HISTON v WOKING
12:00am, Thu 6th Dec 2007
HISTON v WOKING
3pm on Saturday 8 December 2007
Anyone who thought that the Stutes might have finally over-reached themselves in gaining promotion to the BSP will have had to eat their words. They have adapted to life in the top tier with ease and currently sit in 5th place with 38 points from 22 games. The Cards will have to show a great deal of resolve to get anything out of this game, which will, incidentally, mark the opening of the Stutes? new Red Gate stand.
The Cards will, of course, be without the suspended Marvin Morgan again and Frank Gray indicated earlier this week that Paul Lorraine?s injury would keep him out of this match. There must also be doubts over Bradley Quamina, who limped off at Croydon on Wednesday evening in the Cards? 4-0 away win in the Surrey Senior Cup, and perhaps Jerome Maledon, who went off against Ebbsfleet and didn?t play on Wednesday. Overall, however, the Cards should be in good heart after the morale-boosting win over Ebbsfleet United a week ago and the victory over Croydon.
As sometimes happens, someone?s enforced absence can open up other possibilities. Certainly in the game against Ebbsfleet there seemed a welcome attempt to speed up attacking moves, trying to capitalise on the pace of Giuseppe Sole and Liam Marum in particular by slipping balls through the opposing defence. It didn?t always work ? with players getting caught offside too often ? but it resulted in more chances being created than in preceding games.
WHO ARE HISTON?
Histon is a small town of only 4,500 people, best known for jam-making, situated three miles north of Cambridge. The Club, which is in the twin village of Impington, has had an astonishing rise up the non-League pyramid, gaining five promotions in the last ten years. As recently as the 1996-97 season the Stutes (the nickname derives from the Club?s previous incarnation as Histon Institute) were languishing in the Eastern Counties League Division 1. That season they gained promotion to the Premier Division and two seasons later followed it up, as champions, by gaining promotion to the Southern League Eastern Division. The 2003-04 season saw them gain promotion to the Southern League Premier Division after finishing as runners-up. Yet another promotion followed straightaway as the Stutes won that league and moved up to the Conference South. The following season Histon made the play-offs in fifth place, losing in the Final 2-0 to St Albans. Undeterred, the Stutes bounced back last season, winning the Conference South title and reaching the top of the non-League hierarchy. Will their rise stop there?
Key figures in the Stutes? amazing progress are Chairman Gareth Baldwin, who stepped in 15 years ago when the Club was in danger of folding, and manager Steve Fallon, a Cambridge United legend with over 400 appearances for the U?s, who took charge in the 1999/2000 season. He has been assisted for the last couple of seasons by another U?s legend, John Beck. Credit also has to go to several long-serving players, notably to midfielders Neil Andrews and Jamie Barker and goalscoring hero Neil Kennedy (over 300 goals!), all of whom have notched up over 10 years with the Club.
Steve Fallon has largely kept faith with the team that gained promotion to the BSP and most of the new players he has brought in have come from lower leagues. New arrivals in the summer included keepers Danny Naisbitt (ex-Barnet) and Mark Osborn (ex-Wycombe and Farnborough). Osborn has now gone out on loan to Halesowen. Fallon also recuited two full-backs: Patrick Ada, formerly with Barnet, St Albans and Exeter, and Gareth Gwillim, a left-back from Bishop?s Stortford. Defender Craig Pope, ex-Barnet and Cambridge City, also joined. Up front, Cliff Akurang arrived from Dagenham and Redbridge and is the Stutes? top scorer with 10 goals. Dean Bradshaw, a winger from Braintree Town, was another arrival. Another name to watch is that of striker Nat Knight-Percival, a 20 year-old graduate of the Stutes? youth set-up, who was picked for the England C Team. He was joined by the Stutes? defender Erkan Okay. Antonio Murray has a good goalscoring record too. The Club intends to remain part-time.
SEASON SO FAR
The Stutes started with two draws and two defeats but have barely looked back since they gained their first win, away at Grays Athletic. Since then they have lost only four games (at home to Farsley and Torquay and away at Crawley and Forest Green Rovers). Notable victories include a 4-1 thrashing of York City away and a 1-0 home win over Oxford United. Their home record reads won 4, drawn 3, lost 3, goals for 18, goals against 16. (Their away record is particularly strong, with 7 wins, 2 draws and 3 defeats.) In the Cup, Histon went out in the First Round 3-0 at Notts County, having beaten Bamber Bridge 4-1 in the 4th Qualifying Round. Histon play us off the back of two fine away wins at Altrincham and, in midweek, Rushden and Diamonds.
The teams have met only once before, in the 2003/04 season, when the Cards defeated the Stutes 3-1 in the First Round of the FA Cup.
The Glass World Stadium
Telephone: 01223 237373
Why not take it easy and go on the Supporters? Club Coach? The cost is only ?15 for members and ?19 for non-members. The coach leaves Kingfield at 11.00am. Phone the Club Shop to book your place.
The Glass World Stadium is situated to the east of the B1049, just over half a mile north of Junction 32 of the A14, and as such is easily accessed from all directions. From the South, take the M11 and leave at Junction 14 to take the A14 Eastbound (Newmarket, Ipswich). Leave the A14 at Junction 32, turning left onto the B1049. There is no parking at the ground but plenty of street parking nearby.
The nearest railway station is Cambridge. There is a bus service (Citi 7) from the station to Histon and Impington via Cambridge City Centre, which runs at ten minute intervals. The journey takes about 40 minutes. The best stops for the ground are BUPA Cambridge Lea Hospital (on New Road) or the Railway Vue Pub by (the former) Histon Station and then it?s a short walk along New Road to the ground.
OTHER THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW
? admission prices: Terrace: Adults ?12, Concessions ?7, U16 ?3; Grandstand ?1 extra for adults and concessions
? new stand: Saturday sees the opening of the Stutes? new Red Gate stand, which will provide 400 more seats for home fans
? colours: the Stutes play in a red and black strip
? food and drink: the Rose and Crown, five minutes from the ground, apparently offers a warm welcome to away fans and serves hot food as well as ?fine ales?
Come on, you Cards!