Having felt like a fish out of water amongst the glitterati of Chichester a couple of weeks ago Pete Sixsmith continued his travels with a visit to the flatlands of East Anglia. The lure of course was the appearance of Bally’s Boys in another pre-season work out against Histon. As the North East at last “basks” in the sunshine he finds much to appreciate in the Cambridgeshire rain.
It’s raining in Cambridge today. It’s probably raining in Coatbridge, Caerphilly and Coleraine as this awful summer turns into an early autumn. The Olympic Games could be the wettest ever, inside and outside the pool. It didn’t rain at The Glasworld Stadium, Histon last night. The local team, now in Conference North, hosted Bally’s Boys for a competitive and enjoyable pre season game, which we won 3-1.
Histon play in their twin village of Impingham, about 3 miles out of Cambridge. Bankrolled by a double glazing man, they finished in the play off positions in the Conference a couple of years ago, and beat Leeds United in the FA Cup, a defeat that cost Gary McAllister (the Phillips Idowu of his day) his job.
Alas, the double glazing man went bust and they slipped out of the Conference to be placed in the North Division. The Conference has an interesting play on the word “North” as Bishops Stortford, Oxford City, Brackley and Gloucester City are all “Northern” clubs. Eee ba gum as they say in Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
MON was there as he is an old friend of the Histon manager, Dennis Greene. One or two of the Development Squad must have wanted to impress. Jordan Laidler scored two early goals, the second one a curler from 20 yards which was well received by the decent crowd who had assembled for the match.
The best player was Billy Knott, a stocky midfield player who played a few minutes in the Hartlepool debacle last week. He ran the second half and finished off the scoring with an excellent finish after playing a cool one-two with Adam Mitchell. He could push for a first team place either with us or, more likely, on a better loan than the one he had with AFC Wimbledon last year. Maybe a Championship side?
Histon had pulled a goal back before half time and had a couple of chances in the second half. They played some neat and tidy football but I think they will have a difficult season. Incredibly, they are still a full time club, picking up youngsters who have been released by others or locals who are looking for a chance to progress.
The right full back’s Auntie was sat behind me for the second half and she was not impressed with him being taken off for the last 15 minutes.
It is good that our youngsters get to play games like this. They may realise that football is a job and that they have to work hard at it to succeed. Some will end up at places like Histon and Spennymoor when they fail to make the next cut. They showed their opponents respect and created a positive impression of Sunderland AFC for the local fans.
It was a good turn out of Red and Whites, far more than the likes of Workington, Stalybridge Celtic and Harrogate Town will bring to The Glassworld. An enjoyable night followed by the excellent news of the bronze medal in the gymnastics. Off to St Neots Town tonight. It sure beats working!!!!