Sure-shot Ben Yeomans looking to fire Histon's safety bid
Striker takes rise through the leagues in his stride
It was not too long ago that Ben Yeomans was at tier 11 in the Kershaw League, Premier Division but now he is having an impact three steps higher, in the Evo-Stik League Southern, Division One Central.
And that impact is helping give Histon hope of retaining their position in the division.
It had looked a difficult task for the club at the turn of the year as they sat marooned in the relegation places with Petersfield, but Yeomans’s goal against their rivals not only helped fire them to a 2-1 win on January 8, it kick-started a run of five matches unbeaten.
“It was massive, absolutely massive,” said the 24-year-old striker. “We knew going into the game it was a six-pointer and getting the result over at their place meant that we could build on it and get a result (at home).”
The run has given them belief they can get out of trouble, with a trip to Aylesbury United next.
And the goal for Yeomans was one of 11 so far this season, from 17 starts and five substitute appearances.
“I’m very much a confidence player,” he said. “The first couple of games I’d like to think I worked hard but didn’t find the net.
“Once I found the net – I think it was away at Rushden & Diamonds in Lance Key’s first game with us – I’d like to think they’ve been flying in since then.
“I’ve had a couple of suspensions and things like that, one which I felt hard done by and one which was silly from myself. But now I’m on the pitch and playing regularly I feel like I’m doing well.”
Yeomans was brought to Histon by previous manager Steve Fallon, and it gave him the opportunity to link up with his previous boss at Godmanchester, Matt Clements, who was then assistant manager at the Stutes.
“He said to me that the style of football was very similar, the quality of players was very similar, the only real difference was the physicality of it and I completely agree with him,” said Yeomans.
“I’d like to think I’m not out of my depth here. I’m always trying to better myself. I could always get fitter, which is probably what I need to work on coming towards the back end of the season, but I’m really enjoying my football at the moment.
“It’s the highest I’ve ever played. Four or five years ago I was just playing in the Kershaw, and enjoying my football. I got my chance at Godmanchester to go and play semi-professional on the next step of the ladder. It’s just been onwards from there.”
Godmanchester was Yeomans’ first step into the Eastern Counties League, and blocking his path to the first team were Tom Meechan, who went on to sign for League Two side Newport County, and James Hall, who has since played for Cambridge City and St Neots Town.
But he left Rovers in January 2016 to move to Mildenhall.
“I enjoyed it there (at Godmanchester) and learned a lot but I moved over to Mildenhall where I started playing games,” he said.
“I enjoyed my time there but once I got my chance to play higher I’d be silly not to while I’m young.”
And just as it has taken Yeomans time to adjust, the same can be said of Histon.
It seemed like they had left themselves bordering on an impossible challenge to stay up, but there is a buoyant mood at the club after their recent run of form.
“There have been starts and stops throughout the season,” he said. “Every time we pick up a win, we try to build up a bit of momentum, whether it’s in the cup or the league.
“But now with the group of players we’ve got and the staff we’ve got, we really think we can do a job in this league and stay in it.
“At the moment we feel like we’ve got a real fluidity in the team and a real buzz around the changing room, and we’d like to keep it that way.”