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City too hot to handle

Updated: 5 days ago

The Lilywhites were on the road again, this time in the Isuzu FA Trophy at Southern League side King's Langley, who came into the game unbeaten in their respective league.

City travelled without Liam Chadwick and Ryan while longer term absentees Tommy Rigby and Ryan Swift remain on the injured list.

Temperatures soaring to over 30 degrees suggested that the game could become a bit of a slow and steady affair but credit to both sides who came out firing on all cylinders to give the 177 crowd a decent game of football.

City had the better of the opening exchanges, Taylor Parr hitting the bar twice with towering headers from Daniel Cotton's corners. But it was the home side that struck first, Richard Black looked like he was dragged back facing his own goal and the big defender was only able to stab the ball across goal, it fell to Jermaine Rene Howe who fired a low shot from close range past Joe Welch.

City responded well and Dan Cotton was unlucky to be adjudged offside. The City hitman fired his shot across the keeper into the corner of the net, only to see it ruled out by the assistant referee's flag.

On 30 minutes Broccoli broke down the right, his cross hit the defender and rebounded to Joe Hood, who took a touch to get the ball out of his feet and curled in a sweet shot to the far bottom corner with this left foot and City were deservedly back in the game.

As the second half progressed, possession was pretty even, but it was City that carved out the better chances. Broccoli released Cotton inside the box but Dotty was only able to fire his effort straight at the keeper who saved easily.

The Lilywhites had another goal disallowed after some lovely build-up play from our own half resulted in a Jake Battersby cross for Broccoli to volley in from close range but again City were denied by the offside flag.

The heat was beginning to take it's toll and when Patrick Staszewski was replaced suffering with cramp on 82 mins, Stan Leech was given the opportunity to come on and try to save us from the lottery of penalties. It was Leech's flick-on that released Broccoli on 84 minutes, he timed his run to perfection and was through, one-on-one with the keeper slotting the ball home with ease to give City the lead with only 6 minutes to play.

Maybe the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for Kings Goalkeeper Alex Tokarczyk who, dressed in canary yellow, had been chirping at the officials for the entire game. In the 90th minute, the referee's patience wore out and he booked Tokarczyk for dissent and within 60 seconds he was at it again, 2nd yellow and the subsequent red.

City played out injury time without any trouble against 10 men and we now move on to the next round with a home tie against familiar opponents, Leighton Town date TBC.

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