GALLERY: Hitchin Town 0 Stevenage 2
Aneke and Charles dump Hitchin out of Senior Cup
Hitchin Town 0 Stevenage 2
Herts Senior Cup
GOALS from Chuks Aneke and Darius Charles were the difference as Stevenage knocked Hitchin Town out of the Herts Senior Cup.
Stevenage, with John Dreyer in charge as Graham Westley was on scouting duty in Preston, put out a strong side with squad players such as Alan Julian, Don Cowan and Peter Winn featuring against a strong Hitchin side which included top scorer John Frendo who is currently serving a suspension in the Evo-Stik league.
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In fact Frendo gave stand-in centre-back pair Darius Charles and Phil Edwards a tough go of things at times, but despite exchanging a volley of insults with both Edwards and goalkeeper Julian the closest the Hitchin front man came to scoring for his side was hitting the post late in the second half.
By that time Boro had already gone two goals up. Indeed they had put two past Martin Bennett by half time, but it was Hitchin who almost took the lead when Marc Leach headed Zak Burke’s free kick over on six minutes.
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Aneke, starting only his second game for Stevenage after signing on loan from Arsenal a fortnight ago, was a powerful presence all evening and went close himself on 23 minutes.
Cowan had made a good break down the right, and running into the box pulled his low pass back for the Arsenal teenager whose low shot was blocked by a Hitchin body.
The teenager was not to be denied, though, and 10 minutes before the break put Stevenage ahead. This time Aneke ran with the ball, and after playing a one-two with Ben May, hit a fierce shot past Bennett for the opener.
One became two minutes later, and this time it was Charles who was the scorer when the versatile heavyweight flicked a free kick on with his head and past Bennett on 43 minutes.
Charles went close to adding a second five minutes after the break by which time Hitchin had brought on two Luton Town youngsters, Alasan Ann and Colby McAdams.
Charles went on the sort of rampaging run Boro fans have come to associate him with. When he is in that sort of mood, there are few who can stop him and this proved to be the case when he made his way past four players before putting his foot through a shot which sailed over Bennett’s bar.
Hitchin, too, had chances. Luke Donnelly shot over from 18 yards and then Louis Lee sent one into Julian’s midriff.
Aneke had a couple of shots off target before Frendo hit a low shot wide of Julian’s goal, and the same man was unable to divert a shot goalwards from a sharp angle after Edwards had slid in and blocked a goalwards Hitchin effort with just minutes to go.
As it was, Stevenage kept yet another clean sheet.
They will be hoping for more of the same this weekend at Preston.