Barnes is the matchwinner again
Aveley 1 Hitchin Town 2 Paul Barnes was the matchwinner once more for Hitchin, scoring the winning goal in this difficult FA Trophy tie at Aveley. With 16 minutes remaining, Hitchin trailed to a determined Ryman League Division One side. But then Ian Dray
Aveley 1 Hitchin Town 2
Paul Barnes was the matchwinner once more for Hitchin, scoring the winning goal in this difficult FA Trophy tie at Aveley.
With 16 minutes remaining, Hitchin trailed to a determined Ryman League Division One side.
But then Ian Draycott and Barnes scored in the closing stages to maintain the Canaries' good away form this season.
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Aveley went into this game with their confidence high, and it showed in the opening stages. The sad thing is that the game attracted barely a three figure gate, despite the fact the home side are unbeaten in 12 league games this season.
They went close to scoring when Joao Carlos cut inside and saw his shot saved by Martin Bennett.
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But then Hitchin settled and Paul Barnes had a run of bad luck in the first half. His brother Mark created a chance when he sent a cross to the far post and Paul struck the crossbar with a volley from close range.
The two brothers linked up again later in the half and Paul Barnes hit the woodwork again with a low shot wide of goalkeeper James Marrable.
In the 38th minute, however, Aveley took the lead, the impressive John Maskell sending a low free-kick into the net from 25 yards.
Hitchin were much more on their game in the second half, although Aveley had two half chances early on through Wayne Vaughan and Carlos.
Paul Barnes was again making friends with the woodwork in the 59th minute, flicking the ball against a post via the gloves of Marrable.
There was a growing feeling that this might not be Hitchin's day, but substitute Draycott changed the game. Paul Barnes turned provider when he played the ball across to the former Bedford striker and he sent a shot wide of Marrable and just inside the post.
Both sets of officials were anticipating a replay when Paul Barnes popped up to clinch victory in the 87th minute. A free-kick taken by Bennett found him at the far post and his looping header sailed beyond Marrable.
Manager Darran Hay was relieved but felt his charges should have had the game wrapped up a lot sooner.
Hay said: "Aveley gave us the game we expected but we had the chances to have been home and dry. We are pleased to get this one out of the way, though."
The Canaries have been drawn at home to Ramsgate in the next round a week on Saturday (November 1).
Canaries: Bennett, Barr, Pepper, Gregson, Cox, Gilbert, Sealey (Woolf 64m), Stupple, P Barnes (Donnelly 89m), M Barnes (Draycott 55m), Hicks.