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Hitchin Town 2 St Albans City 0

Monday, February 8 2016

Hitchin produced a really good performance to defeat St Albans and reach the Herts Senior Cup final for the first time since 1997. It was apparent from the start that the late comeback to beat Histon on Saturday had renewed the players’ confidence and they were on the front foot from the first whistle.

Two goals could have been scored in the first three minutes as a brilliant Kane Smith cross just eluded Brett Donnelly and Callum Donnelly mishit a shot from a Jonny McNamara set up.

Mark Burke picked a full first team as he stuck to his plan of prioritising the Histon game and this semi final above the Red Insure Cup in a spell of three games in six days. Ben Walster and Kane Smith replaced Josh Bickerstaff and Stuart Pearson with the versatile Lewis Rolfe returning to a central defensive role.

Charlie Horlock saved well from Michael Thalassitis but Hitchin were the better team. Robbie Burns had a shot saved while Smith was a constant source of danger down the right and Callum Donnelly was also probing intelligently. He shot just wide after a good move and then shot over the bar.

Hitchin took the lead in the 33rd minute when Eddie Oshodi was penalised for handling a McNamara shot and Rolfe comfortably despatched the penalty.

St Albans started the second half with more intent and Horlock did well to thwart Billy Gibson. But Hitchin soon got back on top and played some excellent football. Kirkpatrick twice came close while Callum Donnelly was given too much to do from his brother’s pass.

Horlock bravely dived at the feet of Liam McDevitt before Hitchin sowed the game up with a second goal. It was a fine move and McNamara set up Burns for a crisp finish with 71 minutes on the clock. Hitchin were comfortable for the rest of the game and were full credit for the win.

The ground staff deserve great plaudits for producing a good surface despite the terrible weather conditions and the only down side on the night was the poor attendance of 136. This is probably down to the effects of the gale force wind and rain but those who stayed away missed out on an entertaining and efficient Hitchin performance.

Hitchin: Horlock, Smith, Walster, Ann, Webb, Rolfe, McNamara, C Donnelly B Donnelly, Burns, Kirkpatrick  Subs  Martin, Johnson, Barnes for C Donnelly 90, Palmiero, Wright.

St Albans: Welch, Kyriacou, Bender, Hill, Locke, Oshodi, Chappell, Gibson, Theophanous, Brown, Thalassitis  Subs Thomas, McDevitt for Bender 52, McGreavy for Hill 62, Corcoran, Martin for Oshodi 46.


Hitchin None

St Albans  Gibson, Thalassitis, Bender

Attendance 136

Roy Izzard

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