Retro Awaydays – Histon August 2011

By Chris Ferguson

A total of 65 Blyth fans, including 33 people on a coach from Blyth, visited the Glass World stadium to watch a thrilling encounter between newly-relegated Histon FC and Blyth Spartans, the first competitive game of the Cuggy Revolution.

The lads from Blyth knew it would be a long day, some even getting back into the old routine of getting up three hours beforehand! The bus left at 8am with everyone on board and, even though it had been planned from the day that the fixtures were announce, teh final arrangements were only sorted a couple of days beforehand, when Kipsta went to Netto’s to get the beer. The journey itself was quite uneventful, with only one stop off at a McDonalds for people to go to the toilet, despite one being on the bus. There was only one slight delay which was experienced when someone decided to pull onto the side of the dual carriageway, causing a traffic jam, to which Blyth Traveller voiced his discontent at. The one consolation was that we were frequently alongside a van full of “clunge” as one lad called it, with another suggesting that “we should have brought our wellies”. Luckily, before we arrived, it was found out that there was no coach parking at the ground so the coach would have to stay at the pub we were originally going to.

After the delay, we arrived at the Railway Vue pub less than an hour-and-a-half before kick off and got the beers in for just less than £4 a pint, with some commenting that the glasses must be included in the price. There we met the exiles, from places such as Cannock and Sheffield, as well as other Blyth lads who’d drove.

After just under an hour of good banter we made our way around the corner to the ground, hung the flags and started to make some noise, which was acknowledged by Gavin Fell as he emerged onto the pitch.

When the game started, Blyth were a little slow out of the blocks, due to the long trip from Northumberland to Cambridge. It’s up to us to make it count the other way round when these teams come up to Croft Park. We struggled to get much of a rhythm going first half and gave Histon too much time on the ball. An uncharacteristic mistake from Dan Groves led to Histon’s opening goal on 39 minutes when the full back gifted the ball to Sparkes on the edge of the area who provided Holman with the chance to fire past Max Johnson from 16 yards. In the second half we took a bit more control and Phillips and Armstrong came very close before they countered and doubled their lead, with a fantastic 20 yarder. This though just made our players even more determined.

Their keeper, who had previously went down clutching his face rather dramatically after jumping for a 50/50 with Armstrong, then tried to waste more time when we were awarded a corner by once again going down. This just played into our hands though as we seemed to use the additional time to plan our next move – which was Davey Coulson leaping above everyone and powering in a header, giving the travelling supporters hope that the comeback was on. There was also a bit of a weird moment when one of their substitutes came off the bench to drop some chocolate in the keeper’s net, which mysteriously disappeared at full time.

Histon became panicked and resorted to more frequent fouling – their favourite method being pushing in the back which they got away with quite a few times. But we maintained the composure we had built up and responded in the best way possible with the equaliser, Glen Taylor making a huge impact after coming off the bench and showing why he deserves a place in the team, laying off Armstrong , who turned past his marker and finished past the keeper.

We came very close to snatching the winner when Dylan Purvis headed narrowly wide at the back post. As did Histon when a long range effort was well saved by Max Johnson. All in all a decent point on the road, heads never dropped when they went 2-0 up – the determination and desire to get back into the game was constant. At full time every player came to applaud the supporters – not just that but also coming right up to the fence to shake hands with everyone. Something that, in all the games I’ve been too has never happened, and was a great touch by the new management duo.

After that the trip home flew by with everyone in high spirits and having a few beers. The only problem was getting in the house, having a feeling that something was missing. Luckily, Crouchy’s going to pick the drum up! Great day out and already got a trip plan