Cambridge City failed to produce an FA Trophy upset as Basford United progressed through to the next round courtesy of a 2-1 victory.
City were always going to be the underdogs against their higher league opposition, but put in a decent display and were arguably good value for a replay if they had put their second half chances away.
Boss Robbie Nightingale made one change to the starting line-up that recorded victory at North Leigh last week. Nathan Olukanmi was preferred ahead of Lewis Whitehead. The visitors arrived on the back of a 4-0 win against Bamber Bridge last weekend that cemented their 3rd place position in the Northern Premier League.
It was City who took the game to the visitors and dominated the early exchanges without really testing Kieran Preston in the Basford goal.
However, for all their early dominance it was Basford who caught City on the break and when Jordan Gent couldnt cut out a cross, the ball was played into the box and fell invitingly into the path of James Reid who slotted home from close range.
City tried to respond and re-establish their early momentum but Basford were now finding their feet, and when Ben Robinson was penalised the visitors went close again from the resulting free kick which Reid narrowly fired over the bar.
As the match approached the half hour mark, the visitors extended their lead. Ebby Nelson-Addy lost the ball in midfield and the visitors broke and the ball was played into the box which picked out Nathan Watson who made no mistake for his 9th goal of the campaign.
With City two goals behind, they worked hard to get back into the contest and their efforts were rewarded five minutes before the break when Ebby Nelson-Addy did well to cut inside and fire a shot on the angle past Kieran Preston in the Basford goal.
Robbie Nightingale was forced to make a change early in the second half when James Hall collected an injury and was replaced by Lewis Whitehead.
It was Whitehead who made an immediate impact when he did well to pull the ball back, but just failed to pick out a white shirt. At the other end, Jack Thomas did well to pick out Matthew Thornhill but he skied his effort over the bar.
But it was City who looked more likely to score, and they came close when Nelson-Addy crossed for Ryan Sharman but he could only head his effort into the ground when well placed at the back post.
One of the best chances perhaps to fell to Jordan Gent who was picked out by Whitehead from a short corner but he hooked his effort wide of the target.
Basford went closer still when City goalkeeper Liam Gooch made a mess of a clearance, and with Courey Grantham in on goal, Jordan Gent provided an excellent block to stop a certain third for the visitors.
Goochs opposite number, Kieran Preston then arguable provided the stop of the game when Nathan Olukanmi picked out Whitehead but the Basford stopper produced a fine double save to prevent City getting an equaliser.
The Lilywhites continued to knock on the door for a goal that would have taken the tie to a Monday night replay, but ultimately couldnt force it open and it was Basford who progressed to the second qualifying round of the competition.
Post Match Reaction:
Reports index >>>