Match Report: Ipswich Wanderers 3 HISTON 0
Emirates FA Cup, Extra Preliminary Round
Tuesday 8th August 2023
Dreams of FA Cup glory were washed away for another year as Histon’s valiant efforts to overcome their Step 4 opponents ended in a 3-0 defeat on a wet Tuesday night in Suffolk. The home side took advantage of some defensive hesitancy in the Histon defence to take a two-goal lead into the break and sealed the win soon after with a third goal that effectively killed the game off. The result meant more heartache for Stutes fans who had made the journey east for the second time in four days after seeing the game on Saturday abandoned after 19 minutes with their side leading by a goal to nil.
Having been drawn against a higher ranked side, with Step 4 teams now taking part in the Extra Preliminary Round, The Stutes knew they would have to be on top form if they were to cause an upset and hope The Wanderers would show plenty of rustiness in what was their first competitive game of the season. But sadly for the visitors, those hopes took a knock just five minutes in when some defensive miscalculations on the greasy surface resulted in Leon Leggett walking the ball into an empty net to give The Wanderers an early lead.
The goal came before The Stutes had any chance to settle into the pattern of play that had caused problems for the home side in their earlier brief encounter. With the cushion of an early lead, The Wanderers set about exhibiting their Isthmian League, North Division credentials, which were far from evident when the teams met four days previous. On that occasion it was The Stutes who took advantage of defensive errors on a pitch that was rapidly disappearing under rising water levels. The home side almost added a second within the first ten minutes when a blue-shirted striker just failed to get a good enough contact on a cross whipped in from the left. Sam Roach then had to be at his shot-stopping best, diving full length to tip a shot around the post as The Wanderers took control of the game, spraying the ball around the pitch with impressive accuracy and stretching The Stutes defence on both flanks.
But Histon were not prepared to lie down and were finding some success of their own down both edges of the field. Danny Gould showed further signs that he is returning to his best, getting around his full-back and putting crosses into the danger area. There were appeals for a penalty when Gould appeared to be tripped on the edge of the box but no offence was seen by the Referee.
Charlie Tunnell put over a fizzing cross that was just an inch too high for Dan Brown and only just eluded Connor Barnes in front of goal. Then a flurry of corners and Max York throw-ins put the hosts under sustained pressure as the pattern of the game took a distinct turn. The ball was bundled into the net from one such cross, only for the goal to be disallowed for what was adjudged to be unfair contact on the goalkeeper. Yet another cross from the right was headed against the crossbar as the home defence looked ready to crack at any moment but somehow stayed firm.
With half time approaching and Histon in the ascendancy, the game was to take a cruel twist when Histon attempted to play the ball out from the back. The moved was closed down by The Wanderers and ended with Jamie Eaton-Collins intercepting a loose pass in front of goal. He duly accepted the gift he had been given by drilling the ball low past the unprotected Sam Roach to give his side a two-goal lead at the break.
Hopes of a Histon fightback were over within two minutes of the restart when a low cross from the right was turned in by Jamie Eaton-Collins for his second goal of the game.
Histon brought on fresh legs in an attempt to claw a way back into the game. Luke Lindsay operated wide on the right in place of Dan Brown and Harvey Bullinaria came on for his second Stutes appearance. But with any sense of jeopardy removed from the game it trundled on towards it’s now inevitable conclusion. Both sides had chances to add to the score, the best of which fell to Connor Barnes late on when his tireless work put him in a position to lob the home keeper, but his effort slid just wide of the post. With seconds to play, Luke Lindsay saw his powerful short from a tight angle go over before the final whilst ended a game that fizzled out in the second half.
The journey home was a disappointing one for The Stutes contingent and was not helped by the closure of the A14. Thoughts after the game were with the players who, after a day’s work, made the journey to Ipswich, played a tough game in which they were always underdogs, then travelled home again for a few hours sleep before reporting for work again the next day. The FA Cup is clearly not as glamourous as some might have us think.
1 Sam Roach, 2 Sam Collison, 3 Charlie Tunnell, 4 Pat Bexfield, 5 Max York, 6 Ollie Brookes, 7 Dan
Brown (Luke Lindsay 55), 8 Ryan Towner (Dexter Todd 70), 9 Connor Barnes, 10 Bubba Camara
(Harvey Bullinaria 55), 11 Danny Gould
Unused Subs; Guy Motley
Yellow Cards; Danny Gould, Ollie Brookes