Home joy for Histon with win over Petersfield Town
Yeomans and Wright hit the target
It has been a long wait, but when Histon’s first home points of the season arrived with a 2-1 win over Petersfield Town, they were thoroughly deserved.
Histon had played 11 games at the Glass World Stadium this season, and despite going close on numerous occasions, they headed into 2017 still looking for their first point on their home turf, let alone their first win.
The visit of fellow strugglers Petersfield offered the perfect opportunity to correct that unwanted statistic – both teams had nine points at the bottom of the Evo-Stik League Southern, Division One Central table.
And there only ever looked like being one winner.
Former Cambridge United defender Dan Gleeson returned to the club where he was player-coach last season to add a calm head at centre-back, but it was going forward where Histon looked in control.
Ross Munro offered the defence protection and that in turn gave the likes of youthful triumvirate Matty Allan, Jake Chambers-Shaw and Danny Gould the chance to run at the visitors.
Gould was fearless in the challenge and hard-working on the left flank, prowling up and down and really notching up the miles.
Allan’s slender frame hides his ease in possession and his ability to glide through and bounce off challenges, and this helps put a spring in the step of Histon, while Chambers-Shaw also looks tidy on the ball, happy to offer himself for a pass and then move it on with zip to a team-mate.
Petersfield could hardly get out of their own territory in the first half, with Ben Yeomans and James Carman proving a handful to the visitors’ defence in what was a battling contest.
Histon’s dominance in the first half should not be underestimated as they pegged Petersfield inside their own half, and the only missing ingredient was a goal.
In the eighth minute, Allan flicked a cross from Yeomans into the arms of keeper George Hill, and then a long throw was cleverly headed on by Allan, whose effort hit the crossbar and bounced clear.
Max York’s cross then hit Carman and went wide, but the breakthrough finally arrived in the 37th minute.
A free kick into the box saw Yeomans use his strength to create a bit of space, and after getting the ball out of his feet, he fired in at the near post.
It just required more of the same from Histon in the second half, but they dropped quite deep for the opening spell.
Petersfield went long to put the pressure on, but they did not really trouble Histon, who once they regained their composure and moved back to a higher line to put the squeeze on the visitors.
York headed a corner inches wide, and then the vital second goal arrived in the 71st minute.
A well-placed corner from Allan on the right was met by Tommy Wright, who impressed for much of the game, and the right-sided player neatly connected with the ball to steer it in at the near post.
But Histon have had a habit of pressing the self-destruct button this season, and you worried they might do that after Munro conceded a penalty from nothing with a foul on Billy Conor, and Matt Andrews made no mistake from the spot.
It led to a nervous last 10 minutes from Histon, as although Petersfield did not force keeper Sam Roach to make a save all match, there is always hesitancy after such a winless run at home and with a slender lead.
However, Histon held firm for a vital and well-deserved win to give themselves some hope of a producing the great escape.
Histon: Roach, Wright, Watson, Munro, York, Gleeson, Allan, Chambers-Shaw, Yeomans, Carman, Gould.
Subs: Hall (for Carman, 60), Ourtilbour (Chambers-Shaw, 69), Lopes (Yeomans, 75).
Petersfield Town: Hill, Searle, Graham, Green, Needham, Medway, Larbi, Tucker, Andrews, Conor, Cripps.
Subs: Agwuegbo (Cripps, 63), Palfrey (Tucker, 71), Harvey (Needham, 75).
Bookings: Histon – York (foul, 83); Petersfield – Green (foul, 56).
Referee: Sean Kilbourn.