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Histon hearts broken by Northwich Victoria in the FA Vase

Dan Brown scored Histon's opening goal against Northwich Victoria.
Dan Brown scored Histon's opening goal against Northwich Victoria.

Histon’s dreams of FA Vase success were brought to an end in the last 16 as they were undone by Northwich Victoria's comeback in a 3-1 extra-time defeat.

Dan Brown gave the Stutes the lead in the 64th minute, but Daryll Mason equalised for Northwich in the 71st minute to take the game to extra time.

And four minutes into the extra period, Mason struck again and then Jordan Darr got the third to break Histon hearts.

It was a feat in itself that groundsman Andrew King, aptly nicknamed Snowy, and a group of volunteers were able to get the game on – they were at the ground from 7am to clear off the overnight snow.

But it was not surprising that the pitch was heavy in parts, with the ball getting stuck in players’ feet.

The better chances were enjoyed by Northwich in the opening period, but they did not really test keeper Sam Roach, who dealt comfortably with anything thrown his way.

Northwich strikers Robert Doran and Joel Brownhill were eager to play on the shoulder of the defenders, but the first half-chance of the game fell to the dangerous Mason who got in down the left only for his shot to be deflected wide.

Brownhilll tried to catch out Roach with a 35-yard free kick, but it was spotted and dealt with easily by the Histon keeper.

Danny Gould had a soft header from a Brown cross held by Northwich keeper Daniel Taberner and Mason then broke the Histon offside trap in the 25th minute, only to fire wide from the edge of the area.

And the only other sight of goal came in the 34th minute for Histon, but it was an opportunistic overhead kick by Pat Bexfield that was deflected wide in what was proving to big an even game.

The first sight of goal in the second half fell to Histon in the 53rd minute, with Bexfield’s hooked through ball being latched on to by Brown, but his effort was straight at Taberner.

And the breakthrough came in the 64th minute.

It was a cross between a long ball and a clearance by Chivers but Brown was alert to it and raced clear before superbly digging the ball out of his feet from 20 yards to chip over Taberner, who was caught off his line.

Victoria were back on level terms in the 71st minute though.

Histon struggled to deal with a corner properly and when it was swung back in from the right, Mason rose highest in the middle of the goal to head home.

For the remainder of the game though, there was little to separate the two sides.

It did not get bogged down in the middle of the pitch as such, there was just a lack of clear-cut opportunities created and so extra-time was needed.

The first period was only four minutes old when Northwich took the lead.

Brownhill got in down the right and slid a low ball across the six-yard box for Mason to slam home from close range.

Histon’s hopes of getting back in the game suffered a blow when Matt Green was sent off with a straight red card for a challenge on Northwich’s Jack Fleming.

They were indebited to a superb goal-line block by Max York to deny Dominic Craig after he had gone round Roach in the 103rd minute.

Brownhill then got through on the right, but his shot thundered off the post and clear.

It got worse for the Stutes with an injury to Andy Ballester that meant they were down to nine men for a spell in the second period of extra time.

The chance that Histon had been waiting for arrived in the 115th minute, although it was only a brief sighter at best.

A fizzing cross from Brown reached York at the back post, but he was unable to get any proper control of the fast ball and his first-time effort went wide.

It was not to be for Histon in the closing stages despite throwing everything at it, and Northwich got their third in the final minute.

Darr raced clear and then cooly slotted a shot under the advancing Roach.

Histon will now be looking to concentrate their efforts on securing promotion from the Thurlow Nunn League, Premier Division.

Histon: Roach, McDonald, Ruddy, Swinton, York, Chivers, Gould, Green, Brown, Bexfield, Ballester.

Substitutes: Key (Bexfield, 56), Rolph (McDonald, 68), Weinman (Relizani, 97), Relizani (Gould, 97)/ Not used: Sutton.

Northwich Victoria: Taberner, Camozzi, Fleming, Clarke, Kenny, Barski, Whyte, Cooke, Doran, Brownhill, Mason.

Substitutes: Matthews (Doran, 75), Craig (Whyte, 81), Fitzgerald (Clarke, 110), Darr (Brownhill, 113) Not usd: Scott.

Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis.

Bookings: Histon – York (foul, 27), Swinton (dissent, 76); Northwich – Barski (foul, 42), Whyte (dissent, 76), Clarke (foul, 90+4), Mason (unsporting behaviour, 94).

Red card: Histon – Green (foul, 102).

Attendance: 643.

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