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Burnham 2 Hitchin Town 2

Saturday, November 1 2014

Hitchin grabbed a late equaliser to keep alive their FA Trophy campaign. Charlie Smith fired home an 89th minute goal from the edge of the area after it looked like Burnham would overturn the Canaries half time lead.

The Canaries went into the game missing a number of players through injury and suspension but slightly shaded the early stages of the game in glorious sunshine. 

However Burnham also posed a threat particularly down their right and Walker drifted in from that flank and forced Johnson to tip his shot over. At the other end, McNamara came even closer in an identical move. This time Lynch tipped his shot onto the bar and clutched the rebound.

Hitchin took the lead on 24 minutes when Burns went down in the box under a challenge from former Canary Garry Jones. In the absence of Lewis Rolfe, Ben Walster took responsibility and fired the ball emphatically into the net.
Burnham 0 - 1 Hitchin Town

While Burnham also posed a threat, with a header from early sub Brown and a shot from O'Regan bringing saves from Johnson, Hitchin had the best chances in the remainder of the first half. Donnelly was caught offside after a good ball from McNamara, while the latter also got in a good position but was penalised for a foul on Lynch. Lench and Burns both had powerful shots gathered by the keeper, but the best chance fell to McNamara on 43. After good build up by Donnelly, Smith fed the ball across the area but the final shot was lifted over the crossbar from close range.

Burnham had one shout for a penalty as Chabata appeared to hold Kabamba's shirt but the referee saw no offence.

Half time  Burnham 0 - 1 Hitchin Town

Early in the second half Barker picked up the ball, beat a challenge and fired low only for Lynch to gather well. The game was however well balanced as Johnson had to save from a Burnham freekick and then Chabata had to clear from O'Regan after a goalmouth scramble.

At this point Barker had to be substituted and soon afterwards Burnham were back in the game when O'Regan was finally rewarded for his running by jinking through the defence and beating Johnson with a low shot (61).
Burnham 1 - 1 Hitchin Town

Webb had a chance after build-up by Noone, who had replaced Barker, and Lench but Lynch bundled the ball clear. However the momentum was with Burnham and the Hitchin defence allowed too much space as Brown cut in from the left and shot. Johnson could only parry the ball and Kabamba was quickest to the ball and stroked it home (74).
Burnham 2 - 1 Hitchin Town

Burnham could've had another as a shot bounced off the post back into Johnson's arms, and they had other openings as Hitchin tried to get back into the game and brought on Martin for McNamara. 

However Hitchin showed good character and with the clock running down Martin played a low ball back from the right hand flank. It fell to Smith who fired a well-placed low shot in from the edge of the area to level the scores. 

Hitchin had to endure one final Burnham flourish with a shot being placed wide after a corner but held on to force a replay at Top Field tomorrow (Monday 3rd).

Final score Burnham 2 - 2 Hitchin Town

Line ups:
Burnham - Lynch, Webb J, Carby, Hewitt (cap), Ajanlekoko, Jones, Walker, Webb N, Kabamba, McDonnell, O'Regan Subs Brown (for Carby), Lockhart-Adams (for McDonnell); not used: Brooks, Joseph, Sappleton 

Hitchin - Johnson, Chabata, Walster, Corran, Webb (capt), Barker, McNamara, Lench, Brett Donnelly, Burns, Smith  Subs - Noone (for Barker), Martin (for McNamara); not used: Bell, Powell, Morrison
Burnham: Yellow - Ajanlekoko
Hitchin: None

Attendance: 102 (a good 40% from Hitchin)

Colin Ridgway

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