A disastrous opening 10 minutes consigned Cambridge City to their second home league defeat of the season as Beaconsfield returned home with the points.
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City boss Robbie Nightingale had more options available with Ryan Sharman, Buster Harradine and Mark Coulson all returning after spells out of the side. However, Nightingale elected to start with the team that finished against Stamford AFC in the FA Cup last Friday.
The home side put some early pressure on the visitors goal, but Beaconsfield opened the scoring with their first attack of the game when City goalkeeper Niall Conroy could only parry a shot into the path of Aaron Minhas who fired home.
It got worse for the home side 3 minutes later when the visitors caught City on the break. The ball found its way out to Charlie Losasso and his pace got the better of the defence and fired in a shot that beat Conroy and crossed the line with the aid of the inside of the post.
By now City were rocking and the visitors were finding gaps all over the park, and the visitors were threatening to take the game away from the Lilywhites completely. However, and to their credit, City gradually got back into the contest, but without really creating much of an attacking threat. The closest City came to a goal in the opening half was when Salim Relizani had a shot well saved from Jamie Norris in the Beaconsfield goal.
City came out for the second half with more purpose, and got back into the contest 5 minutes after the re-start when Knowles was upended in the penalty area. The same player got up and converted the spot kick to pull City level.
That seemed to inspire City and when Harry Norman sent Relizani clear, the Lilywhites almost pulled level but his attempted lob was saved by Norris. Then, Michael King was unlucky not to convert when he met a flick on from Relizani.
At the other end, Beaconsfield won a free kick on the edge of the area which was well saved by Conroy. Straight from the goal kick, Relizani again got himself into a good position only to see another attempted lob on the goalkeeper cleared.
The City boss introduced Ryan Sharman and Lewis Wilson at the expense of Michael King and Ollie Snaith. It was Sharman who was involved in the next opportunity when he played the ball back for Relizani who missed from close range. It was Relizani again who perhaps was guilty of missing the best opportunity to secure a City comeback. Just like last week, Ben Robinson played a great ball into the box, and it was met by Relizani and his header somehow went over the bar from no more than 4 yards out.
City continued to press, but Beaconsfield defended impressively to hang on to their lead and returned home with the points.
FROM ROBBIE NIGHTINGALE
It was disappointing to concede the two goals early on, and the manner in which we conceded them was poor too, and that will be something that we will be looking to put right. Despite conceding those two goals, I always thought that if we could get one back with a good chunk of the game left, we would still be in with a chance of getting something out of the game.
Once we did get a goal back early in the second half, I felt it was there for us as they were on the ropes and we had the upper hand but we couldnt force a way through.
After we got the goal, I thought we did well and played some good stuff, and I dont think Niall Conroy has had much to do in the second half. Its just really disappointing that we have got off to such a bad start that gave us a mountain to climb for the rest of the game.
We have had chances and need to learn to be more clinical in and around the 18 yard box. That said, Salim Relizani has had a couple of decent opportunities to get us a point.
Ultimately, we have to learn not to make silly errors and stop giving teams time and space on the ball. The standard of the league is no surprise to me. There are some decent teams at this level and it is not easy, and we need to realise that and respect where we are at. If we dont we will come unstuck.
Given the quick turnaround in games, and the amount of players at our disposal right now, I think it is only natural that we will look at making changes for the game at Bedford on Monday, so that is something I will be thinking about ahead of what will be another tough game for us.