Callum Stead and Hitchin Town left frustrated at final score and exit from FA Cup

PUBLISHED: 19:10 03 October 2020 | UPDATED: 19:10 03 October 2020

Callum Stead of Hitchin Town cuts inside Tom Bender of St Albans City in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Callum Stead of Hitchin Town cuts inside Tom Bender of St Albans City in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

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Callum Stead admitted there were frustrations with the 5-0 final score as Hitchin Town were knocked out of the FA Cup by St Albans City.

Callum Stead of Hitchin Town in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOOCallum Stead of Hitchin Town in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Canaries didn’t have the best of starts again and were 2-0 down after 19 minutes thanks to a double from Shaun Jeffers.

Jhai Dhillon of Hitchin Town plays a long pass in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOOJhai Dhillon of Hitchin Town plays a long pass in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

The second of them came from the penalty spot and saw Max Ryan dismissed for his challenge on Luke Warner-Eley.

Luke Brown of Hitchin Town is tackled by Kyran Wiltshire of St Albans City in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOOLuke Brown of Hitchin Town is tackled by Kyran Wiltshire of St Albans City in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

But from then the visitors to Clarence Park stood up to their higher division hosts and only three goals in the final four minutes of play stretched the gap.

Ben Walster, captain of Hitchin Town clears the ball in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOOBen Walster, captain of Hitchin Town clears the ball in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

And the young forward was pleased with his team’s effort.

Michael Johnson of St Albans City protests his innocence after Luke Brown of Hitchin Town went down under his challenge in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOOMichael Johnson of St Albans City protests his innocence after Luke Brown of Hitchin Town went down under his challenge in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Stead said: “The first 10 minutes again was sloppy but we played well, even when we were 2-0 down against a team from the league above and with 10 men.

Michael Johnson of St Albans City protests his innocence after Luke Brown of Hitchin Town went down under his challenge in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOOMichael Johnson of St Albans City protests his innocence after Luke Brown of Hitchin Town went down under his challenge in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“It’s disappointing to lose the game. We dealt with [the loss of a man] well and we were unlucky with the final score.

Max Ryan of Hitchin Town walks off after seeing red in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOOMax Ryan of Hitchin Town walks off after seeing red in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“We had nothing to lose and went full gas but they hit us on the break at the end.”

Ryan Smith of Hitchin Town on the ball in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOORyan Smith of Hitchin Town on the ball in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Hitchin could rightly point towards two instances in the second half that proved it wasn’t going to be their day.

Rio Da Silva of Hitchin Town gets the better of Tom Bender of St Albans City in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOORio Da Silva of Hitchin Town gets the better of Tom Bender of St Albans City in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

The first saw a challenge by former Canary Michael Johnson on Luke Brown go unpunished, while a shot from Stead cannoned back off the upright.

Layne Eadie of Hitchin Town plays a ball down the line under pressure from Mitchell Weiss of St Albans City in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOOLayne Eadie of Hitchin Town plays a ball down the line under pressure from Mitchell Weiss of St Albans City in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

He said: “I didn’t really see [the penalty appeal] as I was on the floor but I heard a connection between him and the goalkeeper.

Hitchin Town manager Mark Burke on the touchline in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOOHitchin Town manager Mark Burke on the touchline in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“And I was a bit unlucky with that shot. I did well to get it down and I hit it perfectly but it didn’t go as it has done recently.

Solomon Nwabuokei of St Albans City shields the ball from Lewis Barker of Hitchin Town in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOOSolomon Nwabuokei of St Albans City shields the ball from Lewis Barker of Hitchin Town in the FA Cup match between St Albans City v Hitchin Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“It’s a different game if any of them happen.”

Stead has enjoyed a great start to his Top Field career, with four goals in the opening two fixtures making him an instant favourite.

And he says he is thoroughly enjoying the step up from Welwyn Garden City.

“I’m just taking my chances and staking my place,” he said. “I just need to stay consistent.

“I never stop running, but then everyone works hard, and I don’t usually play striker.

“I played right wing last season so it’s a bit different and I’m trying not to run as much.

“I haven’t really come up against players this big in my career. I was up against someone last week who was six-foot plus and strong.

“I’m not the strongest but I am quick and I know how to work against these players.”


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