Histon 1 Seasiders 1

Thurlow Nunn League

Premier Division

Saturday 20th January 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our first road trip to Histon for nearly 20 years was always going to be a tough one, with the home side beginning to show the signs that they have adjusted to life back at step 5 with a run of games that had given them 30 points from a possible 36, including a win over Coggeshall and making their Glasswell stadium a fortress.

Once again the the Seasiders Massif turned out in force to support the side, pushing the home side’s gate receipts up nicely, and again their vocal support proved to be a big influence on the Seasiders.

There was a doubt about the game going ahead as the rain lashed down, but referee Ashley Last gave the thumbs up and the sides set about their pre-match preparations as the rain continued to fall. I don’t think either set of players minded too much, but I’m betting there was a pretty unhappy groundsman somewhere, who knew what he was going to face once the game had finished!

With 15 games to go, the Seasiders management & players knew there were still plenty of points to play for and the importance of not slipping up, and perhaps this was just the kind of game the side needed. Histon were on a roll, playing well, scoring freely and having beaten Coggeshall the last time they played on home soil.

In the end, both sides deservedly earned a point from what was an entertaining and competitive game on a very heavy pitch. The Seasiders should perhaps have turned round at half time with their noses in front, having hit the post and gone close with a shot on the turn from Miles, but at the end were grateful to keeper Danny Crump for an injury time save to earn a draw after playing the final half hour with ten players.  

Joe Francis, having given the Seasiders the lead with an excellent free kick six minutes into the second half, was dismissed following a second caution in the sixty fifth minute. Within four minutes the home side were level, thanks to a headed goal from Ed Rolph and the Seasiders then had to dig deep to see the game through to the final whistle.

Neither keeper was seriously troubled in the first half despite both sides showing plenty of attacking intent. Miles Powell, with his strike against the Histon posts and his shot on the turn that was narrowly wide, was countered by efforts from Shaun Jenkins, Matt Hayden and Evan Key, all going close for the home side. Scott Chaplin and Rhys Barber both saw efforts blocked by the home defence before Joe Francis fired just over the home bar to bring the first half to a close.

The opening goal came when Rob Ruddy received a caution for a foul on Felixstowe's Kye Ruel 25 yards from goal, and was further punished when Francis placed the resulting free kick into the top left hand corner of the Histon goal. Powell went close to doubling the lead moments later, striking the Histon bar from Ruels's pass before a flurry of cautions saw Francis receive his second followed by red.

Histon introduced Joe Sutton from the bench making an immediate impression with a precision free kick into the Seasiders’ area that was firmly headed home by Ed Rolph to bring the sides level. A low drive from Weinman was well saved by Crump as Histon sensed victory and pushed forward, with Tommy Wright missing a great opportunity from twelve yards. In response, Callum Bennett tested Sam Roach in the home goal and saw a corner kick cleared off the line before Danny Crump saved from Evan Key to confirm a point for the league leaders as the final whistle blew.

A tight game where each side had good spells of possession, and both defences had to be at their best to combat both the conditions and the opposition. A point on the road against the side lying 5th in the table and on a long unbeaten run has to be taken as a plus. The Stute’s will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season, and the four points gained against them could be vitally important when the final tally comes.

       

After the game, joint manager Kevin O’Donnell was delighted with the point saying, “The boys worked really hard and matched Histon physically. I thought we we had control of the game in the first half and were unlucky not to score. In the second half we scored early but going down to ten men changed the game, we kept battling well but tired legs began to show as the game went on. Overall, very happy with a point against a good side, which may be an important one come the end of the season.”