Family men tame the Shrews

Histon 2 - Shrewsbury Town 0
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The Independent Online

Something this good was worth waiting for. In Histon's case, 100 years, to be precise. In their centenary year, the club from the outskirts of Cambridge, who play three divisions below the Football League, produced the best result of their long and not-so-illustrious history.

Something this good was worth waiting for. In Histon's case, 100 years, to be precise. In their centenary year, the club from the outskirts of Cambridge, who play three divisions below the Football League, produced the best result of their long and not-so-illustrious history.

Never before had they played a League team. Now they are in the second round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history.

Shrewsbury Town know how it feels to inflict a Cup giant-killing. At the beginning of last year, the men from Shropshire knocked out Everton in the third round. Almost two years later, the boot was on the other foot: Ian Cambridge's size 11, appropriately enough, inflicted the early damage after four minutes from close range and substitute Charles Libam, in injury time, lobbed Scott Howie, prompting understandable scenes of jubilation.

But then again Shrewsbury were ripe for picking. Third from bottom of League Two and with a caretaker-manager, Chic Bates, in charge, they faced a side who play in the Southern League Premier, but are one of their league's, if not the country's, form sides.

They came into this game on a run of nine successive wins in all competitions. This victory, nervous at times, especially in a five-minute spell just before half-time, made it a round 10.

Histon are a family club in the most literal sense of the word. Ian Cambridge, their dead-eyed striker who now has 18 goals to his name, has his cousin Adrian playing behind him in the centre of midfield. Adrian entered into the Cup spirit in time-honoured fashion, by dying his hair red and black, his club's colours.

On a beautiful, blue-skied, cloudless day that meant the scant corrugated-iron overhead protection around three-quarters of the ground was not needed, the only disappointment was that Histon did not live up to their recent scorelines: 7-2, 6-2, 5-0 and 5-1.

Ian Cambridge notched up four goals in their FA Trophy win last week. The club website calls him a football genius, and he was acclaimed as such when he left the pitch in stoppage time yesterday. His goal so early on was exactly what the Stutes needed if they were to have any chance of surviving.

The 30-year-old's socks are sponsored. On the back of this, the former Chelmsford player, who is a green-keeper at Saffron Walden golf club by day, may get his shinpads paid for now as well.

But, significant as his goal was, the performance of Lance Key was more so. The 36-year-old carries a few more pounds than he probably did when he was on Sheffield Wednesday's books some 14 years ago, but the goalkeeper showed that what he learned from those days has not been forgotten.

Three times in three minutes before the interval he produced impressive saves. As their head coach, Steve Fallon, said: "He's a very good goalkeeper. Those saves held us together. But every-one's been a hero here. It was a team effort, from the players to the officials."

When Key was beaten after 39 minutes the crossbar came to his rescue from David Edwards's header and the visitors never came as close again to scoring. Instead the next goal-scoring honours fell to Libam, a Cameroonian striker, who confirmed their place in today's draw.

There is no Arsenal or Manchester United on offer as opposition, so all Fallon wants is a home draw. At the Glass World stadium, they just want to shatter a few more reputations.

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