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Hitchin Town 3 Sittingbourne 1

Saturday, September 29 2012

Most of the noise at Top Field was made by the travelling band of Sittingbourne supporters who insisted on making noise throughout the 90 minutes and beyond. They didn’t have a lot to sing about, but their side did make life a little uncomfortable for the Canaries.

Hitchin’s patchy form continues, but in the cup competitions, progress over performance is the order of the day. But it took a late flourish to take Carl Williams’ side through.

After a lack lustre start, Hitchin almost opened the scoring in the 33rd minute when John Frendo’s deflected shot hit the Sittingbourne crossbar.

Three minutes later, the Kent side was reduced to 10 men after Curtis Winnett received his second yellow card.

Hitchin then took the lead five minutes before the interval when Frendo set up Callum Donnelly who had so much room to pick his spot he could not fail to score.

Sittingbourne showed a lot of resistence to the late first half setbacks and but for a goalline clearance from Dean Gilbert, would have equalized early on in the second period.

They did draw level after 66 minutes with a penalty, awarded after a clumsy challenge from Kyle Lincoln. Ryan Golding levelled from the spot.

Frendo went close to restoring Hitchin’s lead when he tried to weave his way his way through the Sittingbourne defence but the Canaries’ next goal came from an unlikely source with 13 minutes remaining.

A cross from Tony Fontenelle to the far post was met by Josh Bickerstaff, who scored his first goal for the club. Bickerstaff, playing in an unfamiliar midfield role due to Zak Burke’s late withdrawal through injury, had a good game and underlined his return to fitness.

Sittingbourne went down to nine men when Aaron Gough was sent off for a harsh tackle on Bickerstaff.

In added time, Frendo scored Hitchin’s third when he received the ball just outside the area and drove a low shot into the corner of the net.

So a trip to Kent was avoided even if the scoreline may have flattered the Canaries. Tougher opposition may await them in the next round of the competition.


Hitchin Town (1)3 Sittingbourne (0)1

1-0 Donnelly 40 mins

1-1 Golding – pen 66 mins

2-1 Bickerstaff 77 mins

3-1 Frendo 90 mins

Attendance: 198

Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, K.Lincoln, Stewart, Gilbert, Donnelly (Beckett 62),  Lewis, Gregson, Delderfield, Frendo, Bickerstaff

Subs not used: Ibrahim, Leach, Webb, Pedrycz

Sittingbourne: Molloy, Skelton, Ulph (Dean 85), Davis, Gough, Girt, Taylor (Loynes 73), Hogg, Golding, Winnett, Akhazzan (Goldsmith h/t)

Sub not used: Coyne, Burbridge

Referee: D.Avent

Assistants: W.Bright and D.Jarrett

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