|Knight-Percival 12, 52|
|Peters o.g. 66|
|N. Kennedy 76|
|Lance Key||Shane Herbert|
|Matty Hanniver||Michael Morrison (c)|
|Matt Mitchell-King||Mark Peters|
|Matt Langston||Danny Brown|
|Erkan Okay||Jon Brady|
|John Kennedy||Stephen Smith|
|Antonio Murray||Ritchie Hanlon|
|Adie Cambridge||Rob Wolleaston|
|Nathaniel Knight-Percival||Courtney Pitt|
|Neil Kennedy||Danny Carey-Bertram|
|Jamie Barker (c)||Robbie Simpson|
|Neil Andrews||Andy Duncan|
|Matthew Cowell||Michael Gash|
|Ian Cambridge||Liam Marum|
|Steve Jackman||Rob Gier|
|Robbie Nightingale||Josh Simpson|
|Duncan for Hanlon 46|
|Marum for Carey-Bertram 46|
|Gash for Brady 73|
|Yellow cards:||Yellow cards:|
|Murray dissent 86||Brown foul 39|
|Peters foul 55|
|Duncan foul 70|
Date: Saturday 16th December, 2006
Competition: FA Trophy 1st round
Referee: Mr. P. Gibbs
Att: 2,786 (away 1,147)
Weather at kick-off: sunny, chilly
Cambridge United's inconsistency continued as the U's were outplayed and out-battled by Histon at the Glassworld Stadium and exited the FA Trophy at the first hurdle for the second season.
Jimmy Quinn kept faith with the 3-5-2 formation and the players that won at Woking last week, meaning Shane Herbert continued in goal although Paul Crichton was available again following suspension, while Histon resident Andy Duncan was confined to the bench again after recovering from a knee injury.
Stutes manager Steve Fallon made one change to the team that won 4-2 at home to Basingstoke last Saturday, calling up John Kennedy in place of the injured Drew Roberts.
The ground was packed by kick-off and the United supporters were creating a noisy atmosphere, but it was the Histon side that started better and dominated early possession.
Stephen Smith and Courtney Pitt both found space and tried to work openings as United attempted get to grips with the game, but Histon took the lead in the 12th minute when striker Neil Kennedy's deep cross was met by Nathaniel Knight-Percival who rose unmarked to plant a firm header beyond the helpless Shane Herbert.
Two minutes later Danny Carey-Bertram found himself in space and waited for the ball to drop but sliced a great chance wide with his left foot, a Jon Brady corner was defended well, and at the other end a good Histon move saw Stutes' skipper Jamie Barker nod wide as the United side struggled to settle.
Lacking rhythm or composure as Histon harried and scrapped for the ball, United's five man midfield failed to get on the ball and also struggled to cope with a pitch that was sticky in places. A Stutes breakaway on 22 saw wingback Brady chasing back to prod a Barker ball behind for a Histon corner, which was half-cleared and eventually fired inches over the bar by Adie Cambridge.
With United's support beginning to express their frustration at their side's lack of mobility and the management duo of Quinn and Castle urging individuals to up their game, there was a slight scare on 27 when Herbert's clearance crashed against Barker as the Histon skipper closed him down, summing up the way the home side were coping better with the surface and chasing every ball.
United's second effort at goal came on 31 when Ritchie Hanlon seized on a loose ball and drove a long-range volley wide, and three minutes later Carey-Bertram worked a rare opening on the right but his incisive pass towards Robbie Simpson was scrambled behind. From the corner, United drew the first save from Lance Key when the veteran keeper blocked Michael Morrison's header, and Stephen Smith followed up but side-footed the ball wide.
The United players were getting more of a grip on a scruffy game and matching Histon's commitment, and the first booking went to Danny Brown on 39 for a crunching tackle on Murray, a decision that left Jimmy Quinn incensed on the touchline and was followed by a warning to supporters not to throw 'missiles' onto the pitch.
The U's had to defend another Histon corner as play entered stoppage time, and with the large crowd watching in near silence the half petered out, leaving United's players sure to face a half-time roasting from Jimmy Quinn.
Half-time summary by match commentator Mark Johnson:
"United have not got going yet. They've had half-chances but at the moment the score line is deserved and United need to wake up."
Quinn made two half-time changes to bring on Liam Marum for Danny Carey-Bertram and Andy Duncan for Ritchie Hanlon, pushing Danny Brown forward into Hanlon's holding role in midfield, and United started much better.
For a while Marum and Robbie Simpson troubled the home defence with their pace and enthusiasm, but after an improved spell United fell further behind to a soft goal in the 51st minute. The defence was caught out as a long throw was not cleared, Langston nodded on, and Knight-Percival's shot somehow squirmed past the stretching Herbert almost in slow motion.
The goal was the cue for the atmosphere to step up by a few degrees and the referee had to defuse an angry clash off the ball involving Knight-Percival, and then Barker threatened to beat Peters for pace but the veteran defender clipped his heels to stop the move, collecting a yellow card for his troubles. At the free kick, Matt Mitchell-King's late run was not picked up but fortunately he directed the ball wide.
Histon were all over United at this stage and on 55 Neil Kennedy raced away to set up Knight-Percival but the winger's long legs were not quite long enough to turn in his third goal, and two minutes later Kennedy headed over.
United had a slightly better spell soon afterwards but were unable to test Key, and on 66 the game was all but over as United's defence was caught out again. A good cross into the area was not dealt with, Neil Kennedy put the defence under pressure and the ball ran for Barker, and although Peters got back to cover he only succeeded in putting it past his own keeper.
Andy Duncan was next into the book for a clumsy challenge, while Jon Brady stayed down for treatment following a tackle and limped off to be replaced by Michael Gash in the 73rd minute. Jimmy Quinn took the opportunity to switch to a flat back four with Michael Morrison at right back and Danny Brown at left back, but it made no difference to Histon's ability to take their chances and United's misery was compounded on 76.
The defence was again left rooted as Adie Cambridge carved out an excellent free kick and Neil Kennedy made a well-timed run to plant a firm header past Herbert.
With ten minutes remaining and United fans beginning to head for the exits, it became a 5-0 rout as John Kennedy sent Antonio Murray racing away in space, and although Herbert got a hand to his low strike the ball trickled into the bottom corner.
Murray entered the referee's notebook again on 86 when he committed a foul and then talked himself into trouble, and two minutes later there were ironic cheers from the United fans when Courtney Pitt had a rare chance for the U's with a shot on the turn but lifted it over the bar.
United won a free kick in stoppage time that Pitt lifted over the wall but into Key's arms, and with former U's boss John Beck still urging his players on United's misery was summed up with cries of "Can we play you every week?" from some Histon fans just before the final whistle ended the one-sided encounter. Many of the remaining United supporters stayed to generously applaud the Histon players from the pitch.
Wrapped up by match commentator Mark Johnson:
"Humiliation for the U's, who were dumped unceremoniously out of the FA Trophy by a rampant Histon. United never got going against a home side who showed more fight and more passion throughout, and were perhaps unfortunate to only have Nathaniel Knight-Percival's 12th minute header to show for their first half efforts. A double change at the interval made no difference - United were abject after the break and the floodgates opened. Further goals from Knight-Percival, Neil Kennedy, Antonio Murray and a Mark Peters own goal sent the Stutes into dreamland and the U's into a slough of despond."
Man of the Match:
"Stephen Smith - one of the few to look as though he was putting in the same effort as the home side. Honourable mention to Robbie Simpson, another who kept going."
"Mr Gibbs - kept control well without recourse to too many cards, stamped down on a couple of heated moments without fuss, and was largely anonymous, which is a good sign. 7/10
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