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Hitchin Town 2 Daventry Town 1

Saturday, September 13 2014

A lively affair at Top Field resulted in a 2-1 win for Hitchin Town in the FA Cup, First Round Qualifying.

The first shot belonged to Daventry and it was Dior Angus who fired a shot straight at Canary keeper Michael Johnson.

Moments later, Daventry's Josh Blake put a dangerous cross in to the box, with the ball taking a deflection off of Dan Webb before Johnson collected.

Charlie Smith then tried a hopeful shot from long-range but it was well off-target. 

A nice piece of play then gave Hitchin the opener. Jonny McNamara lay the ball off to Smith, who was lingering at the top of the area. Smith powered a great strike past Daventry keeper Ben Heath.

Daventry's Josh O'Grady had a great opportunity moments later when he was spotted in space over on the left side. His cross was poor though and the Canary defence cleared with ease.

A Hitchin free-kick looked promising when Smith switched the ball over to Lewis Rolfe, who had found space down the right. Brett Donnelly was the target-man for Rolfe's cross but Daventry's Nathan Haines did well to cut out the danger.

Hitchin looked the better side but Daventry could not be faulted in their energy and persistence.

A wasted opportunity came when Matt Lench, Callum Donnelly and McNamara all failed to get a shot away from inside the box. It was one touch too many from the Hitchin trio.

Daventry's persistence paid off in the 25th minute when Tommy Berwick produced a great finish to draw the visitors level. It was Dior Angus who provided the assist.

The equaliser induced some frustration in to the hosts and that was clear to see when Rolfe tried a hopeful shot from long-range.

Callum Donnelly showed some great skill in the area when he collected a loose ball and created space to turn and get a shot away. His shot, however, went across the face of the goal and wide of the post.

McNamara put Hitchin back in front in the 41st minute. After perfectly timing his run through the centre of defence, he confidently slotted past the keeper.

Hitchin Town 2-1 Daventry Town

A mistake from Alasan Ann almost gifted Daventry with an early second-half equaliser, as the Canary Captain's loose pass went to Daventry's Kieron Fitzgerald. However, Fitzgerald wasted the opportunity with an early shot, which consequently was well off-target. 

The second-half lacked clear cut opportunities for both sides but the game was always lively - sometimes too lively as the bookings show.

Around the 70th minute, Brett Donnelly picked up his second yellow and was dismissed. 

With the man advantage, Daventry pushed for an equaliser and the pressure was threatening to cause an upset for the home side. However, the Canaries held well to ensure they progressed in the FA Cup. 

It was a great team effort to hold on to the 2-1 lead and credit must be given to Robbie Burns, who made an excellent substitute appearance as a lone forward after Donnelly's dismissal.

Teams: Hitchin: Johnson, Rolfe, Walster, Ann, Webb, Barker, McNamara (Corran 73'), Donnelly. B, Donnelly. C (Chabata 85'), Lench (Burns 57'), Smith. Unused subs: Bell, Martin, Osei-Siribour, Powell.

Daventry: Heath, Deeney, Blake (Power 77'), Haines, Wilkinson, Oulton, Angus, Howell, Fitzgerald (Kean 61'), Berwick, O'Grady (Beacon 65'). Unused subs: Piggon, Gould, Champelovier.

Goals: Smith 9', McNamara 41' (Hitchin)
Berwick 25' (Daventry)

Yellow: Rolfe, Donnelly. C, (Hitchin) Oulton, Power (Daventry)
Red: Donnelly. B (Hitchin)

Attendance: 222


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