The big day is almost here and excitement is mounting as Cambridge City prepare to travel to Hampshire to take on Hartley Wintney in the Evostik South East Division Play-Off Final.
The match brings together two sides who progressed to the final courtesy of victories at Hayes and Yeading and at home to AFC Dunstable in the midweek semi-finals.
On paper, the match brings together two evenly matched teams so it’s not easy to point towards who has the advantage. Observers will say Hartley Wintney as they are at home. Some may say City as they have done the double over their hosts during the season. Others may point towards momentum. Hartley were promoted last year and could they do it again? Or will some of City’s team who have had experience of winning this league and play-offs be lucky again?
The league campaign for the hosts saw them finish with a 4-3 loss at home to Aylesbury United but ‘The Row’ finished in fourth position only losing 4 times at home all season – one of those was against City in November. That game saw Player of the Year Ryan Sharman, become the first City player to score in 10 consecutive league matches.
The Lilywhites make the trip knowing that they are a win away from a place back in the Southern League Premier Division. Boss Robbie Nightingale has injury concerns over Nathan Olukanmi who was injured during the semi-final against Hayes & Yeading. He will also be hoping that striker Ryan Sharman is at full fitness after starting the Semi-Final on the bench.
With the exception of when City finished in the top 13 of the Southern League Premier Division to qualify for the newly formed Conference South in season 2003/2004, it’s been 32 years since the club were last promoted. Back then the Lilywhites beat Waterlooville on the last day of the season to win the then Southern League, Southern Division title. Wind the clock forward to 2018 and City fans will be hoping that the Lilywhites can find one last big performance to get back to the Southern League Premier Division at the first attempt.
City will be backed by a sizeable following that will be travelling down to Hampshire but if you cannot get to the game, then there will be updates on social media via Facebook and Twitter with extended coverage and updates on the official website throughout the afternoon followed by in depth post-match reaction, reports and analysis.
Kick-off at the Memorial Fields is at 3:00pm with the match having the possibility of extra time and penalties.
GOING TO THE GAME:
Hartley Wintney FC
The Memorial Fields
© Copyright 2003-18 Cambridge City FC
Top of Page