Tuesday 28th October 2008 - Histon FC 5 - 2 Durham City - FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round Replay
Super Stutes Go Marching On
The Stutes ensured a First Round tie against SwindonTown with an, in the end, convincing 5-2 victory against the impressive Northern Premier League side Durham. But the whole 90 minutes was not plain sailing for the Stutes, and in periods they were put under the cosh by a fluid Durham side marshalled by Lee Collings, who was justifiably disappointed with the result on Tuesday. Histon started the better though with Lanre Oyebanjo testing Craig Turns in goal for City early on from distance, and on a slippery surface keepers were always going to struggle and predictably Turns spilled, but no one was on hand to knock in the re-bound. But after only 5 minutes played, Histon got their first goal; Wright delivered a high cross which was met by Midson who planted a looping header back across the keeper, giving Histon the early advantage. And it was nearly doubled minutes later as Lanre again was testing the shaky Turns in goal with a long shot, and again the keeper fumbled this time with Midson following up, only to see his poke go narrowly wide. Histon were applying early pressure but failed to make anything of it, with Danny Wright and Jamie Barker going close on a number of occasions. On the half hour mark, Josh Simpson lashed a 30 yard shot that looked like it was going to find its way into the top corner, but went narrowly over. Histon were rarely being tested by the Durham side and continued to press, and went close again 5 minutes before the break when a brilliant run from Midson saw him slide the ball past Turns, only for the post to save Durham after Midson had ran from midway through the City half. Durham would have been happy to go into the break 1-0 down as Histon dominated the first half on a heavily saturated Glass World surface.
But whatever City manager Lee Collings said to the visitors at halftime, it certainly worked as the Citizens gained a foothold in the tie and levelled the deficit through Adam Johnston 3 minutes after the restart. Histon failed to clear a looping ball and Erkan Okay's weak defensive header fell to Johnston who rattled in the equaliser from 7 yards into the bottom corner. It heralded a tough response by Histon, and despite another chance going begging for the visitors Wright made sure parity was short lived after he was allowed to bring down the ball in the box to smash home his sixth of the season and Histon's second of the night. He doubled the lead shortly after; Midson was again probing down both flanks and his telling ball on 59 found Danny Wright who, after the second attempt, found the net after Turns spilled his original shot. The two goal deficit didn't deter the driven Durham side though and they continued to search for goals, and if they had luck on their side they could have pulled it back to 3-2 on 63. Tony English fired in a low long range shot that skidded along the greasy surface which was not taken by Naisbitt and his spill was nearly dispatched by Gavin Cogdon, only for the shot to go narrowly wide. But the game was put beyond doubt on 67 when Josh Simpson celebrated his call-up to the England C squad by coolly slotting home past the despairing Turns into the top corner after the ball dropped to him 8 yards out. Durham, still determined to reduce the margin, pulled another goal back on 70, with the superb Gavin Cogdon turning on the edge and releasing a rasping drive into the bottom corner leaving Danny Naisbitt with no chance. With the game hotting up into a real goal-fest Danny delivered a pin-point cross to Nathaniel Knight Percival who's header went narrowly wide. Danny Wright then seemed to have scored a perfectly legitimate goal on 75, and the referee looked to have given the goal, but bizarrely went back on his decision and awarded a throw in that he missed earlier on in the play. From the resulting throw in, Durham again went close with the tenacious Cogdon firing a seemingly optimistic effort from easily 40 yards inches wide. A real end to end game was being played out, and after Neil blasted over from 30 yards, 9 minutes from the end Calvin Smith released a half volley that went narrowly over. But the highlight of the game that was worth the admission price alone was when Midson raced clear of the weary Durham defence to lift a spectacular lob over Turnsin the last minute to top off a Man of the Match display, and was awarded that accolade by myself after the game. A money spinning tie with Coca Cola League One side SwindonTown awaits the Stutes in the next round and Fallon told the Cambridge Evening News that he is relishing the opportunity to pit his wits against Maurice Malpas, and that he's looking forward to some “cup fever”. Who could deny him some cup fever after Tuesday's result?