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Faversham Town 2 Hitchin Town 2

Saturday, September 17 2016

It’s been said already that this was a game of two halves. Hitchin had moved into a comfortable 2-0 lead by the interval but Faversham - flying high in the Ryman League South - made decisive half time substitutions which helped them level the scores to fight another day. By the final whistle, it was the Canaries that were hanging on.

Hitchin began positively with Robbie Burns forcing a save from Will Godman, before a Lench cross was cleared from danger. The Faversham keeper also had to save from a Dan Webb header. The hosts also tried to fashion chances with King being denied a run on goal by a good tackle from Kane Smith.

It was no surprise though when Hitchin took the lead. On 25 minutes a looping diagonal cross from Ben Walster was met in the box by a well placed shot from a stretching Brett Donnelly.

Godman did well to stop Lucas Kirkpatrick from extending the lead - tipping over a goal-bound, dipping shot, while Grant shot wide for the hosts.

The Canaries extended their lead on 38 minutes after good work by Kane Smith on the right. He was dispossessed but won the ball back and got in a low cross. Donnelly was on hand again at the near post to deftly divert the ball past the keeper into the far corner of the goal.

HALF TIME Faversham Town 0 Hitchin Town 2

Not for the first time this season, the opposition manager responded to the situation by making adjustments at halftime. No doubt also motivated by a stinging team talk, Faversham came out all guns blazing.

Harvey added more thrust to the attack and fired just wide, while Dawodu’s presence in midfield saw the hosts regain more control in that part of the field. 

Faversham were not to be held back and 8 minutes after the break they had a lifeline as a long free kick into the box ultimately found its way to Stanford on the left and his angled shot found the back of the net.

The hosts had a golden chance to level the scores after good build-up play on their right flank saw Campbell square the ball across the box to Carrington. He was unmarked in front of goal but miscued the ball and the danger was cleared.  

On 68 minutes, Faversham did get the leveller as Campbell and Stanford set up Grant. He showed composure to place his shot between the legs of Michael Johnson.

Both sides went in search of the winning goal, with Callum Donnelly having one effort saved and another blocked before McBride fired over. At the other end, Smith again did well to break up an attack after Harvey had played in Stanford. Campbell then had one final shot on the Hitchin goal but that flew over before the referee called time.

FINAL SCORE Faversham Town 2 Hitchin Town 2

The home side certainly deserved their draw for seizing the initiative in the second half. Hitchin now need to ensure there is no repeat of past cup replays at Top Field against Ryman sides like Hastings, Wingate & Finchley and Enfield Town. 

Faversham Town - Godmon, Cooper, Tenyue, Carrington, Bourne, Scarborough, Campbell, Monger, Grant, King, Stanford; subs - Harvey (for King), Cheek, Dawodu (for Scarborough), Blewordah
Hitchin Town - Johnson, Smith, Walster, Barker, Webb, Rolfe, Lench, C Donnelly, B Donnelly, Burns, Kirkpatrick; subs - Wright, McBride (for Lench), Hunt, Barnes, Pearson, Brooks (for B Donnelly), Verney

Faversham Town - Stanford (53), Grant (68)
Hitchin Town - B Donnelly (23, 38)

Yellow cards
Faversham Town - Grant
Hitchin Town - Walster, C Donnelly


Colin, photo by Peter Else

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