A disappointing end to a disappointing season came with the visit of Chasetown FC. The Scholars were travelling to Bridge Road with nothing to lose. They needed 3 points and results to go their way to secure a playoff place. In contrast, City had little to pay for and you could see the difference from the first whistle.
A good crowd of 317 turned out, largely thanks to the excellent travelling support from Chasetown. A shout out to the guy who cycled to Cambridge having set off from Chasetown at 6 am! An incredible performance and certainly the highlight of the day for me.
Ben Nolan, Tommy Rigby, Jake Battersby, Ryan Ingrey & Joe Welch were all missing for City, which gave Caleb Chandler a chance to start his second league match for the Lilywhites. Club Captain Scott Bridges started and Matty Miles was returning for the second match to get some minutes on the pitch following his lengthy injury.
Despite a busy start from Chasetown, the first chance of the game fell to City. Matty Miles first time volleyed cross from the right picked out Tom Waumsley whose shot on the turn deflected off Chasetown Centre back Mitchell Clarke. Fortunately for the scrambling keeper, Curtis Pond, the ball dipped over the bar and behind for a corner.
With nerves settling, the Scholars started to take control of the game, A long-range effort from Luke Yates was their first real attempt on goal but it troubled the away fans more than Chandler in the City goal. Not to be denied it was Yates who did open the scoring on 31 minutes. Ryan Shaw played Yates in with a deft flick with the outside of the right boot on the halfway, the striker bearing down on goal made no mistake slotting the ball passed Chandler into the far corner.
The killer goal came right on the stroke of half-time, Ryan Boothe picking the ball up on the left and cutting inside his man before unleashing a powerful shot that gave Chandler no chance at his near post.
With results elsewhere not going the way Chasetwon had hoped, it was looking like a game that was just going through the motions. Fan favourite Jarid Robson came on to replace Scott Bridges just 10 minutes into the second half, immediately bringing some urgency into the City attack. It was Robson's pinpoint pass from midfield that released Tom Lorraine on the edge of the box, the big striker turned his man inside out but his cross was agonisingly too far ahead on the on-rushing Waumsley when many were hoping he would have had a dig himself.
Chasetown were setting about finishing City off and almost did when striker Booth smashed an effort towards goal from 10 yards only to be denied by a stunning save from Chandler. The young keeper reacted quickly to push the shot from point-blank range over the bar for a corner.
A 3rd goal did come 75mins and it was Booth again who was given acres of space on the penalty spot. The ball cut back to him from Yates and the big striker had time to pick his spot.
The Rout was completed in the final minute of the game, a long throw from the left was flicked on by Ryan Winter. Booth controlled the ball beautifully before swivelling and firing a powerful volley into the roof of the net.
A deserved win for the Scholars who unfortunately missed out on a playoff place due to results not going their way. Probably the best team we've played against this season and it was a shame for them that their poor start to the season had come back to bite them. It was a terrible way for City to end a frustrating season. Surely a brighter future is ahead for the Lilywhites.