No.1 - Sat 1st August 2015; Cambridgeshire County FA Professional Cup Final;                           3pm at the Westwood Road; St Ives; Cambridge; Cambridgeshire; PE27 6DT 


Matchday images (60)

Cambridge City (0) 0  Histon (3) 3

'A Stutes-pendous performance!'

It’s the start of the new season and I’m travelling to Westwood Road, home of St Ives Football Club for my footy fix today.  My chosen game is the Cambridgeshire County FA Professional Cup Final featuring Cambridge City and Histon. Following a new ground-share agreement with St Ives, this is City’s first competitive match of the campaign at what will be their temporary home for a couple of seasons (at least) whilst building work on the club’s new ground at Sawston, on the outskirts of Cambridge, takes place.


The Cambridgeshire Professional Cup was first played for back in 1958 with March Town hosting the first ever game in October of that year beating Wisbech 2-1 at the GER. After defeating City at Milton Road in front of 8214, rivals Cambridge United went on to win the cup overcoming the Fenmen in the Final.


By the mid-60’s the Final was an all Cambridge affair with United winning more than City. In 1968 the competition was declared null and void following violence on the pitch in the second leg of the final at Newmarket Road. From 1984 to 1988 the Final was played between United and Norwich City. The Canaries  won the first final but the cup was damaged when a fire in the main stand at Carrow Road destroyed the trophy cabinet meaning that a replacement (still used today) had to be made afterwards.


The 1990’s saw the competition become a peripatetic event in terms of opponents with Chester City, Coventry City , Nottingham Forest and even a Canadian XI all playing Cambridge United. However since 2001 the Final has largely been contested between City and Histon with the men from Bridge Road prevailing 7-4 in victories. The competition remained unplayed in 2006 when Histon experienced fixture congestion towards the end of the season.


Today Cambridge City meet Histon for the sixth consecutive season in the Final of the CPC. As holders (winning 2-0 at Bridge Road in front of 263 people last year) City play host and, for the first time in the history of the cup, is being played within the jurisdiction of the Huntingdonshire FA.


For the record Histon came out on top winning comfortably 3-0, wrapping things up within the first 20 minutes over their Southern League Premier Division counterparts. The Stutes started the game on the front foot and were ahead inside three minutes. Lee Smith’s excellent free kick from outside the area was turned around the post by Zac Barrett and from the resulting corner Evan Key angled a header home that flew in off the post.


With twelve minutes on the clock Smith (brought down inside the area by Reynolds) stepped up to convert the resultant spot kick. Five minutes later Smith grabbed his second and Histon’s third of the afternoon, heading home from close range with the home defence all at sea.


The second half was a much more even affair as City upped their game and came close a couple of times. A more resolute Stutes' defence held out as the game ended with skipper Lee Smith lifting the trophy for Histon who deservedly reclaimed the Professional Cup. On this evidence they should do well this season in all competitions.


From the Histon website:  “That was a very good work out for us today” said Manager Brian Page, “and I now feel we should be fully prepared for next week’s opener against Dorchester. I felt the performance was excellent for large parts of the game and showed we are sharp, strong and fit. There were some really good performances today as individuals and the units are starting to look better and better by the game. The pre-season build up has been great and I could not be happier. The biggest thing now is to take the performance from this game into next week. To get off to a positive start is all that matters.”


The game played on a well grassed but sloping pitch in beautiful warm sunny conditions attracted a decent crowd of 216 including a handful of hoppers some taking time out from the scheduled Peterborough/UCL Hop.


A wide range of hot and cold refreshments was available from the tea bar on the entrance side of the ground. A newsy glossy 20 page programme with full colour cover sold for £1. It's a good read with all the necessary bits you’d expect including: news, fixtures and results, pen pix on the visitors and line ups.


Since moving to Westwood Road (after a two year tenancy at Histon), City have undergone a number of ground improvements (at some expense too) in order to bring the site up to Southern League Premier Division standards. Extra seating and a new covered stand have been added over the summer. The album photos will serve as a much better ground description.


So what about City’s future? KWA Architects and Planning consultants have been commissioned by the club to develop the new stadium in Sawston (eight miles from the old Milton Road site). After initial strong objections from councillors who felt that the green belt site should not be used, the application was unanimously approved by the planners who were persuaded by the merits of the project. News about the latest developments (including recent on site levelling work) can be found on the excellent City website (see address below).


However (after chatting to some of the home fans today) it would appear that many City regulars, particularly the older members of the club, could be put off attending games this season. As you would expect the main reason cited is simply down to the distance fans have to travel from Cambridge. ‘Who wants to drive up the A14 for a match on a cold winter’s evening using a busy road packed with commuters heading home after work’ was just one typical but widely held opinion. In response to this the club has posted an advert in the matchday programme looking into a car share scheme as a possible way of addressing this problem and make life easier. Only time will tell as they say.


From a ground collecting point of view I would not hesitate to say that a visit to this quirky little ground comes highly recommended. I hope that you all enjoy your travels this season...have fun wherever you go!     

FGIF Match Stats

Scorers: (H) N/A and (A) Key (3), L Smith (13pen, 16) 

Attendance: 216; Admission: £7; Programme: £1, 20pp; Match rating: 4/5; Ground rating: 4/5.



edited on 04/08/15