Top Field hosts first leg
Hitchin Town 4 Yate Town 3 NEIL JENSEN reports Hitchin Town face Bromsgrove Rovers on Tuesday night in arguably the biggest cup game for seven years at Top Field. The Canaries will face Southern League Division One West Bromsgrove in the first leg of the
Hitchin Town 4 Yate Town 3
NEIL JENSEN reports
Hitchin Town face Bromsgrove Rovers on Tuesday night in arguably the biggest cup game for seven years at Top Field.
The Canaries will face Southern League Division One West Bromsgrove in the first leg of the Southern League (Errea) Cup final. The tie kicks off at 8pm.
Not since Hitchin played host to Forest Green Rovers in the last 16 of the FA Trophy has Top Field seen such an important cup tie.
Although Premier Division Hitchin will start as favourites, manager Darren Salton emphasises that the two-legged final will be tough for his side.
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"Bromsgrove have beaten Chippenham, Evesham, Banbury and King's Lynn - that's an impressive list of Premier Division teams and underlines just how difficult it will be for us," he said.
The final is Hitchin's first ever league cup final. The previous best run in any league cup was 10 years ago when Andy Melvin's team reached the last four of the Isthmian League Cup.
Salton is keen to bring some silverware back to Hitchin.
"We have made progress this season as a club and the contribution of the fans has been outstanding - it would be great to reward their loyalty with the Errea Cup."
Bromsgrove have had an inconsistent season and are below mid-table in their division.
They have enjoyed better days and had a spell in the Conference in the early-to-mid 1990s.
P Hitchin, who went into a four-goal first-half lead, hung on to beat Yate Town by the odd goal in seven on Saturday.
The Canaries took a seventh minute lead when Glen Lamacraft was pushed in the area and Josh Sozzo netted from the penalty spot.
Two minutes later, the home side extended their lead when Liam Folds volleyed home from inside the penalty area.
In the 35th minute, Stuart Lochhead scored again for Hitchin, sending a free-kick from just outside the penalty area into the top corner of the net.
Yate's response, a shot from Paul Metheringham, was tipped over the bar by Hitchin keeper Richard Wilmot.
But Hitchin were not finished in the first half. In the 41st minute, a long clearance was met by Sozzo and he lobbed Yate goalkeeper Tony Court.
Before the interval, Wilmot pulled off another good save, this time from Jason Wood.
Just after the break, Thomas Hayes went close to adding a fifth for Hitchin but Court saved his effort.
Yate brought themselves back into the game in the 60th minute, a cross by Dave Elsey being turned into the net by Wilmot.
Seven minutes later, Yate scored again, when another cross by Elsey was shot home by Jimmy Cox.
There was another blow for Hitchin in the 78th minute when Yate scored again, another good ball by Elsey was headed into the net from close range by Scott Brice.
In the final minute, Hitchin substitute James Ayres cleared off the line as Yate went in search of an equaliser.
Canaries: Wilmot, Pugh, Ducket, Hammonds, Folds, Denney, Lamacraft, Lochhead, Hayes (Phelan 86), Sozzo, French (Ayres 87).