It’s difficult to think of a worse start to a league campaign for Cambridge City.
Six games into the season, and the Lilywhites have yet to win a game in the Northern Premier League Midlands, and after 540 minutes of league action have scored just one goal – a penalty against Corby a fortnight ago.
The latest defeat came last night courtesy of a 2-0 reverse at Hinckley LRFC. Going into the match, the hosts who were promoted as runners-up from the United Counties League Division One South last season, were just one place behind City in the early season league table. With Connor Barnes and Ed Rolph back in the squad to strengthen attacking options, hopes were high that the match would be the boost that City so desperately needed to kick-start their season. Also in the line-up were winger Jake Battersby and full back Daniel Akubuine who had signed for the Lilywhites earlier in the day.
The match got off to the worst possible start for City as four minutes into the contest, the Lilywhites found themselves a goal down. The City defence could only half clear a cross into the box, and it fell invitingly to Nick Reeves who smashed home the half volley into the top corner of the net.
With City low on confidence, it was the worst possible start and the Lilywhites had to wait until 10 minutes before the break for their first real opening when Ben Nolan met a header from a Mikey Davis cross, but it caused no real concerns for Will Highland in the Hinckley goal.
City had a couple of other half chances before the break, and Ben Siggers forced Highland into a decent stop. This was followed by a cross from Matt Miles being scrambled away by the home defence. Hinckley could have increased their lead 3 minutes before the break when Andre Williams latched onto a ball over the City defence but could only drag the effort wide.
At the start of the second half, Ed Rolph came on to replace Connor Barnes, but it was the hosts who began the second period with more purpose, and they forced Chadwick into a decent save from Reeves as he met a corner. Nine minutes into the second half, and Hinckley increased their lead. It was the Reeves and Williams combination again as the latter surged into the area and fired a shot into the top corner giving Chadwick no chance. Robbie Nightingale introduced Ryan Sharman for Mikey Davis, but things could have got worse for City as 8 minutes later the hosts broke, and Domonic Brennan saw his effort hit the foot of Chadwick’s left-hand post.
There were more chances for the home side most notably when Chadwick saved bravely at the feet of Reeves, and Nightingale made one final throw of the dice by introducing Simon Swinton at the expense of Scott Bridges. However, City couldn’t find a way of getting back into the contest and Hinckley saw out the game to secure their first league victory of the season.
The defeat leaves City in 18th position in the table with Bedworth and Yaxley beneath them. It is Yaxley who City host on Saturday in the FA Trophy.