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Whitehawk 1 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, September 22 2012

Despite warnings along the lines of “you’ll never get out alive”, Hitchin’s FA Cup campaign rolled on like the hills around the Enclosed Ground. It was peaceful and decidedly low key - there were no angry locals running down the grassy banks, like a scene from an imperialistic movie, and in contrast to pre-match hysteria, the Hitchin coach left Whitehawk with all wheels intact.

For the first half, however, Hitchin looked to be on skid row as Whitehawk took the game to their visitors.

In the 12th minute, the home side took the lead, and as in the past couple of games, defensive frailty contributed to the goal. Tony Fontenelle slipped up and Sam Gargan ran on to slide the ball into the net. It looked ominous for the Canaries.

It could have been 2-0 if Scott McGleish’s header had been a little more accurate and then James Fraser volleyed over the bar. Hitchin’s response was a long range effort by Callum Donnelly and a neat move involving Ieuan Lewis and Zak Burke that ended with a low shot.


After the interval, with the Canaries kicking downhill and adopting a more conventional 4-4-2 formation, it was a different story. Hitchin showed far more purpose and accuracy in their passing. Eleven minutes into the second half, the Canaries drew level, Donnelly sending a superb long range looping shot past goalkeeper Chris Winterton.

Hitchin edged the game from thereon, with John Frendo going close and Kyle Lincoln shooting over the bar. But at the other end, Martin Bennett pulled off some good saves to keep Whitehawk at bay. 

There were few chances of note from either side and the game petered out to end in a deserved draw – a result that most Hitchin fans would have accepted at half-time – especially against a team that had knocked 10 goals past their opponents in the previous two games. The replay promises to be interesting.



Statistics



Whitehawk (1)1 Hitchin Town (0)1

1-0 Gargan 12 mins

1-1 Donnelly 56 mins



Attendance: 144


Whitehawk: Winterton, Pearson, Knee, Armstrong, Lawrence, El-Abd, Jones (Hughes 63), J.Fraser (Godfrey 82), Gargan, McGleish (Newman 75), T.Fraser
Subs not used: Keehan, James



Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, K.Lincoln, Stewart, Gilbert, Lee, Lewis, Gregson, Donnelly (Bickerstaff 85), Frendo, Burke (Delderfield 66)

Subs not used: Leach, Beckett, Abraham, L.Lincoln

Referee: C.Hatzidakis

Assistants: L.Dyson and R.Whitaker



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