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Hitchin Town 0 Faversham Town 1

Monday, September 19 2016

The lights well and truly went out on Hitchin Town’s FA Cup campaign for another season as they were dumped out by step 4 Faversham Town.

Hitchin started with the same eleven as on Saturday, although Alasan Ann was an additional substitute. The visitors began with the side that had taken the second-half initiative in Kent, with Harvey and Dawodu starting, and Campbell and Scarborough on the bench. They had already been on a roll in the league as well and the visitors started as they had left off. Michael Johnson had to save a tame Dawodu effort from a first minute corner.

Just as Hitchin were about to take their first corner after Cheek had got his head to a dangerous Kane Smith cross - before the quarter hour - two of the four new floodlights went out. There was a delay of about twenty minutes while they were repaired and, once the players and officials returned, it appeared Faversham had been less disturbed by the interruption than Hitchin.

On 16 minutes a through ball by Dawodu enabled Grant to swivel and glide between the two central defenders with only Johnson to beat. The keeper had been left completely exposed and had no chance to save the striker’s powerful effort. Dawodu and Harvey combined to set up another chance soon afterwards for Grant but this time the striker’s touch was poor.

Hitchin’s passing lacked precision and a number of long balls just invited pressure to be returned by the visitors. The quality of corners and freekicks was also variable although Brett Donnelly at least connected with a free kick to bring a routine save from Godmon.

Cooper had a half chance for Faversham after a free kick was half cleared to him but fired over the bar. The kick had come  after a clash between Callum Donnelly and Cheek, with the Hitchin skipper lucky not to see a card. Donnelly was though on the receiving end of a clash of heads with his opposite number, Monger, where the Faversham player was booked.

For Faversham, Grant continued to look dangerous as Johnson gathered another shot, while at the other end Brett Donnelly and Burns went close. As the whistle went for the delayed interval, Faversham were good value for their lead against a Canaries side that had struggled to get out of first gear.

HALF TIME Hitchin Town 0 Faversham Town 1

Words were certainly said at half time, as those in the main stand would confirm, and Hitchin displayed a more positive approach after the break. It wasn’t clear why it had taken until the second half and being a goal behind for this to happen. While Godmon flapped at one corner, Faversham continued to look dangerous on the break with Cooper sending in a shot after a free kick, and Grant got the better of Walster and forced Johnson into a save.

Hitchin continued to pile on pressure though, with Lewis Rolfe advancing from the half way line and shooting just over from outside the area. A Smith cross was then cleared as far as Sam Barker. His effort went for a corner from which Godmon saved from Webb.

The threat at the other end had not diminished as Harvey cut inside from the right and forced a corner with a low shot. Johnson then had to act as a sweeper as he headed the ball clear outside the penalty area and got clattered in the process by the onrushing Grant. 

Hitchin threw on Alasan Ann for his debut this season and he was involved in the build up as Godmon again had to clear to prevent Brett Donnelly getting to the ball. Donnelly then got a faint touch to a through ball and the Faverhsam keeper had to get down sharply to save.

The striker also nearly connected with a Callum Donnelly cross while the skipper forced Godmon into a save only to see the offside flag raised already.

For Faversham, Stanford hit the post from a corner but Hitchin continued press. Burns just failed to connect with a cross from Ann, Ratcliff threw himself in front of a shot from Smith, and Lench just failed to connect at the far post with a Webb flick-on. However despite the possession, the efforts were all half chances rather than clear opportunities.

When the final whistle blew it was the visitors who moved forward to a home tie against Egham Town while The Canaries were left to analyse how a place in the 3rd Qualifying Round had slipped away since the advantage of an interval lead on Saturday.

FULL TIME - Hitchin Town 0 Faversham Town 1

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

Faversham Town - Grant (16)

Yellow cards
Hitchin Town - Smith 
Faversham Town - Monger, Grant

Attendance - 251 

Colin, photo by Peter Else

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