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Colney Heath 1 Hitchin Town 2

Tuesday, November 3 2015

Hitchin did just enough to get past this potential banana skin in the Hertfordshire Senior Cup. An alert finish by Robbie Burns ensured there was no need for extra time against a determined Colney Heath side.

 

Hitchin shuffled the pack with Jack Boyd starting with Robbie Burns, while Ben Walster and Will Wright joined Dan Webb in the centre of defence. Alasan Ann returned to the side for another midfield appearance.

 

Lewis Rolfe was on the bench although the family was represented by his uncle Steve, the manager of the South Midlands League side, and his cousin Jay, who lined up for the hosts.

 

Throughout the first half, Hitchin had the lion’s share of possession with most of the game being played in the Colney Heath half. With Smith and Bickerstaff given licence to push forward, Hitchin fashioned a number of half chances with Boyd turning a Webb flick-on at a corner over the goal, and Donnelly having a gentle shot saved by Clark and then  hitting a dipping shot off target.

 

However while the Canaries had the possession, Colney Heath had the best two chances in the first 40 minutes. Longworth cut in from the left but his shot was at a nice height for Johnson to gather. The Hitchin keeper however certainly saved his side on 40 minutes. Burford made space on the right and his shot across the goal from the edge of the area was curling in. The Hitchin keeper got  his right hand to the shot and tipped it onto the outside of his post.

 

The value of the save became clear a minute later. A Hitchin corner initially came to nothing.  However, from the follow up play, the ball landed at the feet of Dan Webb and although his finish was not elegant, he got enough on the ball to beat Clark and give Hitchin the lead on 41 minutes.

 

HALF TIME: Colney Heath 0 Hitchin Town 1

 

Hitchin’s lead did not last long. Two minutes after the restart, a through ball beat Walster and found the speedy Omotosho in plenty of room on the right. He ran at the undefended Johnson and picked his time and place well to slot the ball home for the equaliser.

 

Hitchin’s play had become disjointed but, not for the first time, the introduction of Brett Donnelly, provided a focal point to get back into the game. A good cross from Smith just evaded the substitute, and then a fluent build up down the left between Burns and Bickerstaff found Lench who, unfortunately, was in an offside position.

 

Hitchin had though regained their authority, and the deadlock was finally broken 11 minutes from time. Lench sent in a low shot that wasn’t particularly powerful but Clark in the Colney Heath goal fumbled the ball. It bounced in front of goal and Robbie Burns was quickest to react and scrambled the ball home inside the six yard box.

 

From that point, Hitchin managed to see out the game and set up another away match in the second round.

 

They will take on the winners of the tie between Sun Sports and Hertford Town – which was abandoned last night due to fog, with Sun Sports leading 3-1! Both teams are in the same division as Colney Heath so the Canaries will need to be on their mettle and turn possession into chances to progress further.

 

FINAL SCORE: Colney Heath 1 Hitchin Town 2

 

Teams:

 

Colney Heath - Clark, Robinson, Otira, Rolfe, Hannon (c), Willmore, Burford, Gray, Omotosho, Longworth, Andreau

Subs – Eras (for Longworth), Grunchy-Caswell, Laverty, Lawrence (for Andreau), Zavagno

 

Hitchin - Johnson, Smith, Bickerstaff, Wright, Webb, Walster, Lench, Callum Donnelly, Boyd, Burns, Ann (c)

Subs – Barker (for Walster), Horlock, Kirkpatrick, Rolfe, Brett Donnelly (for Boyd)

 

Attendance: 95



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