (Frew 64), Francis



Goals: Nolan 20, Mitchell 77, Francis 89 pen.

Referee: K.Kirkbridge
Assistants: C.Reid & M.Heavey



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