The stadium, as I said, is only a few years old but, unlike a lot of these new stadia, has a certain character to it. Once you exit the roundabout from the A46 and take the purpose built service road you get directed to a car park that runs behind a low stand. A piece of advice here. Try not to park directly behind the stand. This is one end of the ground and any stray shots fly over the stand and into the car park.
At this point I feel I should also point out that the club runs a free bus service from the town centre to the stadium on match days. A very nice touch.
Once you enter through the turnstile block you the afore mentioned low stand is directly to your right. The clubhouse, function room and snack as well as the changing rooms and the main covered seating stand are all on the left hand side of the pitch as you enter. The opposite side of the pitch and behind the far goal is open hard-standing. Of course, as seems to be the standard, the dugouts are on the opposite side to the main stand. Not that it made much difference because, in the second half, the shouts of the Histon bench were clearly audible from anywhere in the ground.
Looking at reports of the first game it had been a disappointing affair. I was really hoping that the replay would be better. Evesham have a number of former Glassboys on their playing staff and three of them made the starting lineup, Marcus Jackson at right back, Linden Dovey in the centre and George Washbourne out wide on the left.
The opening five minutes or so were evenly matched with both teams looking for an early advantage. Then on 9 minutes a Histon attack broke down with the Evesham keeper launching a clearance down the left flank. It was latched onto by Lance Smith who hit a vicious strike that the keeper could only parry. The ball flew into the path of Edenborough who headed it against the underside of the bar and, according to the assistant, over the line. To be fair there was little complain from the Histon players, so I can only assume it was well over the line.
From that point on in the first half it was Evesham who continued to look the most likely. Histon, on occasion passed the ball around quite nicely, but never really threatened the home goal. At half-time it was 1-0 to the underdogs and Histon had plenty to do if they wanted to get back into the game.
If Histon had plans to get back into the game early in the second half they were soon scuppered. Another long clearance from keeper Sawyer found it's way to Kennedy, who ran into the box and finished well. So, 2-0 to Evesham and a mountain to climb for Histon. To their credit they did start to get back into the game at this point, finally creating a few chances of their own but Evesham were still looking dangerous as well. It was turning into a lively encounter especially in the 75th minute when Histon got the goal they were looking for through Freeman. The lower placed club, though, did not buckle under the pressure. Instead they continued to press forward and cause the Histon defence trouble. A header flew wide when maybe it should have gone in and an Edenborough free-kick struck the bar before the same player was brought down in the box with just 5 minutes to go. The fouled player picked himself up and calmly smashed the penalty home to seal a good win for Evesham.
A giant-killing of sort although, even though a division separates the sides, there is actually only about a dozen or so places between them with Evesham in mid-table and Histon near the foot of the Southern Premier.
All in all I thought this was an entertaining game of football. Evesham played very well in my opinion but I think Histon may not be happy with their own performance. I am sure that they are capable of playing better.
Evesham United - @eveshamunitedfc
Histon FC - @histonfc