Diss Town 2 HISTON 2 (7-6 pens)
Isuzu FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round
Saturday 24th September 2022


Stutes Exit the FA Vase in Sudden Death Shootout 

The Stutes went down by the narrowest of margins at Diss Town, bringing to an end the club’s involvement in the FA Vase for the current season.  Histon twice came from behind to finish the game at two goals each, only to miss out in the sudden death stage of the penalty shoot-out after both sides scored all of their initial set of five spot-kicks. 

It was a weakened side that took to the pitch at Brewery Green Lane.  Max York, Andy Ballester, Bubba Camara and Pat Bexfield were all absentees for various reasons, leaving manager Lance Key with limited options and only two players on the bench to choose from. 

From the start, both sides appeared to have trouble coping with the lumpy playing surface and were quick to resort to lifting high balls towards their forward players.  It was a ploy that neither defence showed any sign of not being able to deal with and did little to cause either goalkeeper any concern, or raise the pulse of the 98 spectators in attendance.   

The closest either side came to scoring was a Rhys Thorpe shot from a free kick six yards outside the penalty box which whistled passed the ‘keeper’s right-hand post.  But the deadlock was broken on the half hour mark when a corner was clumsily and needlessly given away by the Histon defence.  Diss Town took full advantage and when the initial header at goal bounced back off the crossbar a Tangerine shirt was on hand to tap the ball into the unguarded net. 

Histon appeared to lift their game slightly and almost produced an equaliser just before the break.  Charlie Tunnell’s whipped cross from the left was met solidly by the head if Luke Lindsay but bounced back off the upright with the goalkeeper a mere spectator. 

Histon introduced David Ramjee and Mar-Lee Fisher from the bench for the second half and slowly but surely gained the upper hand as the half progressed.  Their reward finally came on 69 minutes when Lindsay got the goal his efforts deserved.  A free kick played into the Diss goal area and was headed down for our young striker to fire it low with his left foot past the keeper and into the net. 

However, the state of parity lasted just four minutes as Diss again hit the bar with a header and were first to react to the rebound.  Another tap-in off the woodwork and all the momentum built by the Stutes was gone in a flash. 

For the remaining 20 minutes Histon continued with the aerial attack while Diss Town defended solidly and resolutely, buoyed by the prospect of capturing the scalp of a club of higher status.  But Lady Luck was to finally smile on Histon in the 94th minute.  Ollie Brookes had ventured forward in the hope of picking up some scraps and when the ball fell to him some 15 yards out his goal-bound shot deflected off two Diss Town defenders and nestled into the corner of net.  Two goals each and the Stutes were back in the game with a 50:50 chance of progressing as the full-time whistle blew less than 30 seconds later. 

With extra time being abolished in the FA Vase, the game went straight to penalties and it was the Stutes who were up first.  Five perfectly struck spot-kicks from Ryan Towner, Rhys Thorpe, Evan Key, Charlie Tunnell and Sam Collison were matched by Diss Town, meaning the tie now went into a sudden death shootout.  Luke Lindsay put the pressure on the home side with a well struck penalty but his effort was again matched by a Diss Town player.  Young David Ramjee was to accepted the responsibility of taking penalty number seven and became the first to miss – his powerful right footed shot had the keeper well beaten but struck the under-side of the bar and bounced down just inches the wrong side of the goal-line.  The final Diss Town penalty found the net and the 1994 FA Vase winners were in the hat for the next round.   

By Reg.

Histon: Sam Roach, Sam Collison, Charlie Tunnell, Ryan Towner, Ollie Brookes, Evan Key, Marcus Cole (David Ramjee 57), Luke Crisp, Dan Brown (Mar-Lee Fisher 65), Rhys Thorpe, Luke Lindsay.

Histon yellow cards: Luke Crisp, Evan Key, Charlie Tunnell, David Ramjee.

Histon goal scorers: Luke Lindsay 69, Ollie Brookes 90+4.

Attendance: 98.