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City 1 -2 Halesowen Town

A frustrating afternoon saw the Lilywhites miss out to a strong Halesowen side at Bridge Road. City came into the game off the back of 2 excellent results against Spalding and Corby. Confidence was high and rightly so.

In a cagey opening to the match, the first chance of the game fell to Jarid Robson, who managed to get something on the end of Isaac Maynards inviting cross, however his glancing header drifted wide of the target.

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As the game opened up, Halesowen’s Richard Gregory had an attempt on 9 minutes when he latched on to a pass from Kieran Donnelly. The striker’s volley didn’t trouble Joe Welch in the City goal as the keeper watch it sail over the bar.

Donnelly was causing trouble in and around the box and on 16 minutes he cut inside from the left wing and was brought down in the box for a penalty, which was duly dispatched by Gregory giving the away team an early lead.

City responded well and started to take control of the midfield, some really nice build up play lead to a driving run down the line from Jake Battersby, who’s cross found Tom Waumsley on the edge of the box, under pressure from the Yeltz Centre Back, Waumsley turned well but fired over the bar from 18 yards.

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With Waumsley looking lively up front all afternoon, Dan Cotton delivered a free-kick into the box and it was the City man’s flick on that forced a scrambling save from keeper Daniel Platt.

On 32 minutes another scramble in the 6 yard box from a city through ball landed at the feet of Waumsley, this time the City man smashed the ball in from close range, only to see his effort cruelly ruled out for a dubious offside. Much to the dismay of the City faithful behind the goal, a controversial moment that would ultimately cost the Lilywhites dear.

Just 6 minutes later and slightly against the run of play, Halesowen doubled their lead when Donnelly again found a teammate in Ash Simmons with a pin-point pass. Simmons made no mistake, stroking the ball in from 25 yards, giving Joe Welch little chance as the ball nestled in the far corner.

As the game approached half-time City again responded well, Waumsley turned his man in the box but from 8 yards hit his shot straight at the away keeper. There was still time for one more half chance, a clipped pass over the top from Yaw Ofosu almost found Daniel Cotton who was looking for his 9th goal of the season, Unfortunately it was just out of reach and the ball drifted harmlessly behind for a goal kick.

The second half began in much the same way that the first had ended with City controlling the ball well and creating chances with both Ryan Ingrey and Tom Waumsley coming close, the latter being a long-range effort saved well by the keeper diving to his right.

With the league leaders on the back foot for most of the second half it was Taylor Parr's turn to get in on the action, from Cottons corner, Parr's looping header from the edge of the box dipping under the bar before being caught on the line.

The chances were racking up for City and it was beginning to look like one of those days again. The excellent Ben Nolan, back from injury, was having a superb second half, linking up well with Robson down the right.

On 62 minutes the young winger found himself in on goal but unfortunately lifted his effort over the advancing keeper and the bar. The away defence now doubling up on Nolan to try and stop the threat but it wasn’t working and he continued to beat the full back with ease and get crosses into the box.

The Lilywhites finally pulled a goal back with a minute left on the clock. The impressive Maynard saw his long range effort cannon back off the bar but for once City had some luck and the ball rebounded to Top Scorer Cotton, who made no mistake from 7 yards out for his 9th goal of the season.

City’s ‘never say die’ attitude saw them continue to press after the goal and in the 2nd minute of injury time the ball fell kindly for Ryan Ingrey after a speculative pass into the box ricocheted off the defender. The chance came quickly to the City Striker who did brilliantly to instinctively spin and smash a sweet volley goalwards from around the penalty spot. Unfortunately, it went straight to the keeper who did well to parry the ball away.

The game finished with the away team taking all three points, but the reality is that on another day City could have had 3 or 4 and run out comfortable winners against arguably the best team in the league. City fans rightfully stayed behind to cheer their team off the pitch as we look forward to our next match away to Shepshed Dynamo.

Cambridge City: Joe Welch; Ben Nolan, Jake Battersby, Isaac Maynard, Yaw Ofosu, Taylor Parr, Tommy Rigby, Tom Waumsley (Mikey Davis 74), Ryan Ingrey, Jarid Robson, Dan Cotton. Sub Not Used: Caleb Chandler, Ben Bradley, Ed Tassell, Jake Stronge.

Halesowen Town: Dan Platt; Josh Ezewele, Josh Quaynor, Tom Turton, Rob Evans, Nat Kelly, Nathan Hayward, Ash Sammons (Greg Mills 64), Jamie Insall (Jac Redhead 83), Richard Gregory (McKauley Manning 74), Kieren Donnelly. Subs Not Used: Moussa Koita, Taylor Homer.

Referee: Thomas Harvey Attendance: 279

Booked: Cotton (33), Evans (36), Robson (49), Donnelly (50), Ofosu (57), Turton (67), Redhead (84), Maynard (90)

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