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Hitchin Town 1 Stevenage 0

Tuesday, January 21 2014

The Canaries remain on target for their first Herts Senior Cup appearance since 1997 after pulling off a shock 1-0 win against League One outfit Stevenage.

It may not rank as a giant-killing of enormous proportions, but Stevenage fielded a strong side and due to their profligacy in front of goal, Mark Burke’s team won through to the last four.

Tahj Bell kept Hitchin in the game in the first half, with a fine save from Michael Doughty’s free kick. For Hitchin, new signing Charlie Smith looked lively and was denied by Stevenage keeper Adam Smith on two occasions.

The Stevenage culprit was Jordan Burrow, however, who missed chance after chance throughout the 90 minutes. He should have scored twice in the opening 45, but Bell and poor finishing denied him the opportunity.

Hitchin took the lead in the 49th minute, Matt Lench firing home low on the right hand side of the penalty area. A minute later, Callum Donnelly hit the outside of the stanchion with a piledriver.

Burrow was at it again in the second half, sending a bullet header wide from a Oumare Tounkara cross. Darius C harles should also have done better when he blasted high and wide with the goal inviting before him.

Hitchin almost extended their lead when Stuart Pearson met a cross at the far post, but the Stevenage defence cleared the danger.

Late in the game, Burrow and Charles both had chances to level the scores, but Hitchin’s defence held firm and the victory was a great morale booster for Hitchin, who ended a run of six games without a win. It was a shame that fewer than 200 people saw this encouraging performance.

Hitchin: Bell, Rolfe, Bickerstaff, Barker, Webb, Pearson, Lench (Gregson 82), Donnelly (Wharton 85), Smith, Forsythe (Martin 69), Jones
Stevenage: Smith, Carey-Morrell, Joseph, Charles, Johnson, Doughty, Wedgbury, Deacon, Tounkara, Burrow, Andrade

Report by Neil Jensen

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