Max York salutes team spirit of Thurlow Nunn League, Premier Division title winners Histon
Max York believes the camaraderie within the Histon squad has been a crucial factor in taking them to the Thurlow Nunn League, Premier Division title.
They clinched the crown, and promotion, last Tuesday with a 3-0 win at Wroxham, with the damage done inside the first 16 minutes.
It meant they had wrapped up the title with five games to spare, so it is perhaps easy to understand why there was an element of After the Lord Mayor’s Show with a 2-0 loss to Brantham Athletic, only their third league defeat of the campaign.
“It’s been a long season where for the most part of it we have led the way, apart from a few weeks over Christmas where we had games abandoned or called off,” said captain York.
“We’ve always been the top dog in the top spot so to finally push ourselves over the line it has really sunk in.
“It’s probably the best way to have achieved what we’ve done – with five or six late winners, having to battle it out in abandoned games, having to reschedule fixtures, having to go through the FA Vase, having not a bad FA Cup run, getting to the final of the Cambs Invitation Cup.
“We’ve played plenty of games and the way we’ve done it definitely feels a little bit more special knowing we’ve won in the last minute of games on five or six occasions.
“To finally get over the line after doing it so many times – after going away to Clacton, Gorleston, Kirkley all on Tuesday nights all over the course of a month – feels a bit more special.”
In a title-winning campaign, there are often points which help shape the course of a season and York feels there were a couple of games which were key moments.
“To pinpoint two games over the course of a few weeks were either Thetford away when we scored a penalty in the last minute to win the game to go up to nine points clear.
“And then the second game would have been the Clacton game where we did the same thing, with a winner in the last minute to go 11 or 12 clear and then we just maintained those numbers,” he said.
The enduring feature has been the unity of the squad though.
It has felt like the Histon of old, and so perhaps it is no surprise that they have earned their first promotion in 12 years and first Eastern Counties title since 2000.
“The team camaraderie plays a massive role, how we played our style of football is a secondary role and on top of that it’s the combination of the two – knowing that we can fight until the 95th minute, play the way we want to play and know it works,” said York.
“We’re good mates off the pitch, and the combination of those things is a nice equation that has brought us the success we’ve had.”
Despite being a centre-back, York is also Histon’s leading scorer with 26 goals.
He added: “To get into double figures as a defender is always something that I’ve prided myself on, to at least try to fulfil a few times.
“I’ve scored 12 and a couple of nines, so I’ve always scored a few goals but to have a season like this and get to 26, it’s something I never thought I would do.”
The Stutes will be presented with the championship trophy at home to Hadeigh United this Saturday
Histon are in action tonight (Wednesday) in the Cambs Invitation Cup final at the Abbey Stadium against Ely City, kick off 7.30pm.