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City 0 - 0 Spalding Utd

Cambridge City earned their second point of the season as they battled to a 0-0 draw at home to Spalding United.

City boss Robbie Nightingale was forced to bring in a couple of new recruits and shuffle the pack for the opening home game of the season due to injuries and unavailability. Notably, Striker Ed Rolph was missing through injury and player of the year from last season, Mikey Davis was unavailable. Isaac Maynard and Tommy Rigby were also missing from the team that started at Gresley on Saturday whilst Ben Nolan started on the bench. Due to the missing personnel, Nightingale handed debuts to defender Ben Siggers and midfielder John Freeman.

Spalding had invested heavily over the summer, and their squad included former City goalkeeper Dan George who was on the bench. Also featuring as substitutes were Elliot Sandy and Josh Moreman who were recruited from Corby Town and Peterborough Sports respectively during the closed season.

City started the match brightly, but first half chances were at a premium. Perhaps the best opportunity for the hosts was when Ally Conway did well to win the ball, and that lead to several quick-fire shots on goal from City that were blocked by the Spalding defence.

The closest the visitors came to breaking the deadlock in the first was half was when the impressive Stefan Broccoli fired in an effort that was comfortably saved by City keeper Louis Chadwick.

The match began to open-up as the second half began, and City were grateful to Chadwick for denying the visitors from taking the lead. The ball broke to Dylan Edge and was thwarted by Chadwick and then the keeper, who is on loan from Cambridge United, did well to get down again and block the rebound from Broccoli.

Shortly after, and City came close when Scott Bridges hit an effort that went just over the bar. The Lilywhites came closer still soon after as a free kick from Freeman was floated into the box only for it to strike the frame of the goal and bounce to safety.

Spalding sought fresh impetus as they used all 3 of their substitutes during the second half with Moreman and Sandy being introduced whilst fellow summer signing Bradley Rolt being replaced by Jordan O’Brien. City substitutes saw Freeman being replaced by Simon Swinton and Alfie Wren coming off for Ben Nolan.

It was Nolan, who was making his home debut after signing from Mildenhall in the summer, who had the next chance, but his effort was comfortably held by Michael Duggan in the Spalding goal.

City fans had hearts in their mouths late on when Spalding missed a decent chance. The ball was played into the box and Broccoli was picked out but somehow managed to blaze over the bar when he should have at least hit the target.

So, a 0-0 draw to begin the home campaign and City will be satisfied to have got a point with a team that featured several changes from the opening day at Gresley.

The focus now switches to the FA Cup, and the Preliminary Round tie against Biggleswade at the weekend. Supporters should note this match takes place on Sunday at Bedford Town FC and kick-off is at 1:00pm.

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