Cambridge City crashed out of the FA Trophy at the first attempt as they lost 2-0 at the hands of Alvechurch.
On paper, the match looked to have all the ingredients to be an entertaining affair as it paired two sides in good form, with City second and Alvechurch third in their respective league.
City boss Robbie Nightingale fielded a side that had been free scoring in the last few games and home fans were hoping that a thumping win over Arlesey on Monday night would be the perfect springboard for City to overcome the challenge of the visitors.
The opening exchanges of the match were tight, and lacked any real quality from either side. The first real opening came when Tom Knowles was fouled by visiting skipper Jamie Willets. The resulting free kick was delivered into a promising position, but City were caught offside.
As the half progressed, Alvechurch started to become more of a threat, but City themselves were unlucky not to take the lead when a free kick was floated into the area, and the ball seemed to deceive the visiting defence before going narrowly wide of the post.
The woodwork came to the aid of City shortly afterwards when Niall Conroy came out for a ball, and chose to head the clearance only to put the ball in the path of Danny Dubidat. The in-form Alvechurch striker went for the lob and his effort came off the post.
On the stroke of half time, Tom Knowles had two reasonable chances for City. First, he made room for himself on the edge of the area and his effort went wide of the target. Then, from another effort his shot was turned round the post by Gwilliams in the Alvechurch goal and from the resulting corner, Jordan Gent saw his effort go just over the bar.
The match remained a tight affair as the second half got under way, but as the minutes ticked by City were progressively being forced onto the back foot by a well organised Alvechurch side.
The all important breakthrough came when the visitors broke and fired in an effort which was Conroy could only save as it feet. The rebound fell invitingly for Babucar Sauane, who fired Alvechurch into the lead.
City were unlucky not to hit back immediately when Jordan Gent met a corner and his effort was cleared off the line.
However, any hope that City had of getting an equaliser were extinguished when Alvechurch got a second. Once again it was Sauane who had the ball and he managed to avoid the challenge of two City defenders before firing home.
Robbie Nightingale introduced Nathan Olukanmi, Ollie Snaith, and Buster Harradine at the expense of Salim Relizani, Ryan Towner, and Tom Knowles, but the frustrating afternoon continued for the home side who couldnt force a way through to set-up what would have been a grandstand finish.
City return to league action on Tuesday night with a trip to Hayes and Yeading, and may have to do it without Tom Knowles after he picked up an injury during the game today.
POST MATCH REACTION:
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