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Worcester City 1 Histon 1
10:40pm Monday 30th January 2012 in Blue Square Conference North Table & Results By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
WORCESTER City’s wait for a victory in 2012 goes on as 10-man Histon held them to a 1-1 draw at St George’s Lane.
In a tale of two penalties, Dan Holman put the Cambridgeshire visitors ahead three minutes into the second-half but Tom Thorley responded 12 minutes later after Greg Mills had been tripped in the box.
However, the contest came at a cost to City as new signing Stuart Whitehead limped off with a hamstring injury early in the second-half and fellow centre-half Lee Ayres suffered a suspected shoulder problem.
The game, which Worcestershire referee Marvyn Amphlett struggled to control, also ended with ugly scenes as City manager Carl Heeley had to be restrained after clashing with Histon assistant boss Brian Paige.
The fixture, watched by a bumper crowd of 916 and delayed by 30 minutes after the Histon bus got stuck in traffic, did not come to life until six minutes before half-time when Histon came within a whisker of taking the lead.
Holman’s cross was cut out by Matt Sargeant but the ball was turned goalwards by Lewis Taafe and it needed Tyler Weir to then scramble the ball clear. Three minutes later and City thought they had gone ahead. Mills whipped in a free-kick from the right and Symons glanced the ball beyond Jorg Stadlemann.
Worcester celebrated the goal but the offside flag had been raised and the hosts’ joy was cut short.
Ryan Clarke replaced the injured Ayres at half-time but he had only been on the pitch for two minutes when he was judged to have handled the ball in the box, after Pelayo Gomez-Pico’s shot had hit the bar. Holman took the penalty and confidently beat Sargeant from 12 yards.
Whitehead’s departure forced a major reshuffle with Jacob Rowe joining Clarke in the centre, meaning City would finish the game with a different centre-half pairing to the one that began it.
Worcester, though, were level on 62 minutes amid further drama as Mills, making his home debut, was tripped in the box and Thorley slammed home the penalty.
Mills was tripped for the penalty by Ollie Cleaver, who was booked, and Dowie was shown a second yellow for dissent in the aftermath.
Moments later, City thought they had taken the lead but Danny Carey-Bertram’s volley was ruled out for offside.
The visitors, who also had four players booked, almost snatched the points when Sargeant scrambled Remy Clerima’s effort off the line but Weir shaved the side-netting at the other in a frantic finish.
Worcester City: Sargeant 7, Rowe 7, Weir 8, Thorley 7, Ayres 7 (Clarke H/T), Whitehead 7 (Green 56), Mills 8*, O'Connor 7, Symons 7, Carey-Bertram 7 (Brown 69), Edwards 7. Subs not used: Taylor, Birley. Attendance: 916.