Tuesday 31st March 2009 - Histon FC 3 - 0 Mansfield Town - BSP
Slick Histon Dispose of Mansfield
Histon 3-0 Mansfield
A fluid and confident Histon ruthlessly disposed of Mansfield and maintained their strong promotion bid, with Birthday Boy Nathaniel Knight-Percival taking a brace to help Histon on their way.
A mature and professional performance from the Stutes enabled them to fire a modest three past a team, who have now lost three on the bounce away from home. Steve Fallon’s Red and Black charges really should have won by a greater margin, but going into the heavyweight clash against Oxford on Saturday the three points, free-flowing football and new found confidence will be a just reward to go with into the game.
Before kick-off, Fallon boosted his selection options by signing young Ipswich midfielder Matt Daniels, and he watched from the stands as his new team mates strolled into a 2 goal lead before halftime.
The Stutes had a chance within the first 10 minutes however, Midson rising highest to Simpson’s lofted hook in the box to head just over.
Alan Marriott’s handling was then tested, Murray pressurising him when the Stags keeper went up to collect a ball in. He spilled, and after Murray had set the ball back to Barker, his delivery was hacked away.
Marriot though, was still looking decidedly shaky, and Murray tested his handling once again on the 18 minute mark. His turn and shot was spilled to roll across the six yard box, but luckily for the visitors Alan O’Hare was on hand to clear the lines.
Now in complete domination of the game Histon weren’t allowing Mansfield any time on the ball, and after Percival and Gwillim had gone close, Murray forced Jonathon D’Laryea into a great block inside the six yard box.
This however was the closest Histon came for a while, and just 5 minutes before halftime the small but pacy Nathan Arnold breached the Stute Stronghold, and after bearing in on goal, he saw his effort well saved by Naisbitt.
Undeterred by this, Histon took the lead four minutes before halftime, a deserved lead, and an important one too. Murray left Alan O’Hare in his wake as he ran on through the heart of the Mansfield defence to slot home beyond Marriott.
In-between this and Histon’s second, Robert Duffy went close by putting his half volley wide of the mark. But Histon put the game even further away from the visitors when Simpson crossed for Nathaniel who crowned his 22nd Birthday with a great glancing header to end a very satisfying first half.
The second was much more evenly matched, and whatever Stag’s boss David Holdsworth said at halftime, it worked. On 63 minutes they had their first chance, Arnold only being denied a shot at goal in a good position by a fantastic Patrick Ada challenge.
Histon still looked the more potent, and on 67 minutes Gareth Gwillim pulled back for Josh Simpson to smash one at goal, but Janthon D'Laryea was on hand again to put in a vital block.
The attack wasn't over though, and as Mansfield pushed their defensive line up, Nathaniel Knight-Percival was played through, but his stinging effort was well kept out by Marriott who had to be alert in goal.
From the resulting corner, Langston was denied by a great defensive header on the line from Louis Briscoe who had only been on the field 10 minutes. He was in the right place at the right time on the line to clear Langston's towering header which looked destined for the net, with Marriott caught in no-man’s land. The clearance however only fell to Knight-Percival in the box, but the ball couldn't come down quick enough and he screwed his effort over the bar.
Now peppering Mansfield's goal, it was only a matter of time before the Stutes increased the tally to three for the night, and they were playing some decent football in the process.
In complete domination, Langston went close twice before Mat Mitchel King had his flicked on effort from a good ball in cleared off the line once again, this time by O'Hare.
The third finally came four minutes from time when Midson picked up the pieces from a corner, and whipped in for Knight-Percival to head in off the underside of the bar and cap off a decent night for himself in front of goal.
And despite Mansfield having a penalty appeal fall on deaf ears, and Ryan Williams shooting over from inside the box, Histon held out for their third win in four, praised by Steve Fallon as one of the best performances of the season.