Histon gear up for biggest game in a decade as they face Northwich Victoria in the FA Vase
Lance Key has billed Histon’s FA Vase, fifth round tie against Northwich Victoria this Saturday (February 2) as their biggest game in a decade.
The Stutes have never reached this stage of the competition before, and face an opponent that has also fallen on hard times in recent years.
Back in 2008, Histon and Northwich Victoria were both playing in the Conference, but now they are in the Thurlow Nunn League, Premier Division and Hallmark Security North West Counties Football League, Premier Division respectively.
And Key believes the fixture represents the most important game for Histon since they beat Leeds in the second round of the FA Cup in 2008.
“It’s right up there and probably the biggest game we’ve had since the Leeds United game,” he said.
“If you look at it on paper, they’ve had relegations in the past 10 years and had some big games to survive relegation but I would say it’s probably the biggest game since that Leeds game.
“Ten years ago, both these clubs were in the Conference National playing against each other and now look where both clubs are, through financial difficulties or irregularities that have happened or relegations.
“Both clubs are here for a reason, so for both clubs it’s huge.
“Northwich have a reputation of being a good cup club and Histon also do so you can’t write the script really.
“And, lo and behold, obviously, I’ve played for both teams because I played for Northwich when I finished full-time football so the link between the two clubs I have is huge.
“I follow Northwich results every week bizarrely, because I used to play for them, but come Saturday that will go out of the window.
“As a game I think it would rank very big for both clubs.”
Key is hoping that a bumper crowd will make their way to the Glass World Stadium, and is hoping that they may pick up some floating supporters of other teams who may be away or without a game.
“We’ve heard people say they’re going to come to the game that wouldn’t normally because of the scale of the match,” he said.
“Cambridge United are away so some of those fans that would go to home games may come to ours, hopefully, and cheer us on as a local side.
“We have made history by getting to the last 16, we’ve never done that before, so to go to the last eight would be another step in the right direction to create more history for the squad.
“Yes, we lost on Saturday but you probably couldn’t get a better game to bounce back hopefully from.”
The defeat was a 2-1 reversal at Woodbridge Town, and ended a long unbeaten run stretching back to September.
Histon had gone ahead through an own goal, but in a match which also saw a floodlight failure, Woodbridge scored two second-half goals to earn victory.
“Woodbridge are a very good side and the previous week when we played them we dominated the game for 75 per cent of it and won the game deservedly so 2-1, and this weekend was roles reversed,” said Key.
“They dominated the game for 75 per cent of it, and deserved to win it, no doubt.
“I have no qualms about the result because the way Woodbridge try to play is in the right way, passing out from the back.”