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Hitchin Town 1 Arlesey Town 1

Saturday, September 14 2013

Hitchin and Arlesey were deadlocked in this fast-paced but tame local derby of a FA Cup tie.

To some extent, the game failed to live up to its billing.
It wasn’t a  dull game, but there was a sense of waiting for something substantial to happen. Hitchin will be disappointed they didn’t make full use of their first-half superiority.

Arlesey took the lead in the 14th minute with their first attack on the Hitchin goal. a long ball from Sam Pemberton catching the home defence off-guard and Andrew Osei-Siribour shooting inside Tahj Bell's right hand post.

Eight minutes later, Hitchin equalised, Robbie Burns and Callum Donnelly combining to set-up Michael King, who drilled home from six yards.

Arlesey almost regained the lead when Osei-Siribour struck the side-netting from close range, but Hitchin ended the half on top and both Burns and Donnelly had chances to score before the interval.

At the start of the second half, Jamal Lowe forced Arlesey goalkeeper Nathan Abbey into a full length save as Hitchin tried to maintain their momentum. King had two chances that went close, a shot over the bar and a near post effort that Nathan Abbey saved point-blank. The game settled down, however, to be very even, with Arlesey looking dangerous on the counter-attack.

Hitchin found fresh impetus in the final 15 minutes and a near post effort by King caused Abbey some discomfort as he fumbled the ball. And in the dying seconds, Robbie Burns’ shot cannoned off Arlesey’s star man Ryan Frater with the home support braying for a penalty.

The tie moves on to Hitchin Road where perhaps it will spark into more life.

Hitchin: Bell, Rolfe, Bickerstaff, Noone, Lench, Barker (Burtenshaw 83), McGeorge, Donnelly, King, Burns, Lowe (Wharton 85)

Arlesey: Abbey, Ward, Abraham (Forsyth 67), Galbraith (S.Powell 52), Frater, Maltay, Tavernier, Prosper, Osei-Siribour (M.Powell 84), McNamara, Pemberton

Referee: S. Barry
Attendance: 431

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