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Waltham Forest 2 Hitchin Town 0

Saturday, September 17 2011

Hitchin were shocked out of the FA Cup at the first attempt by Waltham Forest, who won 2-0 thanks to two goals in the last 20 minutes at Ilford.


71 – Jeff Hammond opens the scoring after a cross by Lokondu 1-0

79- Ben Melton gets his foot to the ball from Hammond’s pass 2-0
90- John Frendo misses a penalty

Weather: Damp, rain, sun

Pitch: Bumpy, dry

Attendance: 70

All the usual FA Cup clichés were rolled out after the game, along with the age-old aversion to grounds with running tracks and barren stadiums. Whichever way you looked at it, however, Hitchin were bundled out of the competition by a team that clearly wanted to prove a point.

None more so than Jeff Hammond, who scored one and created another. The former Hitchin player was fired up for the game and was out to show his former colleagues what they were missing.

If Hitchin’s performance against Cambridge was Dr Jekyll, then Mr Hyde was clearly on display at the Cricklefield sports ground. There were a few early chances, notably when Zak Burke volleyed wide and Tom Pepper’s drive rolled past the 400 metre mark, but Waltham Forest grew in confidence as the game went on.

By half-time, Waltham Forest’s midfielder, Gazmand Dauti, was running the show in midfield and looking comfortable. 

Hitchin had their chances, but their finishing was lack-lustre to say the least. Burke went close on three occasions – notably when he shot past the post after good work by Luke Gregson and then when we went on a characteristic run before driving wide.

Hammond was a menace for Hitchin and was just inches away from scoring when he shot from long range. But it was Hammond that opened the scoring on 71 minutes, finishing after a run and pull back by Peggy Lokondu. As that doyen of football reporters, Brian Glanville would have said, this was a case of the “immutable law of the ex”.

Eight minutes later, Hammond inadvertedly created the second and killer goal. His mis-hit shot across the face of goal was met by Peter Crouch wannabee Ben Melton and he got his foot to the ball and steered it into the net.

Hitchin had a chance in added time to pull a goal back, but John Frendo’s penalty kick hit the post (it wasn’t wood, so it was metalwork rather than the usual descriptor). Hardly anyone in the crowd of 70 noticed, to be fair, and as the ball trickled off into the shot-put area, the final whistle put the spectators out of their misery……

The teams

Waltham Forest: Omand, Sachey, Campbell, Lokondu, Mojeed, Douglas, Palmer (Imbet 90), Dauti, Shittu (Melton 64), Hammond, Dagher
 Subs not used: Healey, Nicholas, King

Goals: Hammond 71, Melton 79

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper (Fontenelle 20), Leach, Stewart, Gilbert, Lee, Lewis, Gregson (Cole 76), Burke, Frendo, Anderson (Donnelly 60)
 Subs not used: Williams, Edgerley, Pedrycz

Referee: C.Francis
Assistants: T.McCreadie and P.McVey

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