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Hastings United 2 Hitchin Town 2

Saturday, October 6 2012

 Hitchin showed great resilience in earning a draw against a Hastings side who led twice in this scrappy FA Cup tie. Just as they did at Whitehawk in the previous round, the Canaries had to come from behind to grab a replay.

Hitchin started slowly at Pilot Field, conceding a goal after just 11 minutes when a through ball by Bailo Camaro  was not intercepted and Dee Okojie was allowed the space and time to run through and shoot home with Bart Pedrycz left floundering.

Three minutes later, however, Hitchin were awarded a free kick almost 25 yards out after Jamie Crellin made a bad challenge. John Frendo sent a well directed free kick past Matt Armstrong-Ford for the equalizer.

Bradley Goldberg was Hastings’ most dangerous player and he went close with a long range effort. Just before the interval, though, Luke Gregson shot wide when he should have made better use of a clearcut opportunity.

Hastings regained the lead in the 47th minute with a soft goal, Camara crossing for Okojie to head on and Goldberg stabbed the ball past Pedrycz.

Hitchin regained their composure and Louis Lee went close when his scuffed shot went wide of the mark. In the 62nd minute, the Canaries drew level once more.  Frendo prodded the ball forward to Zak Burke and he drilled a low shot past Armstrong-Ford.

The game refused to rise above the mediocre, but both sides did have their chances to win the tie at the first attempt. Dean Gilbert half-volleyed over the bar and at the other end, Goldberg cut inside and saw his shot punched away, spectacularly by Pedrycz,

So the tie moves to Top Field and given the first meeting was a fairly evenly-matched affair, it is a tough one to call. Perhaps the prospect of an interesting fourth qualifying round draw may raise the game….


Hastings United (1)2 Hitchin Town (1)2

1-0 Okojie 11 mins

1-1 Frendo 14 mins

2-1 Goldberg 47 mins

2-2 Burke 62 mins

Attendance: 459

Armstrong-Ford, Dixon, Whtiehead, Carey, Ray, Jorbandey, Ellis (Vickers 76), Crellin, Camara, Okojie (Attwood 68), Goldberg

Subs not used: Cox, Richardson, Holland

Hitchin: Pedrycz, Fontenelle, K.Lincoln, Stewart, Gilbert, Lee, Lewis, Gregson, Delderfield, Frendo, Bickerstaff (Burke 51)

Subs not used: Leach, McGovern, Ibrahim, Webb, Beckett

Referee: M.Eva

Assistants: A.Mawby & M.Taylor

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