It was all smiles at Westwood Road as City comfortably saw off the challenge of local rivals St Neots, to book a place in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup.
The visitors came into the game as slight favorites, although they had yet to win a game this season, while City were looking to carry on where they had left on Bank Holiday Monday, having defeated Bedford 4-1.
Both sides looked for an early advantage. Saints' Luke Knight hooked over the bar and, only a last ditch tackle prevented Salim Relizani from providing Ryan Sharman with a tap in for the home side, as the two sides measured each other up
The visitors were unlucky not to have edged in front in the 12th minute when a vicious snap-shot from Lee Clarke caught out Niall Conroy in the home goal and crashed against the post with the keeper rooted. Worse was to come for the Saints when two minutes later they found themselves behind. They failed to deal with a City corner and when the ball ran loose in the area, Lewis Wilson was on hand to poke the it home.
The goal seemed to knock St Neots already fragile confidence and although Dion Semble-Ferris saw a shot whistle past Conroys upright, they fell further behind just past the half hour mark. Ben Robinson produced a storming run into the area and was upended by Taylor Parr. The referee pointed to the spot, and Tom Knowles clinically despatched the penalty to put City in full control.
Relizani came close to putting the game beyond St Neots shortly before the break, but his sizzling shot from 25 yards narrowly cleared Mike Emerys crossbar.
Early in the second half, some quick thinking following a free-kick saw Knowles find Sharman with a great cross, but the former St Neots man planted his headed just over. Then came the moment that probably told St Neots that this wasnt to be their night. Scott Sinclair hit a shot that beat Conroy, but clattered the bar, bouncing back into play. In the almighty scramble that followed, City somehow managed to prevent the ball from crossing the line.
City responded well, with Jordan Gent seeing his thumping header cleared off the line, then Relizani got in on the act with a fine effort form a free-kick that took another coat of paint off the visitors crossbar. City were then denied what looked a cast iron penalty when Knowles was felled as he cut into the box.
City were beginning to turn the screw and were finally rewarded with the killer third goal from the best move of the night. Sweeping upfield at pace, Knowles turned and outpaced his marker before picking out the perfect pass inside to Relizani, who gleefully placed the ball beyond Emery.
With fifteen minutes left, St Neots finally got on the scoresheet when substitute Danny Wilson looped a shot over Conroy, but this was no signal of any second coming for the Saints and, rather than having to repel borders, City almost extended their lead when Knowles wriggled his way into the St Neots box, only to be denied by a point blank block from Emery.
As the game entered its final moments, a mis-hit shot turned into a perfect pass for Watson, putting him clear on goal, however, Conroy was quickly off his line to block the resulting shot which, had it found the back of the net, would only have served to suggest the game was closer than it actually was.
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