FA Trophy: Hitchin wade past Biggleswade Town to book place in third qualifying round
PUBLISHED: 22:39 14 November 2016 | UPDATED: 22:44 14 November 2016
Hitchin Town have knocked Biggleswade Town out of the FA Trophy at the second attempt.
Two days after Saturday’s original tie had ended 1-1 following a Waders goal two minutes from time, Mark Burke’s Hitchin went through despite an edge-of-the-seat rally at the end by the visitors to Top Field.
Next up for Hitchin, who are now 10 unbeaten in all competitions, is a trip to either Burgess Hill or Chalfont St Peter in the third qualifying round but if they are to progress further in the competition they will need to cut out silly mistakes at the back.
Though worth their win Hitchin were hesitant at times and it could have cost them victory had Biggleswade made the most of their errors.
The visitors had a couple of early efforts off target before Robbie Burns headed straight at the keeper for Hitchin.
Hitchin then allowed Rhys Hoeness space in behind. It almost cost them with the quickest player on the pitch bearing down on goal only for Michael Johnson to save low with his left hand when the striker should have scored.
The home team went ahead just before the break, and it came from a far post header from Lucas Kirkpatrick.
Kane Smith played a ball out wide to Callum Donnelly and, running towards the box, took the return pass. With nowhere to turn, he played back to Donnelly whose cross to the far post was headed in low by Kirkpatrick.
Robbie Burns doubled his side’s lead on 48th minute with what is best described as a brave header at the far post as he stooped to nod in a cross from the right.
Lewis Rolfe was then at fault when casual play at the back allowed Hoeness to pinch the ball from his toes and run in at goal, only to strike the post. It was a more difficult chance than his first effort, with Johnson doing well to make the angle tight.
Biggleswade were now spurred on and Johnson, after making a save from Evan Key, was unable to hold it and brought down Hoeness as he followed up. The keeper was booked, and Hall squeezed home the penalty.
A neat piece of play by Burns who, somehow keeping his balance, chested a ball from the right before striking goalwards gave Hitchin some breathing space at 3-1.
But Biggleswade hit back through Burnett following a melee in the box.
A couple of times balls over the Hitchin defence caused problems, but the best chance Biggleswade had of an equaliser came in the dying moments.
They threw bodies forward but when Gavin Hoyte put his laces through a shot from the edge of the box Rolfe threw his own body on the floor to deny Town an equaliser.
Hitchin return to league action on Saturday with Kettering Town the visitors to Top Field.
Hitchin Town: Johnson, Wright, Walster, Bickerstaff, Webb, Rolfe, Smith, C Donnelly, Kirkpatrick, B Donnelly, Burns. Subs: Lench, Brooks, Spence, King, Clarke.
Biggleswade Town: Brown, Lewis, Perry, Key (Effiong), Short, Hoyte, Daniel, Hall, Lucan (Patrick), Burnett, Hoeness. Subs: Norman.