Hopes that Cambridge City will have home advantage in the play-offs are now looking slim as a last minute goal condemned the Lilywhites to a home defeat against Barton Rovers.
It was a below par City performance and in mitigation, you could argue that key players were either rested or injured. However, City failed to put the visitors to the sword and were stung by a last minute winner by former Lilywhite, Andrew Phillips.
Due to injuries and players being rested, City boss Robbie Nightingale gave starts to youngsters Harry England and Isaac Maynard. Whilst Buster Harradine and Ryan Auger were on the bench. Ben Robinson and Salim Relizani were injured; Jordan Williams and Nathan Olukanmi sat the match out.
City started the game on the front foot, and should have opened the scoring early on when Maynard did well to pick out Ryan Sharman, but his effort hit the bar.
Harry England almost gifted Barton with the opener with a decidedly awkward clearance, but it was City who still looked as though they would break the deadlock. Ben Seymour-Shove had a long range opportunity that failed to trouble Daniel Gould in the Barton goal. The same player was involved shortly after as Jack Vasey set him up, but again his effort went wide of the target.
Vasey was unlucky not to do better in the latter stages of the first half when he dragged a good opportunity wide of the post.
The visitors started the second half with more purpose and Josh Bexon was forced to make a good stop from a Henry Snee effort. But City still went looking for the opener, and Ross Paterson was unlucky to see a well hit volley go wide of the target.
However, there was always a feeling that Barton would make City pay for the missed chances and that very nearly came when Daniel Jarvis saw a long range effort canon off the post.
Robbie Nightingale introduced fresh legs with Buster Harradine, James Hall and Ebby Nelson-Addy all being introduced. Those changes looked to give City more impetus and wave after wave of possession and pressure almost counted when Ryan Towner saw an effort late into the game hit the bar.
However, there was to be a sting in the tale as Barton broke in the last move of the game, and when the ball found its way out to Andrew Phillips the former Lilywhite made no mistake to sweep the ball past Bexon and record only their eighth win of the campaign.
City will now look to get some all-important momentum with positive results in their final two games against Chalfont St Peter on Wednesday and Moneyfields on Saturday.
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