Banton fires late Town winner.
Second half substitute Zane Banton netted a late winner for the visitors as the Hatters ran out victors in a well contested 90 minutes at Histon.
Danny Fitzsimons skippered a strong Hatters side against Histon which included JJ O'Donnell and Scott Rendell from the side that beat Maidstone on Tuesday. Jim Stevenson continued in the heart of midfield against his former side with Brett Longden, Zak Stephens and Elliot Justham also retaining their places 48 hours on.
A very quiet opening quarter of an hour from both sides as large spells of possession were unable to unlock either defences. The hosts came closest with a long range, ambitious volley failing to trouble Justham in the Hatters goal.
A goalless first half was quickly brushed aside when the Hatters bench and supporters were adamant they should have been awarded a spot kick. The Hatters saw their appeal's fall on deaf ears however as they were defiantly waved away by the officials. O'Donnell wriggled away from two flailing Histon challenges in the middle of the park before slipping a precisely weighted ball through to Hughes. The trialist then scooped up possession and bustled his way into the area before being chopped at the ankles. Soldiering on however, the forward attempts to fire goal-wards but is eventually crowded out by Histon bodies and finished unrewarded for his honesty.
Stephens then saw his efforts at breaking the deadlock muffled after O'Donnell's deep cross. A long, searching cross from the midfielder found Stephens peeling off at the far post but before his header could trouble the keeper it had bounced off a Histon body, back off of Stephens torso and out for a goal-kick.
The Hatters were nearly made to rue allowing Jake Woolley to turn out for the opposition when he scampered onto Claudio Hoban's long range pile-driver. A strong palm from Justham rebounded the ball into the feet of Woolley who was denied at close range by a last-ditch dive from Justham.
It was then Parry's turn to try his luck after a magnificent piece of footwork allowed him the opportunity to strike at goal. Collecting the ball on the edge of the area from Rendell, he chipped the ball over an outstretched leg and back into his path before jinking past another. Support arrived at the far post in the form of O'Donnell and Rendell, picking his head up, Parry lashed his effort across the face, narrowly missing the far corner due to a slight deflection.
The Hatters introduced four changes in the second half, one of which Banton, nearly headed the Hatters into a late lead. O'Donnell was sent racing down the left flank by Fitzsimons who slashed a cross field diagonal into his path. Receiving the ball, O'Donnell darted inside before standing the ball up for those waiting. Banton lead the charge and connected well with O'Donnell's floated delivery before heading goal-wards. His header, destined for the far corner, was plucked out of the air by the Histon keeper as it remained goalless.
Woolley came close, yet again, for Histon late on with a close range, prodded volley which had Justham springing up to fingertip over the bar to maintain his clean sheet.
The goal finally came for the Hatters through the lively substitute, Banton. Charlie Smith, another second half substitute, linked up well with O'Donnell before he hoisted the ball over the Histon defence for Longden to scamper onto. Wrestling his way into the box, Longden picked out Banton at the second attempt before the young forward cooly slotted the ball underneath the Histon stopper for the opening, and only goal of the game as the referee blew proceedings to a close.