Bugbrooke St Michael 1 HISTON 2
Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division South
Saturday 1st October 2022
For the second week running, Ollie Brookes scored in the dying seconds of the game to give his team-mates and the travelling Histon fans beaming smiles on their journey home. The Stutes again had to come from behind after conceding with an hour on the clock, but Rhys Thorpe and Ollie’s late winner gave Histon all three points.
It was a threadbare Histon squad that made the trip with Luke Lindsay and Bubba Camara unavailable and Andy Ballester announcing his retirement from football due to work commitments. Only three substitutes were named, one of which was Mark Critoph. Thankfully, it didn’t become necessary for Mark to put his reputation on the line! David Ramjee filled in a right back alongside the returning from injury Pat Bexfield and Max York.
Impressive, spacious facilities and a pitch that looked every bit as lush and flat as our own were on hand at Bugbrooke. The local crowd was swelled by a goodly number of the Stutes faithful who saw an evenly contested opening to the game. There was an early scare when Pat Bexfield’s attempted header back to Sam Roach landed at the feet of an opposing striker but the shock of receiving such a gift probably contributed to him spurning the chance. It was to be one of very few errors Pat was to make over the remainder of the afternoon.
Histon were looking lively in attack, particularly in wide positions with Dan Brown in particular proving to be a handful for the Bugbrooke defence. A scramble in the goal area and Brownie’s shot from a tight angle had the home ‘keeper at full stretch. The striker also sent in a low cross which was begging to be touched in but nobody was on hand to apply the finishing touch.
At the other end, the hosts had their fair share of opportunities and Sam Roach had to be on his toes to thwart their young guns but the best chance came late in the first half when Brown found himself in space and running onto a ball over the defence but his lob over the keeper went narrowly wide of the target.
The second half started with Roach having to go throw himself to his right to punch away a strike on goal as the game became a little more open than in the first half. The Stutes had Brown and Thorpe both playing up on the shoulder of the last defender and only the off-side flag came to the rescue of the home side on numerous occasions and the game was becoming a stop-start affair with the home players frequently staying down after physical contact.
The game needed a goal and it came from a moment of slack marking in the Histon rear-guard. A cross from the left found a white shirt in too much space and his well-directed header beat Sam Roach low down to his right. But Histon responded well and themselves looked dangerous in attack. Bugbrooke continued to play a high line at the back and it was just a matter of time before they were made to pay for it. Rhys Thorpe chased a ball played into the wide-open space behind the Bugbrooke back line, comfortably beat the home keeper in the race to the ball and lifted it over his head into the empty net.
As the game became a little more fractious both sides appeared to be happy to settle for a draw. However, in the extended amount of time added on for injuries and consultations between the Referee and his assistants, Histon snatched all three points. Bexfield’s deep corner was headed back into the danger area and Captain Ollie Brookes dived in bravely to head low past the hapless keeper. The skipper was buried under a mass of blue Histon shirts, leaving enough time for the hosts to restart the game but nothing more.
The win lifts the Stutes away from the bottom on the table and sets up a tasty encounter with Godmanchester Rovers on Tuesday night when it is hoped the side will have a few more bodies available to them.
As the players trooped off, news came that young David Ramjee, making his full debut for the first team, dislocated his shoulder while making one of several solid tackles earlier in the game. Club Director Lynn Kemp turned ambulance driver and rushed him to Northampton Hospital but later reports are that the shoulder popped back in again and he was home at a reasonable hour.
Histon: Sam Roach, David Ramjee (Sam Collison 90+5), Ollie Brookes, Pat Bexfield, Max York, Evan Key (Marcus Cole 76), Dan Brown, Luke Crisp, Rhys Thorpe, Ryan Towner, Charlie Tunnell.
Histon yellow card: Luke Crisp.
Histon goal scorers: Rhys Thorpe 70, Ollie Brookes 90+8.