Anstey Nomads 5 HISTON 0
Sports Ground Development UCL League Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 8th October 2022
Anstey Nomads are probably the best team Histon will come up against this season. On this showing, they have a style and level of technique which very few Step 5 teams can hope to match. It is perhaps fair to say that they would probably out-shine the majority of sides we played against in the NPL last season if given the chance. Even with Lance fielding a slightly under-strength starting eleven, the gulf between the two sides was clear to see and the size of the defeat could have been worse. The one comfort is that the game was of little consequence to us as progression in the UCL Knock-out Cup brings almost no reward and ranks very low in the club’s priorities for the season.
The tight Callingtons Community Complex ground gives little indication of the size of the project in place in this suburb of the city of Leicester but it is one which is sure to provide successful for many years to come. The Nomads currently field 51 sides catering for women’s football, youths, girls, boys, Futsal and walking football, all playing within their local area. There is little doubt that they are one of the brightest jewels in the United Counties League’s crown.
Hopes prior to the game that we may be the side to end Anstey’s unbeaten run, currently standing at 15 games, were lifted by the fact that they have a much bigger match to look forward to next weekend when they host National League side Chesterfield in the FA Cup 1st Round Proper (a game which can be viewed live on the BBC next Saturday at 12.30). But those hopes were dashed with just 8 minutes on the clock when Nomad’s Harry Wakefield scored the first of his three goals on the day. The goal had element of good fortune to it as Ollie Brookes slipped on the lush turf as he moved in to close the striker down. The lean and athletic looking striker used the resulting time and space to give Sam Roach no chance of saving the situation.
A second came on 20 minutes when the ball was swept out to the right and a low cross was turned in unchallenged.
Now that they had a comfortable lead, the home side looked to dominate possession of the ball, passing with confidence, accuracy and good purpose. For Histon, too many passes were going astray and the ball was being given away too easily, although credit should be given to the home side for their tenacity when out of possession. The Stutes struggled to get into dangerous areas until Rhys Thorpe wriggled free from two defenders some 40 yards out and charged towards goal, only for his shot to go narrowly wide.
Goal number three came when a Histon player was robbed in his own half. Three passes later and the ball was in the net, although the goal-scorer injured himself in the process and limped off, preying that the injury will not keep him out of next week’s televised game.
Goal number four came in first half injury time and for many fans rendered the second half pointless. However, the Stutes introduced Bubba Camara and Dan Brown from the bench to give the side a more attacking edge in the second 45 minutes. The home side may have taken their foot off the gas slightly but the Stutes were now enjoying more of the ball. Despite the improvement in performance, it still took until the 72nd minutes for Histon to register a shot on target. Charlie Tunnell took a pass from Dan Brown and fired in a low shot which was well saved by Nomads keeper Conrad Logan, who was a Scottish Cup winner in 2016 when Hibernian defeated Rangers 3-2 at Hampden Park.
The goalscoring was completed in the 83rd minute with Harry Wakefield completing his hattrick. With 2 minutes left on the clock Histon won their first corner of the game.
The score-line was a fair reflection on a game played in good spirit, albeit with a faint whiff of pre-season friendly about it. For Histon, it was an opportunity for Lance to give a debut to midfielder Harry Meats, who had previously appeared for Matt Payne’s Reserves side, and to Andrew Henderson at right back. Both debutants played the full 90 minutes as Lance and Mark Critoph look to add to the squad following Evan Key’s decision to join Andy Ballester in retirement from football.
The Stutes go again next Saturday at Rugby Town when league point will be up for grabs in another tough match.
Histon: Sam Roach, Andrew Henderson, Pat Bexfield, Luke Crisp (Dan Brown 46), Sam Collison (Bubba Camara 46), Olie Brookes, Luke Lindsay, Ryan Towner, Rhys Thorpe (Marcus Cole 71), Harry Meats, Charlie Tunnell.
Histon sub not used: Chris Gough.
Histon yellow card: Bubba Camara.