Jarid Robson and Ryan Swift strike late to give Cambridge City derby victory over Histon
Two stoppage-time goals secured Cambridge City a 4-2 win over Histon in the Northern Premier League, Midlands Division.
A packed crowd of 773 at Bridge Road witnessed an entertaining and pulsating match in which the Lilywhites took a two-goal first-half lead, only to be pegged back by the Stutes.
But Jarid Robson and Ryan Swift struck in the three extra minutes to give City a deserved win.
It was a relatively tentative opening, with Connor Barnes cutting in off the left wing and firing a shot which was easily held by Histon keeper Sam Roach, while at the other end, Danny Gould did likewise, this time beating two players before drilling a shot narrowly wide.
A good pass by Finley Wilkinson sent Rhys Thorpe clear of the defence but Dan George burst out of his area and did enough to divert the Histon man far enough wide so that the opportunity had gone.
As the game opened up, City established an ascendancy.
Swift got in on the overlap in the 25th minute and drew a save from Roach at the front post, with the ball hitting the post and going wide for a corner.
There was a chance for Histon's Luke Lindsay, but he fired wide inside the area.
A string of corners followed for the hosts, who were City in this instance, and while they were unable to make them tell, the breakthrough finally arrived in the 35th minute.
A deep cross by Matty Miles from the right was palmed onto the head of Mikey Davis, who headed past two retreating players on the line to give City the lead.
Barnes powered through only to blaze over and then Swift cut back inside to hit a curling effort that seemed to be heading for the bottom corner, but Sam Collison cleared off the line.
However, from the resulting corner, Ben Bradley’s delivery was headed in at the front post by Swift and it remained 2-0 at half time.
Histon made a change at the break, switching to 4-3-3, and it made them more of a force in attack.
Thorpe burst into the City area but his shot from an angle was comfortably gathered by George. At the other end, Barnes spurned a good opportunity over the bar from close range.
Barnes raced clean through in the 68th minute, but Roach produced a good full-length save to keep him at bay.
The Histon comeback began in the 76th minute.
Wilkinson did well in the area to get a shot away which George saved, but Luke Lindsay reacted quickest to the rebound to reduce the arrears.
There was a chance for City to establish their two-goal lead in the 80th minute, but Roach kept out Tom Wood’s fierce shot at the front post.
And, three minutes later, it was all square.
Danny Gould stood over a free kick 25-yards out, and the Histon left winger produced a top-class effort to find the top corner, giving George no chance and making it 2-2.
When it was indicated there would be three minutes of additional time, it was difficult to see either side getting a winner.
However, in the second of those minutes, Robson broke away from the centre circle and under pressure from two defenders, kept his cool to finish just inside the area to give City a 3-2 lead.
With the game all but done, Sidney Santos won possession on the right, and after having a first shot blocked, his second effort was cleared off the line, but it fell to Swift to finish for his second of the game to wrap up City’s victory.
City did deserve the three points, and it will be scant consolation for Histon, but they certainly played a big part in entertaining those searching for a football fix of live action during the festive period.
Cambridge City: George, Miles, Wren, Swinton, Gent, Wood, Swift, Bradley, Barnes, Robson, Davies.
Substitutes: Santos (Barnes, 87).
Histon: Roach, Bexfield, Collison, Muyembe, Lewis, Brookes, Lindsay, Camara, Thorpe, Wilkinson, Gould.
Substitutes: Chizari (Collison, 45).
Bookings: City - Robson (foul, 41), Swinton (foul, 77); Histon - Brookes (unsporting behaviour, 41), Chizari (foul, 51).
Referee: Mark Stevens.