MK Dons youngster helps fire Hitchin Town into cup quarter-final at the expense of Biggleswade
PUBLISHED: 09:33 26 January 2016 | UPDATED: 15:21 26 January 2016
There was a moment of redemption for Dominic Palmiero on Monday evening at Top Field.
The teenager, who is with Hitchin Town on loan from Championship side MK Dons, scored the second of the Canaries’ two goals in their Red Insure Cup win over Biggleswade Town – and few other strikes will be cheered so warmly by the club’s faithful this season.
A second year scholar at MK, the youngster was given his first start by Mark Burke and for much of the game looked right at home with neat flicks and an awareness to drop into space left by the Biggleswade defenders.
And yet, midway through the second half, he made a glaring miss that brought a red face to himself and silence to the crowd.
Teed up by Charlie Payne, who had drawn the keeper off his line, Palmiero managed to side-foot wide of the post when an open goal was there to be hit.
Some players’ heads may have dropped in such a situation – and many have down the years – but it is to his credit that from that point the loanee took the game by the scruff of the neck.
He started to dictate play and looked for the ball every time his team-mates were in possession, something that would have delighted Burke.
There was one moment of skill on the left, where he not only bemused the defender but also some in the crowd, when he dragged the ball past his marker.
And then, as the clock ticked into injury time, he got his goal, much to the delight of the home supporters.
Played in, he tapped the ball to the right of Dan Smith in the visitors’ goal and then, from a tight angle, slid the ball home for 2-0.
It was a mature move from a player who should now give Burke a nice selection headache ahead of the trip to Paulton Rovers in the league on Saturday.
Hitchin went into Monday night’s game on the back of a league defeat at Slough Town at the weekend, and they took the lead through a goalkeeping error.
This time it was Dan Smith who made the mistake. The Biggleswade keeper is only 17 - the game was peppered with teenagers - and when Lewis Rolfe’s inswinging cross came his way in the first half, he punched the ball into his own net.
Smith would go on to make a few fine saves – including an outstanding stop from a Kane Smith free-kick – but ahead of him his forwards were unable to get the better of the Hitchin back line.
Hitchin are now through to the quarter-finals and Cambridge City await them next week.
Hitchin Town: Johnson, K Smith, Bickerstaff, Wright, Rolfe, Pearson, Riley, Brooks (Barnes 70), B Donnelly (Martin 62), Palmiero, Payne (Mulholland). Subs: Rice, Rennick.
Biggleswade Town: D Smith, King, Coulson, Allinson, Iwediuno, Fortune (Tyrell 46), Northfield, Rees, Forsythe (Merson 61), Marsh (Daniel 65), Vincent.