Hitchin Town spot-kick saving hero Michael Johnson says: ‘It’s an amazing feeling’ to progress in the FA Cup’

PUBLISHED: 08:32 26 September 2018

Hitchin Town travelled to Didcot Town in their FA Cup second qualifying round replay. CREDIT PETER ELSE

Hitchin Town travelled to Didcot Town in their FA Cup second qualifying round replay. CREDIT PETER ELSE

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Hitchin Town’s spot-kick-saving goalkeeper Michael Johnson has been talking to CometSport after his heroics helped the Canaries beat Didcot Town on 3-2 penalties at the Loop on Tuesday evening.

Hitchin Town travelled to Didcot Town in their FA Cup second qualifying round replay. CREDIT PETER ELSEHitchin Town travelled to Didcot Town in their FA Cup second qualifying round replay. CREDIT PETER ELSE

Johnson could not be beaten in two hours of hard-fought football as Mark Burke’s battling Canaries drew 0-0 against Didcot after extra time.

The highly-rated netminder showed confidence throughout the match in dealing with aerial balls and exuded confidence.

His excellent handling, footwork and anticipation in an impressively composed performance was a major factor in Hitchin progressing through to the third qualifying round as the club picked up a cool £9,000 bonus for progressing.

However, it was Johnson’s penalty-saving heroics which helped seal the tie in the Canaries favour.

Johnson saved three penalties, Didcot’s second from Matthew Woodley, their third against the talented Morgan Williams and the crucial fifth from giant centre-half Luke Carnell.

Speaking to CometSport after the match the modest keeper said: “It’s an amazing feeling. It’s the furthest I’ve ever been in the FA Cup.

“Hopefully we can keep winning and progress through to the first round proper of the cup.

“I seem to be getting a bit of a reputation as a keeper who can save penalties which is nice but it’s all about the team and if I can help us to win a game along with everyone else then that’s the main thing.

“It was a battling performance. We were hard to break down We had a couple of chances and we actually could have won but I’ll take winning on penalties.”

Johnson is fast earning a deserved reputation for saving spot-kicks after helping his side beat Harrow Borough 4-2 on penalties in the League Cup earlier this month.

Burke’s side will now host Hastings United in the third qualifying round at Top Field on Saturday, October 6 with the chance to move into the fourth and final knock out stage before EFL clubs enter the draw.

With £15,000 on offer for the victors of the clash against the south coast-based side stakes are high.

Johnson is staying calm and collected adding: “The boys have been taking the mickey out of me. Mind you because I’m a goalkeeper they take the mickey whatever I do – it’s all part and parcel of being a keeper.

“There’s a great spirit and a great set of lads. We’ve come a long way over the last few weeks and we’re definitely a team to look out for,” adding with a smile, “I knew I had the penalties covered.”

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