Cheshunt FC clinched the Hertfordshire FA Charity Cup at Vauxhall Road this week after hard fought 1-0 victory over Hitchin Town FC.
A goal at the end of the first half from Jason Hallett was enough for Cheshunt to clinch the win. A win made more memorable considering that Hallett would see red in the second half to leave the Ambers’ playing with 10 men for the last 30 minutes!
Cheshunt got off to good start against the Southern League opposition though and threatened early as Jason Rice showed great pace to beat his man and flash shot wide across goal.
Hitchin Town FC soon settled and in the 15th minute a superb cross field pass from Will Wright found Matt Lench on the left hand side, who cut in before seeing his curling effort tipped wide of the post by Cheshunt keeper, James May,
The Ambers’ weren’t to be put off though, and continued their good start to the game, coming close to taking the lead twice in the following 10 minutes.
Firstly, Liam Hope lobbed the ball inches wide of the goal after finding Jason Rice's flick before Rice could only fire over the bar in the 25th minute after beating the offside trap to go 1v1 with Hitchin keeper, Michael Johnson.
In an evenly matched final, the Canaries then had their own spell of pressure and created a few chances. Matt Lench headed inches wide at the back post from Skipper Brett Donnelly’s lofted delivery, before Mason Spence saw his flicked effort saved after going 1-on-1 with keeper, May.
It was Cheshunt that would find the breakthrough though…Jason Hallett controlling Tom Bruno's raking diagonal pass brilliantly before getting across his marker and firing past Johnson in the Hitchin goal to put his side 1-0 up.
Hitchin Town FC nearly levelled just before the interval but Brett Donnelly's smart near post header clipped the wrong side ensuring that the Ambers’ went into the break with the lead!
Player of the Match - Cheshunt FC Centre Half & Skipper, Dave Kendall.
Johnny McNamara threatened to equalise for Hitchin as they enjoyed a good opening to the second half, however the Canaries winger could only shoot wide from Callum Donnelly’s threaded pass before Ben Walster fizzed a left footed drive just wide of the bottom corner.
The game then changed in the 60th minute as goal-scorer Jason Hallett was sent off by the referee following an altercation with Canaries midfielder, Matt Lench; leaving Cheshunt to defend their advantage with 10 men for the last half hour of the game!
And they defended excellently...
Hitchin Town FC pressed for a way back into the game in the next 30 minutes but struggled to break down a resolute & disciplined Cheshunt FC side until the 84th minute when Johnny McNamara agonizingly headed Lench’s cross over the bar from point-blank rage.
It was the Ryman Isthmian League team that would hold out for a memorable victory at Vauxhall Road though and claim the 2017 Hertfordshire FC Charity Cup.
James May, George Laytaaya, Joe Stevens, Luke Marshall, David Kendall, Jason Rice, Joe Kizzi, Tom Bruno, Jason Hallett, Liam Hope, Joe Clemo, Jack Lampe, James Thomas, Jamie Smyth, Tom Fletcher, Jordan Spearman, Luke Illesely
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