The Reds recorded their first win over Histon and it couldn't have come at a better time. Recent games have seen us go off the boil and struggling to get any semblance of a win in our sights but tonight was different. It could have been just tactical nous that told Mark Yates to start the game with both Darryl Knights and David McDermott or it could have been necessity because of the injuries to Russ Penn on Saturday and then prior to the game tonight a hamstring injury for Mark Creighton.
I'd say it was a mixture of both and thankfully it worked. For once we actually did pass the ball around and not have Yates telling us we did when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. The change in tactics was entirely down to having two ball playing midfielders in the side and not the usual hoofers.
To some extent it was Histon who could be classed as the hoofers but we already knew that and, fair play to them, they do it well. They are also a very fast side, something that must be needed for the long ball game, and close down extremely quickly.
That could have been our only failing tonight with Knights, McDermott and Barnes-Homer all getting knocked off the ball too easily.
Histon started the game the stronger and their 100mph football was causing us some problems at the back. As early as the second minute a defensive error let in a Histon man but in the one on one against Bartlett he swept the ball way over the bar. A very lucky escape for us.
Slowly but surely the Harriers started to get themselves into the game but Histon were still a threat on the break and went close to opening the scoring on three occasions when Antonio Murray, Jack Midson and Josh Simpson all had good efforts stopped by equally good shot stopping from Bartlett.
On eighteen minutes the game turned with the first goal of the game, thankfully going our way. A superb passing move started by McDermott saw a header from Dean Bennett came back off the bar and fall just right for Matt Barnes-Homer to crash back into the net.
The goal rocked Histon back for a while as the Harriers went in search of another goal. We could never get a really close sight of goal though and that was down to some solid Histon defending. Justin Richards should have scored five minutes before the end of the half but when McDermott sent a tantalising ball across the face of the goal for some reason Richards stepped over it to give someone else a chance to score. Problem was there was nobody there!
The half ended with us narrowly in front but only just.