GAINSBOROUGH Trinity were held 1-1 by Histon on Saturday, and had to come back from a goal down to share the spoils.
Steve Housham praised his side’s second half performance.
He told the Standard: “I said to the players in the dressing room, it could be a vital point come the end of the season. In the first half we were sloppy and they deserved their lead going into half-time.”
Histon took the lead through Daniel Sparkes late in the first half after a defensive error from Trinity, but a much improved performance from the Blues in the second half with a tactical change brought an equaliser late in the game through Darryn Stamp.
Housham explained how his change paid dividends: “I brought two substitutes on and they saved the match for me. Darryn Stamp headed in from a Jamie Yates cross and that is very satisfying and they should come in and pinch the shirt off the player they replaced.”
Early on Histon had all the possession but were unable to create a clear cut chance.
Trinity’s new signing Paul Connor played Leon Mettam in on goal, but a bad touch from Mettam gave Jorg Stadelmann time to gather the ball.
For the hosts Jim Stevenson had the first chance; a ball cleared by Gavin Cowan fell to Stevenson who fired a rocket straight at Kenny Arthur and the keeper caught the ball with ease.
Histon’s best chance of the half fell to Sparkes, with the ball at his feet three yards out, the striker poked the ball towards goal only for Kevin Sandwith to stick a foot on it and clear for a corner.
A moment of controversy in the 33rd minute saw Mettam run towards goal and come crashing down after being clipped by Jay Dowie, only for referee Ian Rathbone to wave away penalty claims.
Cowan was denied by Stadelmann from a Jonathan Williams corner and Histon then took the lead just before half-time.
A cross from Omer Riza was tamely tipped away by Arthur into the path of Sparkes just inside the penalty area, and he made no mistakes form 10 yards out.
In the second half Trinity came out a completely different side, they were dominant and an equaliser seemed on the cards.
Connor was unlucky not to score after his shot from outside the box bounced off the woodwork and Cowan also headed wide from a corner.
Histon then forced a fantastic save from on-loan goalkeeper Arthur. Dominic Roma’s rare mistake allowed Sparkes to run past the defence and fire a corker towards Arthur’s near post, but the stopper flung himself towards the ball and punched away.
Housham elected to bring on a couple of attacking options, taking off Jonathan Williams and Mettam and bringing on experienced mdfielder Shane Clarke along with Stamp.
The tactical switch worked in Trinity’s favour immediatel as Yates’s ball from the left hand side flew past everyone in the Histon penalty area and found Stamp who was on hand to head home.
Trinity could have hit the winner when Ryan Williams found himself in space down the right, his low cross eluded everybody in the Histon area and just rolled past Connor.
Histon FC: Stadelmann, Roberts, Fitzsimons, Dowie, Clerima, Livermore, Taaffe, Stevenson (Gomez-Pico), Holman, Riza, Sparkes. Not used: Hawkins, Kitscha, Pelayo, Breeze, Day.
Gainsborough Trinity: Arthur, Roma, Sandwith (Yates 76), Cowan, Waterfall, Williams (Clarke 65), D’Laryea, Williams, Mettam (Stamp 66), Connor, Ridley. Not used: Boyce, Leary.
Referee: Ian Rathbone.
Assistants: Graham Kinnear, Sam Lewis.
Man of the Match: Kevin Sandwith.