The green shoots of recovery that Cambridge City fans thought were appearing seem to have stopped as the Lilywhites rounded off their festive programme with back to back defeats.
Reports index >>>
The 3-1 reverse at the hands of league leaders Peterborough Sports wasnt exactly the positive injection that the City faithful were looking for, who watched their team in action minus the services of favourite James Hall who joined St Neots on Monday.
Making a debut for City was Jordan Odofin who partnered Keano Robinson at the back. The former Dunstable Town centre half was preferred ahead of Joe Robinson who is poised to join Kings Lynn Town.
It may be a new year, but one of the patterns of the season continued and City conceded the almost customary early goal. This time, they were more than unfortunate as a ball forward looked clearly offside, but to the surprise of everyone in the ground, Dion Sembie-Ferris was allowed to carry on and slotted the ball past Jamie Head.
City were trying to get back into the game, but with Josh Oyinsan the lone striker, the visitors knew that if they could keep the big City striker quiet that they could limit the openings for the Lilywhites.
But it was the visitors who always looked the more potent going forward and it was from a corner when they extended their lead. The ball was swung in and with the City defence under pressure it was Sembie-Ferris who converted for his second of the afternoon.
It could have got worse for City before half time when the Lilywhites lost the ball, and Josh Moreman broke but fired wide of the target.
Peterborough came out for the second half with an increased tempo and Mark Jones went close when his shot rattled the bar with Headed rooted to his line. But they didnt have to wait long for the third goal to arrive, and it was the impressive Lewis Hilliard who rounded off a good move by showing good composure to fire home past Head.
City boss Robbie Nightingale freshened things up and it was one of the substitutes in the shape of Mickey Davis who did well to create an opening but fired wide of the target.
From nowhere, Josh Oyinsan gave City a lifeline when he was first to react to a cross and fired past Lewis Moat to drag the Lilywhites back into the contest. It could have actually got better for City shortly afterwards when Davis played a delightful ball through to Oyinsan but from six yards out he skied the opportunity over the bar.
City to their credit kept going, but couldnt force a way through a well drilled visiting defence who appear to have enough quality in their squad to sustain a promotion challenge during the second half of the season.
The next stop for City is another difficult game at Thame United on Saturday.