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Hitchin Town 1 Aylesbury 0

Monday, September 7 2015

A Matt Lench goal at the start of the second half separated Hitchin from a hard working Aylesbury side and ensured the Canaries passage into the First Round of the Red Insure Cup.

Mark Burke shuffled the pack for this match and handed Jack Boyd his first start, playing up front with the recalled Simon Martin.

Hitchin set about the visitors from the off, with Martin nearly getting to a ball fired across the face of the goal and then appealing for a penalty.

Kane Smith and David Corran pushed up as wing backs, with Corran seeming to enjoy the chance to go forward and nearly getting in a telling cross after the ball had flicked off Simpson.

Aylesbury did get the chance to show why they are well placed in the Central Division of the Southern League and looked lively up front. The hard working Feyi fired their first shot wide after his own persistent work in the build-up.

However Weatherill at the other end was certainly the busier goal keeper, gathering at his near post from Lench after Martin and Boyd had set him up, saving well from a fierce Donnelly shot after a knock down by Martin, and gathering from Bickerstaff who looked to convert a Barker free kick.

Kane Smith had a headed chance from a corner but nodded over, and then needed to be subbed after an earlier knock. Rolfe slotted straight into the wing back position.

Aylesbury’s last good chance of the half saw O’Toole run at the home defence. His shot was deflected for a corner which Johnson had to punch clear.

Half time: Hitchin Town 0 Aylesbury 0

Hitchin made one change at half time with Charlie Payne replacing Jack Boyd, who had had to receive treatment early in the game for a knock. It paid dividends as, within a minute, the sub set off down the left flank and squared back to Lench on the edge of the box. The number 7 had time to check inside, pick his spot and fire past Weatherill into the keeper’s right hand corner.

Hitchin piled on the pressure in search of the second. After some fine interplay between Donnelly and Martin, the latter reversed the ball into Callum’s path. He fired straightaway and forced Weatherill into a low save. Martin then embarked on a weaving run inside the box, taking on two defenders. His shot didn’t have great power on it and took a deflection before looping towards goal and requiring a clearance off the line.

Weatherill was called into action again to deal with a Wright shot at a Hitchin corner, while Payne fired just wide from a low cross by Rolfe, who had been released by Donnelly.

Aylesbury had been defending doggedly but were trying to create attacking options using their pacy front line and the speedy Prosper. However their clearest chances came as a result of slips in the home defence. Untidy play at the back resulted in the visitors just shooting wide, while a free kick conceded just outside the area offered a chance from a dangerous central position. However Dobson skied to ball into the trees behind the goal.

Johnson did need to be alert from another Aylesbury free kick and gathered cleanly before being clattered by Fryer in the process. He then had to rush out to clear the ball after Prosper had carried the ball forward. Johnson cleared the ball although Prosper dived in to retrieve it and it was lucky for keeper and attacker that no contact was made.

Aylesbury tried to ring the changes with all three substitutions being made in a four minute spell, including the appearance of the first outfield gloves of the season!

However Hitchin continued to press as good play by Payne set up Corran for a  cross, which was cleared to Lench who fired wide. Lench nearly returned the favour, sending in a low ball from the right which looked like it would fall at the feet of Payne in front of goal. However Fryer managed to make an excellent saving tackle to rob the substitute in exchange for a corner. From the dead ball, Weatherill easily gathered Pearson’s header.

Hitchin soaked up some Aylesbury pressure as the game ran its course but the visitors couldn’t further test Michael Johnson. When the final whistle blew it signalled progress to the next round and a home tie against Bedford Town.

Final score: Hitchin Town 1 Aylesbury 0


Hitchin - Johnson, Smith, Bickerstaff, Wright, Corran, Pearson, Lench, Donnelly, Martin, Boyd, Barker

subs – Rolfe (for Smith 38), Horlock, Payne (for Boyd H/T), Kirkpatrick, Tom Bryant (for Barker 67)

Aylesbury - Weatherill, Prosper, Lynn, Bateman, Fryer, Anthony, Simpson, Davis Haule, Feyi, O'Toole, Dobson;

subs - Brian Haule (for O’Toole 74), Goss (for Dobson 74), Tomlin (for D Haule 78), Logie, Rajaram

Bookings: None

Attendance: 112


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