There will be no heroic FA Cup adventure for Daventry this season as they were defeated 2-1 in the first qualifying round by Hitchin Town of the Southern League Premier Division.
Tommy Berwick scored an excellent goal to give Daventry brief hopes of a shock victory, but it wasn’ to be.
Daventry were in a buoyant mood after beating local rivals Rugby Town in midweek, and despite including Ross Oulton in the starting line-up on his return from his brief spell at Kettering Town, Daventry couldn’t find an equalising goal in the second half.
Daventry Town Manager Darran Foster went for a 4-4-2 formation spearheaded by Tommy Berwick and Kieron Fitzgerald, but Daventry failed to hit the target often enough to trouble the Canaries keeper Michael Johnson.
Foster felt his team put in a good performance against higher level opposition, but failed to take their chances.
“It’s very disappointing to go out of the FA Cup at such an early stage, but Hitchin were a very good, organised outfit that made the game very difficult for us,” said the Town boss.
“It was always going to be a tough task as Hitchin have been flying in the Premier Division this season. I thought it was a cracking cup tie against a very good team.
“I felt we were always in the game and had several chances to score more goals, but some incorrect decisions in front of goal cost us at least a replay.
“The game was pretty balanced at the time of their second goal and to concede such a poor goal was disappointing and there is no excuse for our lack of organisation.
“In the second half I thought we did very well. Our performances in the past two matches have become a lot more consistent, which is very encouraging.
“It was frustrating having two penalty appeals go against us, a Hitchin defender making a super save to stop one of our shots going in!”
Hitchin went ahead early through Charlie Smith.
Daventry got back on level terms with a volley from striker Berwick following a pinpoint Dior Angus cross.
There was a suspicion of off side for the Canaries’ second goal from Jonny McNamara, but it stood.
Hitchin were reduced to 10 men for the last 20 minutes after striker Brett Donnelly was sent off for a second yellow, and Daventry created much better openings against the 10 men, but couldn’t find that precious equaliser.
Hitchin Town 2 Daventry Town 1
Saturday, September 13, 2014
FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round, Top Field, Hitchin Town, Herts
Daventry: Ben Heath, Ashley Deeney, Josh Blake (Joe Power 77mins), Nathan Haines, Ollie Wilkinson (Capt), Ross Oulton, Dior Angus, Josh O`Grady (Barry Deacon 65mins), Ryan Howell, Tommy Berwick, Kieran Fitzgerald (Luke Keen 63mins). Subs: not used – Mitchell Piggon, Neil Champelovier, Jamie Gould
Cards: Yellow: Joe Power (91mins), Ross Oulton (96mins)
Scorer: Tommy Berwick (25mins)
MOM: Nathan Haines