Hitchin Town survive early scare to sink Herne Bay in FA Trophy
- Credit: Archant
Hitchin Town produced a workmanlike performance to see off the threat of Herne Bay in the FA Trophy – but they needed to come from behind to clinch the 3-1 win.
The Kentish visitors play one level lower than the Canaries, in the Isthmian League South East Division, but despite that they took the game to their Top Field hosts.
The Bay pair of Tushaun-Tyreese Walters and Bradley Stevenson were a danger and on eight minutes they were ahead, Zak Ansah firing a low shot in at the near post.
And with Hitchin rattled somewhat, Herne Bay continued to press and probe, Stevenson heading over among others.
But slowly the home side started to relax and work their way into the game.
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Dan Webb headed a Layne Eadie corner over while Lewis Barker brought a wonderful save out of George Kamurasi.
They got their equaliser with a little over 10 minutes of the half to play, Barker and Laurence Harvey going for an Alex Marsh cross with the final touch seemingly coming off the defender.
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They had the lead early in the second half, coming out of the traps with far more purpose.
Callum Stead, Steve Cawley and Marsh where leading the charge and it was the latter who got the second, outwitting a defender before going round the keeper to score.
The Bay had a huge shout for a penalty, with many in the round wearing yellow fearing the worst, but the referee played on after Walters looked to have been brought down.
And while the grumbles among players and supporters continued, the Canaries rubbed salt into the wound by making it 3-1, Stead beating the keeper in a foot race and calmly firing the ball into the unguarded net.
To their credit Herne Bay continued to press and goalkeeper Charlie Horlock had to make a number of fine saves to stop the likes of Ansah, Tyler Sterling and Stevenson from pulling one back.
However, Hitchin held on in front of an impressive crowd of 443 to book their spot in the next round.
Hitchin Town: Horlock, Akubuine, Eadie, Smith (Goldbourne 69), Webb, Okoye-Ahaneru (Jones 60), A.Marsh, Barker, Cawley (Brown 77), Stead, L.Marsh.
Subs (not used):Dasilva, Caldicott-Stevens.
Goals: Harvey (og) 34, A.Marsh 48, Stead 84.
Booked: Smith 62, L.Marsh 69
Herne Bay: Kamurasi, Cooper (Sterling 77), Kamara, Harvey, Johnson, Walters, Carlton, Ansah, Dawodu, Hibbert (Grant 65), Stevenson.
Subs (not used): Colmer, Lawrence, Carrington.
Goal: Ansah 8
Booked: Hibbert 34
HT: Hitchin Town 1 Herne Bay 1
Referee: Daniel Simpson (Reading).