Histon 2 Rushden & Diamonds 1

Diamonds run of five wins came to an end at the Glassworld Stadium as substitute Neil Andrews struck an injury time winner to seal the points for Histon. Antonio Murray had given the home side the lead midway through the second half, before Charles Ademeno got an equaliser, scoring his first goal for Diamonds. But as Diamonds pressed forward looking for a winner, a quick break out of defence allowed the Stutes to emulate their win over Diamonds at Nene Park earlier this season.

Garry Hill made just one change from the side which had beaten Ebbsfleet United on Tuesday evening, with Michael Rankine starting in place of Charles Ademeno, who dropped to the bench. Similarly, Histon made just one change from the side which had lost to Aldershot in midweek. Adrian Cambridge had suffered a back injury during that game and manager Steve Fallon named Robbie Nightingale in the starting line-up.

Histon started well and had two half chances in the opening ten minutes. Jack Midson shot wide from John Kennedy’s centre, while Danny Wright headed over after some good movement between Midson and Antonio Murray. Both Midson and Wright were proving to be a handful for Diamonds defence. The closest Diamonds came in the opening 15 minutes was a header from Michael Rankine which lacked power and went harmlessly to Danny Naisbitt in the Stutes goal.

On 17 minutes, a nasty foul by Antonio Murray saw Andy Gooding receive treatment for a leg injury and although he continued for a short while, he was forced to be withdrawn some five minutes later, hobbling to the dressing room. Phil Gulliver replaced him moving into the centre of the defence, with Michael Corcoran moving right. Curtis Osano went into a midfield role.

The home side continued to press forward with Robbie Nightingale’s shot being deflected to Dale Roberts in the Diamonds goal. As the half progressed though, Diamonds started to created several chances themselves. Jon Challinor had two attempts, the first just going over the top, while the second striking the crossbar. Although Antonio Murray escaped a booking for his foul on Gooding, his poor challenge on Marcus Kelly saw him receive a yellow card.

 

Midson and Wright combined well again for the home side on 30 minutes, with Roberts saving low down but it was Diamonds that had an excellent opportunity after a quick ball out from Marcus Kelly to Curtis Osano. With Challinor free on the right, Osano failed to take advantage and ended up overrunning the ball.

 

On 38 minutes, Histon went close again with Murray’s fierce shot from 30 yards drifting just wide of the post, but moments later, Diamonds thought they had gone in front. Jon Challlinor robbed Patrick Ada on the edge of the area and sent the ball square to Andy Burgess. He played the ball back for Challinor to beat Naisbitt from 18 yards, but the linesman’s flag went up for offside and the goal was disallowed.

 

Half-time: Histon 0 – 0 Rushden & Diamonds

 

Histon made one change at the start of the second half, with Matt Langston replacing Gareth Gwillim. Chances continued for both sides and Danny Wright should have done better after getting on the end of Antonio Murray’s cross, but he headed straight at Roberts. On 53 minutes, Marcus Kelly had a cross cum shot bounce back off the crossbar, while three minutes later, Nat Knight-Percival sent a powerful shot into the side-netting.

 

Jon Challinor had been ill before the game and just before the hour, he was taken off with Charles Ademeno coming on to replace him in attack. On 63 minutes, Neil Andrews came on for Histon in place of Robbie Nightingale. Both sides continued to attack and Roberts had to be alert to a chip in from Jack Midson and booted a clearance in to touch. But on 65 minutes, it was the home side that went in front when Midson sent a long ball forward from the halfway line. With the defence split, Antonio Murray latched on to the ball and chipped over the advancing Dale Roberts to give the Stutes the lead.

 

With time running out, Lee Tomlin was brought on to replace Chris Hope as Diamonds went to a 3-4-3 formation with Tomlin, Ademeno and Rankine up front. Lee Tomlin had a shot blocked shortly after his introduction, and Diamonds got level after 77 minutes. Tomlin took the ball to the by-line after a through ball from Marcus Kelly, and sent it over to the far post. The keeper appeared to have it covered but he clattered into two other defenders who also went up for the ball and it fell nicely for Charles Ademeno to fire the ball into the roof of the net from ten yards.

 

With seven minutes remaining Jamie Barker replaced Nat Knight-Percival and he had a hand in a good move which ended in a great chance for Danny Wright, but the striker headed over from close range. Both sides were looking to win the game, and Diamonds tried to push forward in the remaining few minutes. Osano shot wide while Tomlin had another effort blocked, but deep into the three minutes of stoppage time, Histon got the winner. Again, it was a long ball out of defence which saw Danny Wright and Michael Corcoran chasing for a ball down the right flank. Wright was first to the ball and put in cross for Neil Andrews to place a shot past Roberts.

 

Full-time: Histon 2 – 1 Rushden & Diamonds

 

Although disappointing to have conceded so late in the game, it was mainly due to Diamonds pushing forward with a desire to win the three points that left them exposed at the back and ultimately led to the Histon winner. Although the run of five consecutive wins and five away wins has come to an end, it has left them mid table, and in with a chance of winning some silverware in the form of the Setanta Shield. The planned semi-final game against either Halifax or Burton Albion on Wednesday has had to be postponed as the two teams have yet to resolve their quarter final tie, so next up is York City at Nene Park on Saturday where they have the chance to avenge their FA Trophy exit. In the meantime Curtis Woodhouse pursues his boxing with a welterweight bout in the Sheffield United Academy Sunday evening. After 4 wins so far, he is looking to continue his rise through the ranks.

 

Teams:

Histon – Naisbitt, Okay, Mitchell-King(c), J.Kennedy, Murray, Nightingale (Andrews 63), Knight-Percival (Barker 83), Wright, Gwillim (Langston HT), Ada, Midson.

Subs not used: Key, N.Kennedy.

 

Rushden & Diamonds – Roberts, Osano, Hope (Tomlin 72), Challinor (Ademeno 58), Burgess, Rankine, Shaw, Gooding (Gulliver 22), Kelly, Howell, Corcoran.

Subs not used: Platt, El-Kholti.

 

Goals: Murray 65 (1-0), Ademeno 77 (1-1), Andrews 90+3 (2-1).

 

Booked: Murray 29 (foul).

 

Referee: Mr C.Pawson (Yorkshire)

 

Attendance: 767 (approx 200 away).

 

By Dave Mason

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