GNG Oadby Town 0 HISTON 4
Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division South
Saturday 4th March 2023


Histon carried on where they left off against GNG Oadby Town on Saturday by inflicting a second heavy defeat in two weeks on the Leicestershire-based outfit. Once again, the result was just reward for a Histon side that has now won 9 of its last 11 games and not dropped a point on the road since October.

In contrast to the rich vein of form the Stutes are now enjoying, GNG Oadby went into the game at their new Riverside ground having lost their last five without scoring, including a 5-0 humbling at Bridge Road but any thoughts that the home side would not be up for the fight were unfounded.

The Stutes were happy to welcome Charlie Tunnell back into the starting lineup following a bout of tonsillitis. His inclusion in place of Marcus Cole was the only change from the team that won at March Town United the previous week. Once again, the bench was a youthful one consisting of Ryan Henry, Dexter Todd and Ben Hurrion.

Right from the first whistle Histon were looking to go forward and were soon putting the home defence under heavy pressure. Oadby’s vulnerability from set pieces had not been forgotten from two weeks previously and it was to be their downfall once again after just 7 minutes. A long Max York throw-in was not properly dealt with and the keeper was called on to make an excellent reflex save. However, the first to react to the rebound in a crowded six yard box was Dan Brown who fired the loose ball into the net.

GNG Oadby were quick to respond to the early setback and were soon looking to get their dangerous front men into the game. Sam Roach was left exposed to a one-on-one contest with a marauding striker and was grateful that his shot was aimed straight at him rather than either side, which would surely had resulted in an equaliser. More than once, Lance Key had to be at his most vocal from the bench to remind the Histon back three of the importance of marking the Oadby forwards, who had shown enough technical ability to pose a serious threat.

As half time approached, Dan Brown came close to doubling the lead when his fierce shot was pushed away by the keeper. Brown was again alert enough to lunge for the loose ball but his boot caught the keeper’s head as he scrambled on the ground to recover the ball. Thankfully, enough Oadby players were on had to prevent the irate keeper from taking the law into his own hands and play was allowed to continue without and intervention by the match officials.

But Brown didn’t have to wait too long to add his second goal of the half and it was one which would not have looked out of place at the nearby King Power Stadium. Sam Collison had advanced in his right wing-back position and delivered a precision cross to Connor Barnes at the far. The young striker’s deft header back into the middle was met by Brown who swept the ball past the keeper to round off a slick move. It was his second poacher’s goal of the game and it came just before the whistle for half time, giving the Stutes a comfortable margin with which to start the second half.

An absentee for the second 45 minutes was Luke Crisp who suffered a recurrence of the injury that had until recently kept him on the sidelines. Ryan Henry was his replacement, prompting a reorganisation in the Histon defence.

Any concerns that the Stutes might struggle to find their rhythm again after the break were soon put to bed when a third goal of the afternoon came in the 50th minute. Like Collison on the right, Charlie Tunnell had been a willing runner down the left side, sending several teasing crosses into the danger area. His latest looked to be one which the keeper would come off his line and deal with in routine fashion, so much so that players on both sides turned away in the expectation that nothing of note was about to happen. However, they were all proved wrong as the keeper fumbled the ball, diverting it back towards his own goal. Only the alert Bubba Camara was quick enough to react to the situation. The Stutes midfielder slid in to poke the ball over the goal line before the keeper could recover his error and recorded his first ever goal for the club.

The game took an unnecessary turn midway through the second half when an ordinary-looking incident ended with a GNG Oadby Town player getting involved with the Histon bench and receiving a second yellow card after the home bench had subbed him off.

Histon went forward looking to duplicate the scoreline at Bridge Road and Ryan Towner had several efforts on goal, the closest of which flashed past the left up-right and Max York thumped a header against the crossbar.

Dexter Todd replaced Dan Brown after the striker ran out of gas, leaving Connor Barnes as the main focal point of the Histon attack. Barnes’ work rate and contribution to the game was such that he deserved a goal and it looked to be coming his way in the 85th minute when Henry’s right wing cross found him in space in front of goal. With the goal at his mercy, the ball appeared to get stuck under Barnes’ feet but he and Ryan Towner still managed to jointly bundle the ball over the line, the last touch being credited to Towner.

There was still time left for one final piece of action when an Oadby Town breakaway was ended by Charlie Tunnell up-ending his man in the box. But if proof was needed that this just wasn’t going to be their day the resulting penalty kick bounced off the underside of the bar and away to safety. It meant that Histon were now paying out yet another clean sheet bonus after conceding just one goal in seven games.

A fifth goal almost came in the 97th minute when Connor Barnes worked himself into a shooting position but he fired the ball just over.

The game ended in a comfortable 4-0 win for the Stutes and was summed up after the game by double goal-scorer Dan Brown, who said that this kind of performance is now being regarded in the dressing room as the norm and sets the standard that the team wants to maintain until the end of the season. Should they do so, the four teams above us in the table will need to take note.

By Reg.

Histon: Sam Roach, Sam Collison, Luke Crisp (Ryan Henry 49), Ryan Towner, Max York, Ollie Brookes, Dan Brown (Dexter Todd 71), Harry Meats, Connor Barnes, Bubba Camara (Ben Hurrion 79), Charlie Tunnell.

Histon subs not used: None.

Histon yellow cards: None.

Histon Goal Scorers: Dan Brown 8 & 45, Bubba Camara 51, Ryan Towner 85.

Attendance: tbc.