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Hitchin Town 2 Arlesey Town 2 (5-6 pens)

Monday, October 13 2014

Arlesey triumphed in the Red Insure Cup after overcoming Hitchin in a penalty shootout at Top Field.

The game failed to find any rhythm in the opening stages - the awful weather conditions hampering any desire for a flowing game.

Matt Lench had the first shot, but his effort was over the bar, and seconds later, Arlesey's Mark Gallagher looked through on goal before being flagged for offside.

Robbie Burns gave Hitchin the lead in the 28th minute, courtesy of a free-kick he had won just outside the area.  The Canaries' forward placed it perfectly in to the back of the net.

Minutes after the restart, Simon Martin found himself through on goal but his touch was slightly too heavy and goalkeeper Nick Thompson retrieved.

Andrew Osei-Soribour then tried a hopeful, long-range shot but his effort was off-target.

Burns continually looked the most creative player on the field - chipping the ball in to the box for Martin, who's shot went wide, and minutes later laying the ball off to Lench, who's shot sailed over the crossbar.

Arlesey's Hallelujah Basmel then created an opportunity to put the visitors level. After making a great run up the left, he saw his well-placed low cross go straight across the face of goal after finding no support on the attack.

Arlesey then equalised in the 43rd minute - Basmel beating the defence and guiding the ball past Tahj Bell.

Half-Time

Hitchin Town 1-1 Arlesey Town

A corner for Arlesey at the start of the second-half caused some panic within the box. After Bell failed to collect the ball in the air, consequently fumbling it to the ground, slight chaos ensued as Hitchin tried to clear and Arlesey tried to score. It was eventually cleared by the Canaries' defence.

Moments later Gallagher had a shot on-target but the lack of power made for an easy save for Bell.

Hitchin then took the lead for the second time in the 50th minute. After Lench made a great run in to the box, it was passed to Martin who slotted home to make it 2-1.

In the 55th minute, a long-range effort from Liam McGovern looked a little hopeful but it dipped enough to have Bell worried and backtracking in to his goal. The ball skimmed the outside roof of the net, much to Bell's relief.

There was a brief delay in play after a roaming hedgehog made its way on to the pitch. After some questionable removing tactics from the linesman, the referee cleared the unforeseen mascot from danger.

Martell Powell had the next best chance of the game after working his way through the defence and creating himself with enough time and space to put a cross in. The cross, however, was heavy and it went straight out for a goal-kick.

Moments later Burns had a shot but it went straight in to the arms of Thompson.

Arlesey then levelled again in the 71st minute - this time from the penalty spot after a foul by Dan Webb. Stefan Bailey was the goal scorer.

A poor clearance from Arlesey's James Sage gifted the Canaries with a late opportunity. Osei-Siribour, Martin and Burns all found themselves with the ball in the box but good goalkeeping from Thompson allowed the defence to clear.

Full-Time

Hitchin Town 2-2 Arlesey Town

No extra time played.

Penalty Shootout

Burns: GOAL (Hitchin)

Carr: GOAL (Arlesey)

Lench: GOAL (Hitchin)

Hayles: GOAL (Arlesey)

Walster: GOAL (Hitchin)

Bailey: GOAL (Arlesey)

Martin: GOAL (Hitchin)

Powell: GOAL (Arlesey)

Osei-Siribour: GOAL (Hitchin)

Willett: GOAL (Arlesey)

Powell: MISS (Hitchin)

Sage: GOAL (Arlesey)

Arlesey win 6-5 on penalties.

Teams: Hitchin: Bell, Rolfe (Corran 51'), Walster, Webb, Chabata (Ann 71'), Powell, Osei-Siribour, Noone, Martin, Burns, Lench. Unused Subs: McNamara, Johnson, Barker

Arlesey: Thompson, Powell, Willett, Bailey, Maltay, Sage, Kabaye (Boot 59') Carr, Gallagher (Hayles 71'), McGovern, Basmel Unused Subs: Mason, Malone

Goals: Burns 28', Martin 50' (Hitchin)

Basmel 11', Bailey 71' (Arlesey)

Attendance: 92

Hitchin Man of the Match: Ben Walster

Sascha



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