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Wingate & Finchley 2 Hitchin Town 2

Saturday, October 27 2012

 Where would Hitchin be without John Frendo? Not for the first time this season, or indeed in the past two years, the Canaries had to rely on their talented but occasionally volatile striker in order to stay in the FA Trophy.

Hitchin gave Wingate a two-goal lead before clawing their way back into this tie, and it was Frendo’s two goals that saved the day.

It was farcical the way Wingate took the lead after 30 minutes, coming after Hitchin  had just got on top. Dean Gilbert’s backpass was seized upon by Ryan Gardiner and he rounded Martin Bennett before slotting home.

Hitchin had scarcely got used to the idea of being behind when Wingate scored again, Anderson Pinto waltzing his way through the defence and shooting past Bennett.

With one foot now out of the Trophy, Hitchin galvanized themselves and in the 38th minute, Frendo pulled a goal back with a crisp finish from the edge of the area.

Frendo almost levelled the scores on the stroke of half-time with a free-kick that curled just wide of Bobby Smith’s goal.

At the start of the second half, however, Wingate looked to be getting on top and only a superb save from Bennett prevented Steve Clark from scoring.

But Hitchin started to dominate and Tony Fontenelle went close with a long range effort that was stopped by the driving Smith.

They drew level in the 76th minute from the penalty spot. Jack Beckett was brought down just inside the penalty area and Frendo scored from the spot-kick.

From thereon, it felt like Hitchin would go on to win, and if Zak Burke had been more controlled with his finishing whe clear on goal, he could have settled the game.

Wingate also had chances, though and substitute Murat Karagul almost clinched victory in added time when he shot straight at Bennett with the goal gaping in front of him.

And so, the tie remains undecided – until Monday that is.


Wingate & Finchley (2)2 Hitchin Town (1)2

1-0 Gardiner 30 mins

2-0 Pinto 32 mins
2-1 Frendo 38 mins

2-2 Frendo-pen 76 mins

Attendance: 101

Wingate: Smith, Weatherstone, Wright, Clark, Shehu, Nielsen, Kyriacou, Milner, Gardiner (LSmith 84), Morris (Karagul 84), Pinto  Subs not used: McGonigle, Baptiste, King

Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Bickerstaff, Leach, Gilbert, Lee, Delderfield, Beckett, Burke, Frendo, McGovern Subs: Webb, Lincoln, Williams, Pedrycz

Referee: Mr. Elliott

Assistants: J.Stanley & M.Osborne

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