City welcomed Boldmere St Michaels to Bridge Road with new signing Tom Lorraine coming in from Daventry Town. Tom will bring us experience and a bit of something different up front with his height and strength.
Boldmere have been there or thereabouts in the playoff places all season so it was always going to be a tough game for the Lilywhites against a physical, well-organised team. And so it proved to be, with the first half being a close-knit affair, both teams playing some nice passing football but much like the previous game at home to Sporting Khalsa, chances came at a premium.
The first real opportunity came as early as 5 mins, when Ben Nolan picked the ball up from Joe Welch deep in his own half, the pacey winger was given way too much space and was allowed to run the length of the field before a deft little pass to Jarid Robson gave the City frontman a chance to get a cross in. New man, Tom Lorraine sliding in at the far post was inches away from getting a touch that would have been a tap in on debut.
Both sides were having spells of possession without really creating anything or troubling either goalkeeper. City hearts were in mouths on 28 mins when Boldmere striker Harry Sweeney Robbed Ben Nolan on the byline, and as he turned and moved inside the box, Nolan jabbed a foot out, the striker inevitably tumbled to the ground but it didn’t look like there was any contact and thankfully the referee agreed and waved away the muted appeal.
The Mikes were beginning to build some momentum as the halftime break approached, a flick on down the middle found Owen Parry in space on the edge of the box, and on the turn, Parry rifled a volley towards the bottom right-hand corner. But Welch was equal to it and got down really well to turn the ball around the post for a magnificent save that kept the score goalless.
The Parity didn’t last long and when Andre Brown plucked the ball out of the air with his back to goal, there didn’t look to be any immediate danger but he turned well and struck a fierce shot from just outside the box that gave Welch no chance in the City goal. 0-1 to the visitors right on the stroke of halftime.
On 61 mins Theo Alexandrou came on for the industrious Waumsley who had, as usual, run himself into the ground. Alexandrou has been an excellent addition to the team recently and bought his usual high energy levels to the game. It seemed to give City the lift they needed and moments later the game was level!
A corner from Dotty Cotton found the head of Taylor Parr at the far stick, the centre-back guided his header back across goal, and with Tom Lorraine making life difficult for the centre-backs in the goalmouth, the ball somehow managed to thread its way through the bodies and across the line for the equalizer. For the first time in the match the chirpy Boldmere bench was silenced but Parr, generously found time to celebrate with them before returning to his defensive position.
The final 30 mins were back and forth without too many real chances coming for either side, that was until the 87th minute when Owen Parry’s well-stuck shot found its way through the defensive line and Alex Mcskeane swung a foot at it, but he only managed to prod the ball around the post.
That was the last chance of the game and both teams seemed happy to settle for a draw, even the referee could have booked himself for time wasting at one point. On reflection, it was a fair result and another good performance against a top 6 team.
Successive away days coming up at relegation candidates, Daventry Town and Yaxley. 6 points would see us over the sacred 40-point mark and almost certain safety. Not that it's ever been in any doubt 😉