Woodpeckers bow out of FA Vase after a nine-goal feast at nine-man Histon
- Credit: Archant
Histon 5 Woodbridge Town 4
Woodbridge Town bowed out of the FA Vase, but not without a fight, against Thurlow Nunn Premier League leaders Histon in a remarkable goal-feast at Bridge Road tonight.
The Woodpeckers scored four goals, via Ellis Murrell, Matt Mackenzie, Aaron Churchyard and Ben Garnham, and also missed a penalty, but they were always playing catch-up against a very strong, physical home side.
Ironically, the opening goal was from a counter-attack, with Histon turning defence into attack and Matt Green rifling into the net.
The Stutes doubled their lead in the 26th minute, via a penalty.
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Woodbridge keeper, Alfie Stronge, was adjudged to have fouled Rob Ruddy when the duo contested a loose ball, on the edge of the six-yard box, and Max York converted the ensuing spot kick.
Out of the blue, the visitors halved the deficit through a terrific effort by Murrell. He fired home from long range on 32 minutes, but Woodbridge’s hopes of a comeback suffered a big dent when York netted his second and Histon’s third, just before half-time. Skipper York stuck out a boot to divert home a cross from eight yards out, to give the Cambridgeshire hosts a 3-1 lead.
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The Woodpeckers nearly pulled a goal back within a minute of the restart, Sam Roach pushing away an angled drive by Ryan Keeble.
It seemed that the tie had been killed off by Evan Key charging through to slide home Histon’s fourth, in the 48th minute.
But Woodbridge made it 4-2 on 53 minutes, thanks to Mackenzie’s precise penalty, even though Roach guessed the right way.
Histon were reduced to 10 men just two minutes later, Pat Bexfield shown a second yellow and ensuing red for a foul, but they stretched their lead to a three-goal margin thanks to Green’s rasping volley in the 67th minute, his second of the match.
Back came Woodbridge. Churchyard found the net with a terrific header to make it 5-3 in the 73rd minute, and Keeble was within a whisker of scoring the fourth from point blank range.
The visitors were awarded their second penalty of the night in the 84th minute, but this time Mackenzie’s spot kick was saved by Roach. However, Garnham volleyed home a fourth in the 90th minute, to set up a nervous finale. Woodbridge peppered the target, but could not score, while Histon were reduced to nine men by Lee Smith’s injury-time dismissal.
HISTON: Roach, Ballester, Ruddy, Bexfield, York, Chivers, Gould (sub Weinman, 83), Green, Brown, Key (sub Smith, 64), McDonald (sub Swinton, 64). Unused subs: Rolph, Emsden.
WOODBRIDGE: Strong, Hammond, Churchyard, Garnham, Southgate, Scopes, Mackenzie, Edwards, Trotter, Murrell (sub Holnes, 65), Keeble. Unused suvs: Holmes, Scales.
Referee: Oliver Morris-Saunders