12.2.2011

Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Cambridge City

Kolodynski (50) (penalty), (89), Hammond (77)

Hednesford Town

Campion (40), Patterson (58)

(0) 3

(1) 2

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

471

Ross Davidson

W L L W L W W W W L

Chesham United (H) 19.2.11

The Pitmen's recent winning spell was brought to a shuddering halt this afternoon as fellow play-off chasers Cambridge cemented their place in the top three with a late winner to deny the away side what they felt was a deserved point

After overseeing five consecutive wins in the league, manager Rob Smith stuck with ten of his eleven that had beaten Hemel Hempstead Town last week. The only change was an enforced one, as striker Marvin Robinson started his ban following a red card at Tiverton Town; Nick Wellecomme came in to play alongside the in-form Kyle Patterson

In-form Cambridge were playing the third of four home games in succession, having beaten both Oxford City in the league and Slough Town in the Red Insurance Cup. Manager Gary Roberts made three changes for today's game as Dave Theobold, Neil Midgeley and Luke Robins all came in for Jordan  Lambert, Tom Burke and Joey Abbs respectively

With both sides going well in the Zamaretto League Premier, a close game was expected, and the early stages certainly suggested a tight encounter. Midgley was first to get a sighter in on the Hednesford goal on six minutes with a shot that was blocked well by a determined Liam Francis challenge. From the resultant corner, Theobold skewed his shot well over the crossbar 

The Pitmen responded quickly, with loanee Liam Blakeman firing over the bar with a rising effort on nine minutes after he had been played in by Jay Denny

This confidence started to spread through the Hednesford side, as they slowly started to take charge of the game. The slick passing that had become the Pitmen's trademark in recent games was again in evidence, with Ross Davidson at the heart of all of the good play in midfield. The Pitmen forced a succession of corners throughout the first quarter of the game, but a combination of excellent defending and lacklustre finishing saw the visitors continue to be frustrated

Darren Campion looked to be the Pitmen's biggest goal threat in the first half, as the left-back went close with two efforts in a matter of minutes. his first shot on twenty-seven minutes was lashed wide of goal, closely followed three minutes later with a curling effort that again just missed Cambridge keeper Zac Barrett's far post

Prolific Cambridge striker Craig Hammond went close to breaking the deadlock for City on thirty-two minutes, heading Midgley's cross narrowly wide of the post after getting the better of Decio Gomes at the far post

The Pitmen got their reward for an excellent half of pressure five minutes before half time, with Campion finally finding his range - and how! After being awarded a free-kick twenty-five yards out, Campion confidently stepped up to fire through the rickety-looking Cambridge wall and past a bemused Barrett to give the away side a deserved lead

There was still time for Patterson to have a great opportunity to double the Pitmen's lead at half-time, as the striker slalomed his way through three challenges before firing straight at Barrett from eighteen yards out

In the final attack of the half, Blakeman showed excellent skill in killing the ball dead on the edge of the area before turning and hitting a low shot that beat Barrett and the post

With confidence high at the break, Hednesford fans could be forgiven for thinking there was more than a good chance of extending their winning run. However, a sluggish start to the second half saw the Pitmen pegged back just after the restart

Campion went from hero to villain, as he chased down a ball with Midgley on the left-hand corner of the penalty area. Campion allowed the ball to bounce, with Midgley nipping in ahead of him. Campion clumsily tripped the former Canvey Island man, leaving the referee no choice but to award Cambridge a penalty. David Kolodynski stepped up to fire confidently past Dan Crane to level matters

However, this setback seemed to galvanise the Pitmen, as they pushed forward again as they started their search for another goal. Patterson went close with a powerfully hit free-kick on fifty-four minutes, with Barrett holding the striker's shot well

Patterson was not to be outdone, however, and the former West Brom man added to his impressive recent goal tally with a goal on fifty-eight minutes. A brilliant ball from Blakeman sent Patterson away from the Cambridge defence, who paused momentarily as they looked for an offside against Wellecomme. Patterson took advantage of this confusion, as he composed himself and curled a shot past Barrett and into the far corner of the net to put Hednesford back into the lead

Cambridge struggled to find an immediate response to the goal, as the three-man back line of Gomes, Liam Francis and Cheyenne Dunkley held firm against the dangerous duo of Hammond and Kolodynski. Davidson was still enjoying an imperious game, as he constantly looked to start attacks for the Pitmen alongside Blakeman

Crane had to be on his mettle to deny Hammond an equaliser on sixty-four minutes, getting both hands behind the striker's shot

Blakeman's game was ended early by Rob Smith with eighteen minutes remaining, as Chris Clements replaced him after his return from a ban

 

Unfortunately, Clements was to be involved in the Cambridge equaliser five minutes later. His dallying on the ball allowed Lee Chaffey to steal the ball from him on the edge of the Pitmen's penalty area, crossing to the far post where he found Hammond lurking. His first time volley was brilliantly saved by Crane, but the rebound dropped kindly to the same player, who had the simple task of tapping into an empty net

Suddenly, the shape of the game changed, as Cambridge sensed a win and pushed a nervy-looking Hednesford back into their own half in the final ten minutes. Abbs played in Kolodynski with seven minutes remaining, but the Cambridge striker panicked at the crucial moment and lifted his shot over the bar when he should have worked Crane from close range

Just as it looked as though the Pitmen were going to see the game out and earn a good point, Kolodynski broke Hednesford hearts with a late, late winner. Picking up a clever ball from Midgley, Kolodynski held off a flailing challenge from Dunkley before slipping the ball past Crane from ten yards out to raise the roof off Milton Road

The final whistle saw Hednesford fans rue a huge missed opportunity to steal a march on a fellow play-off contender, and to compound the misery further Patterson was shown a retrospective red card after the final whistle for his constant arguing with the match officials

The games get no easier for the Pitmen as they look to recover from this result, as another play-off chasing side in the form of Chesham United visit Keys Park next Saturday

Cambridge City: Barrett, Nicell, Krause, Theobold, Chaffey, Hughes (Burke 75), Midgeley, Cambridge ©, Hammond, Kolodynski, Robins (Abbs 60)      Subs Unused: Lambert, Sawyer, Megicks

Hednesford Town: Crane, Gomes, Campion, Dunkley, Francis ©, Denny, Melbourne, Patterson (90), Wellecomme, Blakeman (Clements 72), Davidson       Subs Unused: Robinson, Keenan, Bailey, Osborne

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