Sozzo sinks former side
Hitchin Town 2 Bedford Town 0 MARCUS CRAWLEY reports JOSH Sozzo haunted his old side as the Canaries won through to the Southern League Cup final on Tuesday night. The former Bedford striker scored twice as Darren Salton s side won this Errea Cup semi-fin
Hitchin Town 2 Bedford Town 0
MARCUS CRAWLEY reports
JOSH Sozzo haunted his old side as the Canaries won through to the Southern League Cup final on Tuesday night.
The former Bedford striker scored twice as Darren Salton's side won this Errea Cup semi-final relatively comfortably against their local rivals.
Their reward is a two-legged final against Division One West side Bromsgrove Rovers.
The first leg is at Top Field on Tuesday, April 11, with the return up in the Midlands a fortnight later.
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A feisty game belied the fairly low-key nature of the competition.
Bedford's reserve keeper Jordan Rigby was drawn into early action.
He clawed away David Hicks' long range effort and then did well to block a shot from Sozzo's livewire strike partner Thomas Hayes.
Hitchin's number one Richard Wilmot showed his expertise minutes later when he saved a deflected shot from Rene Howe as Bedford increased the pressure.
Another Bedford old boy Daniel French nearly got on the scoresheet against his former side but his powerful drive was just wide.
The key moments of this tie occurred in the early stages of the second period.
Carl Williams, a former player at Top Field, glanced a header wide from Ashley Blake's cross when he should have at least hit the target.
He was made to pay within two minutes as Sozzo notched for the first time in the evening.
Hicks' corner was headed back into the danger area by Mark Ducket and the predatory Sozzo pounced.
He grabbed a second and some breathing space five minutes later when a clever spin allowed him to tuck the ball beyond Rigby.
A minute later, Hayes could only shoot straight at Rigby.
Hitchin were content to play more on the break in the latter stages.
Bedford rarely threatened a response and when they did, sub Glen Lamacraft got back to dispossess his fellow replacement Matt Gearing. And in added time, Wilmot ensured a clean sheet when he expertly held Gearing's stinging drive.
Canaries: Wilmot, Pugh, Okai, Hammonds, Folds, Hicks, French, Cavill (Lamacraft), Hayes, Sozzo (Phelan), Ducket.