Hall of Shame #3: Histon 1-0 Swindon Town
A massive 74% voted Swindon’s 0-1 defeat at Histon in the FA Cup – on the 8th November 2008 – as the first match under the management of Maurice Malpas to be inducted into our STFC Hall of Shame.
With a very poor start to the League One campaign that originally aimed towards the play-offs, supporters confidence at a low and progression in all three cups a strict priority of chairman Andrew Fitton; the one thing Malpas shouldn’t then oversee is being dumped out of the FA Cup 1st Round to a bunch of part-timers from non-league football…
But that’s exactly what happened and set in motion a run of events that would eventually see the hapless Malpas depart Swindon.
Every now and then Town get turned over by a non-league side – and you’ll see plenty of those matches enter the Hall of Shame – but this defeat was different to the many before.
There was no excuse as Swindon were completely undone by their village opponents. Histon were not plucky or fortunate. The Cambridgeshire side wanted it more, outmaneuvered and out-thought Town – two leagues higher – and fought hard for the win.
Nobody could take away their deserved victory thanks to a David Wright strike when he smashed in Lanre Oyebanjo’s corner.
Swindontownfc.co.uk video of the game
This match more than any highlighted that Malpas had lost the dressing room, failed to motivate his strong side – featuring Cox, McGovern, Paynter, Peacock, Timlin and the rest – and showed how poorly the Scot had prepared Town to deal with Histon’s strength from set-peices.
Post match, all that the sorry Malpas could say to Vic Morgan was how “sorry he was” by the embarrassing result and how he “was ashamed to be part of this result”.
This exchange led to one of those great interview moments as Vic asked “are you confident you are the right man to turn this around for Swindon?”. Malpas paused, astonished by Vic questioning his position and responded “next question”, then the dour Scot rebuked “that’s like asking a turkey to vote for Christmas”. It’s a tragedy Vic isn’t on our Radio anymore…
No defeat in the FA Cup is a blessing is disguise, however this ‘shock’ at Histon, followed by defeat at Brighton days later in the JPT, resulted in Maurice Malpas departing with mutual consent… football speak for we’ll write you a good reference if you terminate your contract…
In the end Histon showed they were worth their victory, beating Leeds United 1-0 in the second round – which is referred to as the worst defeat for the West Yorkshire side – before losing 2-1 to Swansea in Round Three. Everyone soon forgot they beat us.