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Royston Town 1 Hitchin Town 0

Tuesday, October 4 2016

This game will not linger in the memory as it could only be described as  lacklustre and was played in a totally flat atmosphere as the crowd found little to entertain them. The League Cup has become discredited over the last few seasons with most clubs fielding experimental teams in front of sparse crowds. Hitchin rested a number of key players and gave valuable match time to squad players. Dan Webb, Brett Donnelly, Lucas Kirkpatrick and Alasan Ann were left out of the starting eleven while James Verney made his full debut and Stuart Pearson and Kieran Barnes also started. Ex Canaries John Frendo and Ryan Frater were rested by Royston.

In the first half Hitchin did not get going and neither side did anything to cheer the fans. Lewis McBride shot over the bar in the second minute and that proved Hitchin’s only shot in the half. Michael Johnson saved well from Simon Thomas before Lewis Rolfe had to be replaced by Ann after 23 minutes. But just before the half time whistle Royston took the lead. Martell Powell provided the pass and Josh Castiglione produced a good finish. In truth the half time whistle was a relief for the fans as it had been poor entertainment value.

Hitchin did produce an improved second half performance. Ann shot just wide and Josh Coley looked dangerous when he came on after 54 minutes. He shot just past the post after good work from Kane Smith who had minutes earlier cleared a Royston shot off the line.

Adam Murray came close for Royston while Callum Donnelly shot just wide in the 90th minute. But the equaliser did not come and in reality it may be a blessing to not have to play in the League Cup again. Something surely needs to be done to inject interest in to this competition with strange results elsewhere indicating the lack of serious intent many clubs are showing.

A return to league action will be a relief after this and the game with Weymouth will hopefully bring out the best from Hitchin.

Royston - Welch, Scott-Morriss, Braithwaite, May, Murray, Stuart Bridges, Fehmi, Powell, Thomas, Towner, Castiglione  Subs Scott  Bridges for Towner 64, Mentis, Bradshaw for Braithwaite 58, Cohen for Fehmi 58, Linsell
Hitchin - Johnson, Smith, Walster, Wright, Pearson, Rolfe, McBride, C Donnelly, Verney, Barnes, Lench  Subs Coley for Barnes 57, Burns, Kirkpatrick, B Donnelly, Ann for Rolfe 23.

Scorer Royston - Castiglione 

Royston - Scott-Morriss
Hitchin - C Donnelly

Attendance 141

Roy Izzard

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