Bishop Stortford 1-2 Hitchin Town: Mark Burke’s men show fight to reach Herts Charity Cup Final

PUBLISHED: 16:46 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:46 18 September 2017

Lucas Kirkpatrick. Credit Hitchin Town FC

Lucas Kirkpatrick. Credit Hitchin Town FC

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Hitchin Town FC beat Bishop’s Stortford 2-1 on Saturday to reach the final of the Herts Charity Cup final.

Hitchin Town boss Mark Burke (pic Danny Loo) Hitchin Town boss Mark Burke (pic Danny Loo)

The Canaries can now look forward to the chance of silverware against either Hemel Hempstead or Royston as the opponents after goals from Lucas Kirkparick and Jonny McNamara saw them home.

The Top Field outfit displayed the resilience of the last two season’s to claim victory after three successive defeats.

Boss Mark Burke had asked for the team to tighten up and make it more difficult for the opposition to play, which led to an improvement as his team closed down space effectively.

Burke had also said he needed a good result more than a performance but after a hard-fought triumph they arguably achieved both as they displayed the determination and fight that was a feature of last season.

The team again set out with a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Kavan Cotter who has joined for a further month on loan from Luton went in at right back with Lewis Rolfe moving to the centre of defence alongside Dan Webb with Josh Bickerstaff at left back. Lucas Kirkpatrick returned to the midfield with Jay Dowie rested while Elliot Bailey played up front.

From the start Hitchin seemed determined to banish the memory of the last 20 minutes at Slough and took the lead after just six minutes.

Lucas Kirkpatrick took a corner on the right and the ball came back to him before sending in a cross that curled over goalkeeper Tyler McCarthy into the top corner of the net.

Hitchin were the dominant side throughout the first half and dealt comfortably with the Stortford threat.

Jonny McNamara shot wide after good work by Bailey while Jack Green headed wide from a Callum Donnelly cross. McNamara and Bailey had further chances before half time.

Green was replaced for the second half as he was feeling unwell. His replacement Trey Charles caused problems for the Stortford defence.

McNamara had two further shots on target but the introduction of three substitutes saw Stortford throw caution to the wind as they played a more attacking formation.

The visitors were forced to defend and it was no surprise when the equaliser came with Jason Williams heading in a cross from former Stevenage forward Dipo Akinyemi cross after 73 minutes.

Charles then had a shot cleared off the line while Kirkpatrick fired over the bar.

Extra time was approaching McNamara produced a clinical finish after Webb had headed in to his path in the first minute of injury time.

The last kick of the game saw Michael Johnson produce a brilliant save from Tyrique Hyde-Skerritt as the final whistle blew.

Bishops Stortford:

McCarthy, Casey, Tumwa, Richefond, M Ekpiteta, Rogers, Hyde-Skerritt, Thomas, Owusu, Westcott, C Ekpiteta Subs Williams for Thomas 64, Robinson, Akinyemi for Owusu 70, Foxley for C Ekpiteta 62, Hughes

Hitchin:

Johnson, Cotter, Bickerstaff, Smith, Webb, Rolfe, Kirkpatrick, C Donnelly, Bailey, Green, McNamara Subs Dowie for McNamara 90+4, McCaffrey for C Donnelly 63, Charles for Green H-T, Walster, Syme

Scorers:

Bishops Stortford: Williams 73

Hitchin: Kirkpatrick 6 and McNamara 90+1

Bookings:

Bishops Stortford: Richefond

Hitchin: Kirkpatrick

Attendance 142 (approx 50 from Hitchin)

With thanks to Roy Izzard.

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