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Non League Football Under The Microscope

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Eastbourne Borough fans celebrate - August Bank Holiday Monday 2003                                Photograph by Sam Hicks

Histon FC

The Glassworld Stadium, Bridge Road, Impington, Cambridge CB4 9PH
Telephone: 01223 232301
Nickname: The Stutes
Conference South
Website

Note Histon FC is unquestionably the most progressive of the Cambridge clubs, having firstly established itself in the Southern League since promotion from the Eastern Counties League in 2000, before winning promotion to Conference South at the end of the 2004/05 season. The club also recognised that its hitherto relatively modest facilities at Bridge Road required similar improvement if it were to maintain its rise up the Non League pyramid.

Histon Institute FC, as the club was known until 1952, was founded in 1904 and has always played at the Recreation Ground in Bridge Road. In 1962 the ground was re-aligned to make way for the new B1049 trunk road and the the original stand, dating from 1934, was demolished as a consequence. The new pitch was laid at an angle to the old one, and a new complex with seating was opened in 1964. Floodlights were added twenty years later. Itís easy to miss the entrance to the ground. Passing over the eponymous bridge, the ground is clearly visible to the right but the entrance is quite a way further down the road and a very tight hair-pin bend has to be negotiated to get onto the long driveway which runs parallel to the road.

First impressions on entering the car park are favourable, as one is greeted by the brick-built rear of the stand. The entrance to the ground is immediately to the right, and just inside the gate are the toilets - very handy after a long car journey. Steps lead up to the bar area to the rear of the stand. This is nothing out of the ordinary but is nevertheless a welcome refuge when the conditions are cold and/or wet. There is ample seating and tables, plus the obligatory television.

Despite the fairly recent addition of rather bland homogenous shallow covered terracing on three sides of the ground, the small stand still provides the only real focal point at Histon. Access can be gained either from the touchline or from the bar area behind. There was originally an area of cover underneath the stand, but this was lost when the latter was extended outwards in order to meet Southern League requirements when Histon were promoted. For a while this meant that the new seating was not protected from the elements, but thankfully this has now been remedied by also extending the roof. Refreshments are available beneath the stand. Tea and coffee etc. is available plus chips, hot sausage rolls, and filled rolls.

The dugouts have been renewed and are situated right in front of the stand. The dressing rooms and Directors Lounge are also underneath the stand. Parking is available behind the cover at the near end of the ground, as well as outside.

With Cambridge United losing their Football League status, and Cityís days at Milton Road numbered, the future currently looks bright for The Stutes, particularly with the Cambridgeshire FA soon to base its headquarters at Bridge Road. DB

Bridge Road circa 1934