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Histon 1 Worcester City 2
7:00pm Sunday 12th January 2014 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
IT is often said that a change is as good as a rest.
That was the case for Worcester City as they revived their Skrill North survival hopes with a much-needed victory in Cambridgeshire.
Just seven days after their heaviest defeat of the season, Carl Heeley’s side turned in a display, and result, in stark contrast to the 6-1 reverse at Bradford Park Avenue.
Complete with their three new signings taking to the field for debuts — Jamie Grimes, Aaron Brown and Kris Ramsey-Dickson — this was more like it from the Blue and Whites.
The trio were brought in to shake Worcester from their slumber and they made their mark.
From the first whistle, Worcester looked rejuvenated, also changing their formation from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1 and giving much more freedom to the midfield.
Daniel Nti was the chief beneficiary, scoring his first league goals since netting the winner at Stalybridge Celtic on November 23.
A player in and out of the side of late, the former Loughborough man produced a determined display more like the ones that caught the eye earlier in the campaign.
Nti struck after just three minutes, firing home after being set up by Ramsey-Dickson, and arriving at the back post to convert George Williams’ right-wing cross nine minutes into the second-half.
While Ramsey-Dickson offered a new option in attack, Kidderminster Harriers loanee Grimes restored solidity to a defence mauled by Bradford, while man mountain Brown patrolled the midfield and was a colossus in the air.
They came more to the fore as Histon turned the screw. The hosts halved the deficit within two minutes of Nti’s second when Zak Mills prodded home Charlie Day’s free-kick, although there was more than a suggestion that Aaron Williams had got the final touch.
From there, Brian Page’s men had an equaliser in their sights and it required Worcester to stand their ground, repelling everything the Stutes could throw at them.
It was the sort of rearguard effort that was painfully absent at Bradford and was a return to the stubborn qualities that have led to 13 clean sheets this term.
Time and again, Grimes, Brown and Richard Munday were first to the ball and, when their efforts failed, keeper Jose Veiga was on hand to save the day.
He thwarted Day in the first period and Kaine Sheppard after the break but, after blocking from Mills, was fortunate to see the same player blaze the rebound over.
Going forward, there is still plenty of work to be done but the visitors carried much more of a threat than they have of late.
While one win has made the league table look slightly better, Worcester will need plenty more before they can breathe easily.
The changes worked this week and they will need to again next week.
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