Cambridge City secured a play-off spot for the third time in four seasons courtesy of a nerve wracking final day 1-1 draw at home to Swindon Supermarine.
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On a day when the weather was more like the middle of winter than end of season, City knew that a win would be enough, but had to settle for a point against a hard working Swindon side. In the end, a point proved to be just enough to see them over the line.
Gary Roberts sent his team out for the final day encounter with the inclusion of Mitchell Bryant who missed the defeat at Evesham last weekend through suspension. Dave Theobald was available following his dismissal last week, but will miss the play-off final should City get there.
The Lilywhites had little to show the vocal home support in the opening exchanges, with the first real chance falling for Craig Hammond who found space just short of the 10 minute mark, but saw his effort go straight to Porter in the Swindon goal.
Ten minutes later, good play from Mitchell Bryant saw his shot deflected when it looked as if it would be testing Porter.
But it was Swindon who stunned the home crowd on the 31 minute mark. City lost possession and Sam Morris ran onto the loose ball. With Morris entering the penalty area Zac Barrett made what appeared to be minimal contact, but one theatrical fall that Ashley Young would have been proud of and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Up stepped Ashley Edenborough who made no mistake to give Marine the lead.
The response from the Lilywhites was almost immediate as good link-up play from Clift and Hammond saw a chance fail to be converted.
But, it could of got worse for the Lilywhites five minutes before the break as Swindon caught City on the break, and the move eventually found Max Etheridge who sidefooted the ball narrowly wide.
Three minutes after the interval, Swindon came close to increasing their lead once more, when a cross found Morris who tried his luck with a long range headed effort, and Barrett had to be alert to finger tip the ball over the bar.
As the half progressed, City were not panicking and were unlucky not to pull level on 53 minutes when David Prada had an excellent goal bound volley expertly saved by Porter in the Swindon goal. The save was made all the more impressive as the ball took a deflection on its way to goal.
On 69 minutes, Neil Midgley replaced Ben Bradbury and it was a minute later that City eventually got the equaliser. As has been the case on so many occasions this year, it was Dave Theobald who had earlier been named the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Player of the Year who headed home Bryant's cross that had just eluded Craig Hammond and to the immense relief to everyone in the Pro-Edge Stadium, City were level.
A minute later came a moment of high controversy as City thought they had got the lead. From an advancing City attack, the ball appeared to hit the hand of a Swindon defender inside the box. The referee thought otherwise, and City won a free kick on the edge of the area. From the set piece, Theobald headed against the bar, with the rebound falling for Lee Clift who bundled it home. With the home crowd euphoric, their celebrations were dampened with the assistant referee flagging for an apparent offside.
That decision seemed to give City the incentive to keep pressing for the win, and chances came and went. With the clock ticking down everyone was thinking about whether a draw would be sufficient to book a play off berth, but that would have been made irrelevant had both Bryant and Cambridge been more accurate with their shooting. Both firing over when well placed in the dying moments.
As the game finished, it looked like City had failed to do enough. However, news filtered through that Stourbridge were drawing 1-1 with Frome a result that would be enough for City to secure a play-off spot. After an agonising few minutes, a huge cheer went up from the Shed which signalled that Frome and Stourbridge had indeed finished level, and City were in the play-off mix again.
Who City will meet in the Play-Offs is undecided as Totton and Bedford play on Thursday, but the Lilywhites have met their target for the season, and it remains to be seen if they can press on through the lottery of the play-offs and gain the second promotion space.