Monday, September 15, 2008

Fens Football Focus - 6 Histon FC

Histon Institute were formed in 1904 and although they have long dropped the Institute from their name they are still known as 'The Stutes'. Histon have played in the neighbouring villages of Histon and Impington since they were formed and their first playing field was originally a rose field, hence the rose on the badge, that was given to the club by John Chivers of the local Chivers jam factory.

Their early history is in the local leagues of the area and in 1960 they joined the Delphim League, which disbanded 3 years later, when like many of the other clubs in this league they joined the Athenian League. In 1966 they joined the Eastern Counties League where they remained until 2000. At this time their main rivals were Ely City, so it shows how meteoric their rise through the non-league structure has been over the last decade. Now their reserve team play in the same league as Ely and the Stutes are now in the Conference National, where their local rivals are Cambridge United and where clubs like Wrexham, Mansfield and Oxford expect bigger crowds every week than the Histon ground, which traditionally represents the 2 local villages, can hold.

Histon were obviously well respected in the Eastern League, as when in 1988 it was split into a Premier and a First Division Histon were placed in the Premier. In 1990 Histon won the League Cup, but in 1995 they were relegated to the 1st Division. In 1997 under the guidance of Simon Allen they were again promoted and in 1998, mainly due to Nick Kennedy's 46 goals they managed to finih 3rd. It was also the third season in a row that the club were awarded with the league's Fair Play award and Sean Audley scored an amazing 79 goals in the reserves. Things were obviously starting to go well for The Stutes as in 1999-2000 they won the Premier Division and were promoted to the Southern League Southern Division after beating Gorleston on the last day.

After a miny slump Histon came second in the Southern League Eastern Division in 2003-04 and the following season as well as beating Shrewsbury in the First Round proper of the FA Cup, before losing to Yeovil in the second round, they managed to win the Southern League and were promoted to the Conference South. The next season they reached the play offs, but they had to wait until 2007 to reach the highest level of non-league football when they beat Welling City in the play-offs, with Adrian Cambridge netting a last minute winner.

Histon have proved a lot of their distractors, who believed that they were too small for the Conference wrong. Unlike many smaller clubs, like Droylsden last year and maybe Lewes this year, Histon have built up a fine team and could possibly finish higher than the 14th they managed in their inaugral season.

Not surprisngly some of their landmark moments have been in recent years, their first televised game was on 20th September 2007 when they beat Oxford United 1-0 and their biggest attendance was on New Year's Day 2008, when they beat Cambridge United 1-0 in front of 3,721 fans

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