Injury time winner breaks City hearts
- Credit: Archant
IN a game calling out for a touch of class, it was a momentary lapse in concentration that separated City and St Neots at Clarence Park on Saturday.
Substitute Chris Henry looked to have won the game in the 93rd minute after being hauled down in the box following one of his trademark darting runs, only to see captain Chris Comley’s spot kick saved.
To rub salt into the wound St Neots Kyle Asante capitalised on a defensive mix up between Nick Jupp and the otherwise superb debutant Darren Locke to steal in and win all three points a minute later.
After the loss, City’s third in a row, joint boss Graham Golds said he was “gutted”.
“It has knocked the stuffing out of us,” he admitted.
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“We worked hard to come back from the 6-1 defeat in mid-week and I think we were stronger all over the park so it is gutting to have a penalty, the ‘keeper save it and then they go an snatch all three points.”
Golds pointed to City’s inability to profit from a dominant first half as his side’s downfall, but said the outcome of the game was “cruel”.
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“I really feel for the lads today. We may not have done enough to win it, but with the penalty at the end we though it would go our way. Me, James [Gray] and all the boys are gutted.”
Looking to rebound from two dismal performances Golds and Gray made four changes, bringing back Layne Eadie, Richard Graham and Gray Ngoyi and giving Locke is first start.
The move paid off – Locke and Joe Bruce were solid at the back while Graham and Josh Urquhart controlled the midfield.
St Neots had the first chances, a scuffed shot by Dubi Ogbonna and a surging run from Lewis Hilliard that was thwarted by Wharton, who had a fantastic game at right back.
On 19 minutes City should have scored. A cross into the box by David Keenleyside was miscued by Urquhart but his ball back into the box had Saints’ players lining up to score but each time their efforts were blocked.
City continued to press forward, crafting chances for Keenleyside, who headed over from a Comley corner, and Ngoyi, who could only turn a cross into Giddens’ gloves, but for all the pressure it was goalless at the break.
After the restart City was transformed, giving away possession cheaply and failing get into goal scoring positions. Luckily St Neots weren’t able to create many chances, the best falling to Ben Mackey who fired over the bar.
Henry’s 60th minute introduction rejuvenated City and a run into the box saw him brought to the ground, although the referee saw it differently and booked him for diving.
And Just as the game was heading for a goalless draw it climaxed into a thrilling spectacle with both teams coming close, although it was St Neots who left Clarence Park the happier of the two sides.