By Colin Munford
A POOR second half showing led to a disappointing FA Cup exit at the hands of high flying Southern League side Hitchin Town.
But the Millers got off to a perfect start with a goal inside the opening minute. Frank Curley’s header back across goal saw debutant Kurt Smith gratefully tap it in from close range.
The visitors impressive start continued and David Knight brought a good save out of home keeper Martin Bennett with a shot from just inside the box.
New keeper Jack Giddens was forced into his first real save in the Millers goal as he superbly tipped James Arlick’s shot wide of the post.
Aveley were continually hitting the home side on the counter attack and one almost paid off as Knight found Smith but Bennett was equal to the effort.
Hitchin went close to pulling level just before the break as Richard Howells ball in found former Miller Tom Pepper unmarked at the back post but his shot struck the bar.
But after the interval Hitchin were the only team in it and they eventually found an equaliser after 58 minutes when Pepper’s long floating ball went into the box and was met my the head off Howell to thunder past keeper Jack Giddens at the back post.
And no sooner had one gone in a second soon followed as only 2 minutes later the home side took a fortunate lead as Pepper’s shot was going well wide before taking a Zak Burke managed to divert the ball past the wrong footed Giddens.
But there was an immediate chance for a response as Charlie Read done well to get to the by-line but his cross was just too fast for the onrushing Wayne Semanshia and Abs Thompson.
Substitute Marc Gorbell then had a header blocked on the line by Tony Fontenelle.
Boss Alan Kimble tried to freshen up his attack with substitutions but to no avail as the closest the Millers look to forcing a replay was through David Knight ‘s set piece but that fell just the wrong side of the bar and now Aveley have to concentrate on improving there league form and position.
Aveley: Jack Giddens, Wayne Semanshia, Andy Howell, Sean Francis (Marc Gorbell 65), Billy Crowther, Frank Curley, Abs Thompson (Liam Coleman 69), Danny Slatter, Kurt Smith, David Knight, Charlie Read (Piers Wixon 76).
Subs:Scott Pethers, Tony Russell, Darren Quinton, Matt Bennett.