Hitchin Town in good Stead as they enjoy solid FA Cup win over Needham Market

PUBLISHED: 10:54 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:54 22 September 2020

Hitchin Town boss Mark Burke watched his side advance in the FA Cup. Picture: PETER ELSE

Hitchin Town boss Mark Burke watched his side advance in the FA Cup. Picture: PETER ELSE

Peter Else

Hitchin Town’s wonderful start to the season now includes a place in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup after a 3-0 win at home to Needham Market.

As he was on Saturday, Callum Stead was the hero, another brace adding to the two he got against Alvechurch on day one of the Southern League season.

His performance was worthy of the man of the match award but he was hard pushed by the entire team who are playing with so much confidence at the moment.

The Canaries didn’t have it all their own way though and it was a tight game for periods.

They had taken the lead on 14 minutes with a typical purposeful header from Lawrie Marsh, connecting with a Rio Dasilva free-kick and comfortably bating Marcus Garnham in the away goal.

The keeper had a good half apart from that with saves from Luke Brown, twice, Stead and Jhai Dhillon.

Stead did beat him with one first-half drive but it rebounded off the post and out.

At the other end Charlie Horlock had been confident dealing with what came his way although Hitchin too had a let-off when an Adam Mills shot rattled the crossbar.

But any threat Needham Market carried dissipated in the second period as Hitchin began to control more and more of the game.

Alex Marsh came on for Dasilva and he soon tested Garnham following a cross from Stead but it was the former Welwyn Garden City man who finally found the all-important second goal on 69 minutes with a deft header.

The forward settled things up 10 minutes later, beating the offside trap and putting away the chance with ease.

They will look forward to the draw for the next round, scheduled for Friday and which includes teams from the National League North and South.

Before that match though Hitchin travel to Stourbridge in the league on Saturday before visiting Rushden & Diamonds next Tuesday.

Hitchin Town: Horlock, Green, Eadie, Smith, L.Marsh, Walster, Dasilva, (A.Marsh 60), Dhillon, Stead (Gouldbourne 80), Brown, Caldicott-Stevens.

Subs (not used): Tearle, Cawley, Rusev, Ryan and Gourgel-Sequira.

Goals: L.Marsh 14, Stead 69, 79.

Booked: Gouldbourne.

Needham Market: Garnham, Marsden, Sturgess, Lawrence, (Hunt 73), Pollard, Morphew, Ingram, (Santa 82), Heath, Fowkes, Collard, Mills (Page).

Subs (not used): Dye, Fitzgerald, Munson, Morphew.

Booked: Mills.

Attendance: 410

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