Top Field is now the place to be

PUBLISHED: 10:11 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 06 May 2010

Josh Sozzo

Josh Sozzo

Cirencester Town 0 Hitchin Town 7 RESURGENT Hitchin Town are the team to watch according to club officials. Their form since the turn of the year is the result of an influx of new players that is making a huge difference to the club believes long serving

Cirencester Town 0 Hitchin Town 7

RESURGENT Hitchin Town are the team to watch according to club officials.

Their form since the turn of the year is the result of an influx of new players that is making a huge difference to the club believes long serving secretary Roy Izzard.

Izzard, who believes that a new era is emerging at the club, said: "In recent weeks, we have seen a marked improvement in the team and the results are starting to prove that.

"It would be great if the public could see what is going on at Top Field - we are building a good team."

Crowds at Hitchin have dropped this season and the sub-300 average is the lowest since the 1980s.

"We've had a couple of bad years and we need to start convincing the public that we have turned the corner," added Izzard.

"Our recent results against Bedford, Merthyr and Cirencester are no fluke.

"A lot of hard work has gone into this season and we are starting to reap the rewards.

"My message to those that have lost the habit of watching Hitchin is simple - come back, and I think you will be impressed."

If evidence was needed of their improvement in 2006, the rampant Canaries stormed into the last four of the Errea Cup with an emphatic scoreline at the Corinium Stadium on Tuesday night.

They will now play local rivals Bedford in the one-legged semi-final in March.

Poor Cirencester did not know what had hit them as the Canaries raced into a five-goal first-half lead, aided by a personal milestone for striker and skipper Josh Sozzo, who scored four goals in 37 minutes.

Hitchin's determination to make their first Southern League Cup semi-final was underlined from the start.

Liam Folds and David Hicks both had early chances before Sozzo gave Hitchin the lead in the 16th minute, a close range effort from a Neil Pugh cross.

Six minutes later, Sozzo scored again with a 20-yard shot after he had come out on top of a challenge.

In the 25th minute, Sozzo claimed the matchball when he ran onto a Hicks through ball and slotted home.

In the 29th minute, Gavin Jaggard got on the scoresheet, running onto a long ball to score.

The home side were repeatedly caught out by Hitchin's incisive passing and fast movement up front.

But in the 31st minute, they had the chance to pull one back when Richard Wilmot upended Lee Smith in the penalty area.

It just was not Cirencester's night, however, and Neil Arndale's spot-kick struck the woodwork.

Sozzo scored his fourth in the 37th minute as Hitchin went in at half-time already in the next round.

And they did not let up in the opening stages of the second half, with Hicks and Jaggard both going close.

Jaggard grabbed his second goal in the 59th minute, a Parys Okai cross causing problems for the Cirencester defence and the striker made no mistake from close range.

Two minutes from time, Hitchin netted their seventh goal, a sublime lob by Thomas Hayes that gave tortured goalkeeper Paul Thompson no chance.

It was Hitchin's best scoreline since February 1994 when Andy Melvin's team won 7-0 at Wivenhoe.

Canaries: Wilmot, Pugh (Lochhead 46), Okai, Hammonds, Folds, Hicks, French (Daniels 60), Cavill, Jaggard, Sozzo (Hayes 46), Ducket.

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