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Enfield Town 0 Hitchin Town 0

Saturday, October 10 2015

Hitchin and Enfield have to play to a finish at Top Field tomorrow (Monday) after this tight FA Cup match ended goalless. The Canaries defended stoutly to keep the home side at bay and could have snatched the tie at the death but for McDonald in the Enfield goal making two great saves.

 

The match started with Frendo and Vileu clashing, thus ensuring Hitchin’s striker became the villain of the afternoon in the eyes of the home fans in an impressive Non-League Day crowd of 883.

 

There were few clear cut chances early in the match although a Webb effort from Hitchin’s first corner needed to be charged down by Enfield.

 

A lot of Enfield’s good work came through Hayden-Smith who looked dangerous running at the Canaries defence and also delivering set pieces. The Hitchin defence had to be alert to clear after his flick-on threatened to put Campbell through. After Ottaway was wrestled off the ball on the edge of the area, Horlock was required to make a good save from a Joseph header.

 

At the other end, Frendo turned provider and crossed from the left. The ball was nearly met by Lench but the player ended up in the goal without the ball. Frendo did have a half chance from a Rolfe freekick which Burns headed on. However the striker couldn’t get a clean touch on the ball and the effort went wide. Hitchin nearly took the lead in bizarre circumstances as a Lockie back-header nearly eluded McDonald. The keeper just won the race with Burns to scramble the ball away.

 

As the half drew to a close though, Enfield had two very good chances. First Gabriel crossed for Ottaway but the striker mistimed his effort and touched the ball wide when well placed. Then Horlock pulled off a great save as he tipped over a Doyle shot from a training-ground Enfield corner. Campbell blazed his effort over from the follow-up corner.

 

HALF TIME Enfield Town 0 Hitchin Town 0

 

Enfield swapped Whitely for Wynter upfront at half time as they tried to make home advantage count. While Hitchin did concede a spate of freekicks, Enfield did not create clear-cut chances and their efforts were off target or scrambled away as Hitchin’s defence – well marshalled by Ann and Webb – held firm.

 

Hitchin also had half chances from free kicks as a shot by Ann was deflected for a corner from one, while McDonald did well to claim the ball from Webb after another.

 

As the game swung from end to end, Kane Smith made a fine block to prevent Campbell. Enfield also had a good chance as a low corner flew right across the face of the goal, while Horlock was called upon to punch away an Enfield free kick after Ottaway had been nudged off the ball on the edge of the box.

 

However the hosts were almost punished in the final stages as Hitchin countered, firstly as Barker played in Frendo. His cross towards McNamara looked dangerous but the ball was bundled away before the winger could convert. From the corner, McDonald made a great save from a Webb shot.

 

Then Lench broke and passed to Frendo who played a perfect square pass for McNamara to run onto.  His goalbound shot was saved again by McDonald diving to his left to keep Enfield in the match.

 

FINAL SCORE Enfield Town 0 Hitchin Town 0

 

While the game did not sparkle with goals it was absorbing as Hitchin defended well against the in-form Ryman League side. With so much at stake, the final whistle saw a brief unsavoury scrap. However this draw sets up a fascinating replay where the Canaries will hope they can play a more expansive game, while Enfield will look to top scorer Bobby Devyne who was suspended for this tie.

 

Teams

Enfield - McDonald, Lockie, Gabriel, Vileu, Joseph, Muguo, Hayden-Smith, Doyle, Wynter, Ottaway, Campbell

Subs - Durojaiye, Parcell, Bihoutine (for Campbell), Livings, Whitely (for Wynter), Kouassi (for Hayden-Smith), Hughes

Hitchin - Horlock, Smith, Rolfe, Ann, Webb, Kirkpatrick, McNamara, Donnelly, Frendo, Burns, Lench

Subs – Barker (for Kirkpatrick), Johnson, Walster, Martin, Corran, Bickerstaff, Pearson

 

Bookings

Enfield – Campbell, Kouassi,

Hitchin – Rolfe, Frendo, Barker

 

Attendance 883

 

goal action

Colin (photo by Peter Else)



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