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Haringey Borough 1 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, November 14 2015

Hitchin will be grateful to keeper Charlie Horlock for their continued presence in the FA Trophy. The keeper saved a second half penalty to secure a draw and a replay tomorrow (Monday) at Top Field.

That the match went ahead at all at a rain-lashed and bleak Coles Park Stadium - where Hitchin fans easily comprised the majority of a crowd that barely topped three figures - was a minor miracle.

The match was a contest between Hitchin's patient build up and short passing game against Haringey's more direct passing and use of the width of the pitch to get one on one with defenders. In the first half Hitchin definitely held the upper hand but could not generate an end product. 

Barker had one shot saved and one deflected while good play by Barker and Kirkpatrick resulted in a ball that Donnelly was just unable to meet. McNamara also nearly caused chaos as he got between Haringey keeper Harris and his defender but the final shot went wide. 

The hosts did create chances as a long ball from Aristidou beat both Horlock and the veteran Griffiths. Kane Smith also saved the Canaries with a clearance off the line after Richards met a Haringey corner with a header.

The half chances continued to come for Hitchin as Kirkpatrick made room for a shot but fired wide while McNamara was also off target after receiving from Smith. Robbie Burns had one final chance in the half when he skilfully picked up a cross with his back to goal, flicked it up, turned and shot just over the bar. 

HALF TIME Haringey Borough 0 Hitchin Town 0

Hitchin started the second half in the front foot and Harris saved well from a Burns free-kick. Webb's follow up was blocked.

However Haringey's use of the pitch's width paid off on 57 minutes when Griffiths fed McDonald on the left. His chipped cross beat the defender and found Aristidou. The winger had time to bring the ball under control, pick his spot and fire past Horlock.

Things went from bad to worse as Griffiths set up Kamara who was brought down in the box by Bickerstaff. The referee had no doubts about the penalty but Horlock's reactions meant he got a hand on Griffiths' effort to pull off a superb save.

Hitchin grabbed this lifeline and punished Haringey on 72 minutes. Kane Smith sent in a pacey cross and central defender Scott got a deflection onto the ball to nod it into his own net. 

The Canaries shored up the defence and the midfield as Lench came on for Rolfe with Ann dropping back to partner Webb. Hitchin now started to get back into the game with Lench having a deflected shot, after a firm tackle and run from Smith, while McNamara just failed to find Donnelly with a chip.

Haringey had one last chance as Richards ran at the defence, and cut the ball back for Griffiths. Horlock pulled off another good save and the rebound was fired over.

It was arguable, maybe not for the first time, that Hitchin's possession should have seen them take a lead in at half time but a combination of the conditions, a competitive opposition who raised their game above their league form, and some over-elaboration saw the game end all square. 

Haringey have already won away at Dunstable Town in the Trophy so Hitchin will need to be on top form in the replay to secure a place in the 3rd Qualifying Round.

FULL TIME: Haringey Borough 1 Hitchin Town 1 

Teams:

Haringey - Harris, Richards, Fenton, Clarke, Scott, Walker, Aristidou, Fashanu, Griffiths, Kamara, McDonald; Subs - Martelli (for McDonald), Asamoah (for Aristidou), Dedman, Djassi-Sambu (for Fashanu), Kharshiladze

Hitchin - Horlock, Smith, Bickerstaff, Ann, Webb, Rolfe, McNamara, Kirkpatrick, Brett Donnelly, Burns, Barker; Subs - Lench (for Rolfe), Brooks, Walster, Wright, Johnson

Attendance: 119

Colin



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