Histon unable to turn dominance into points against Potters Bar
No joy for Stutes
Frustration was the tale of the game for Histon as they were beaten 2-1 by Potters Bar in Evo-Stik League Southern, Division One Central.
In a season where things have not gone right for them, the Stutes can feel hard done by that they got nothing from the match – and they probably deserved the win.
With only two draws so far this season in the league, you could have been forgiven for not believing their poor run given their performance against Potters Bar.
What caught the eye was the way they were patient in their build-up, keeping the ball on the deck and looking for the next pass rather long, aimless hit-and-hopes forward.
Histon have many players that seem comfortable in possession, and yet in defence are not frightened of hitting row Z if required – or in the Stutes’ case, the top branch of a one of the conifers.
Marcus Hall was an addition at the weekend, while for the clash with Potters Bar, James Chivers came in on dual registration from Newmarket and Justin Leavers arrived from St Ives.
It helped give them a solid core as they are quite a young side, technically skilful but small in stature.
Jake Chambers-Shaw and Matty Allan caught the eye for their desire for the ball, while Ross Munro was a presence in the midfield.
But for all their neat and tidy build-up play, it was the final pass that let them down. Too often their crosses were either too high or over hit and without a natural target man it seemed unlikely that they would get much reward from a physically more imposing defence.
It just felt that Histon are trying so hard to turn around their season that they are putting pressure on themselves rather than acting on instinct, although that can be easier said than done.
The biggest blow for Histon though was that they were left chasing the game from so early.
A hopeful long ball from Potters Bar reached Lamar Simpson, who cut inside on to his right foot just as a defender lost his footing and then curled a good shot past Niall Conroy after eight minutes.
From that point on, Histon dominated without really troubling Potters Bar keeper Ravan Constable.
Chambers-Shaw saw an attempted lob float just wide, while Allan hit a good chance the wrong side of the post.
As the game ticked on, Histon maintained their composure and Leavers had a good chance which he shot wide in the 72nd minute.
And it was in the second minute of stoppage time when Potters Bar put the game to bed as the Histon defence got sucked to the ball, and Michael Murray produced a good finish from the edge of the box.
However, the goal the hosts had been craving arrived two minutes later, as Elkanah Sibanda scored an impressive flying header from the edge of the box to lob Constable.
But while that should have been an equaliser, it proved little more than a consolation.
Histon: Conroy, Chivers, Sibanda, Munro, York, Watson, Gould, Hall, Leavers, Chambers-Shaw, Allan.
Substitutes: Ourtilbour, Gwynne. Not used: Unwin, Gardner, Yeomans.
Potters Bar: Constable, Baird, Jones, Grace, McLuskey, Doyle, Bennett, Forde, Murray, Casey, Simpson.
Substitutes: Robinson. Not Used: Gibbs, McArdle.
Referee: Richard Hart.