CAMBRIDGE CITY 1 (Sharman 70)
THAME UNITED 1 (Martin 36)
Glassworld Stadium, Histon
Weather – 11 Celsius, Dry and Windy
Report and Photos by Carl Catling
*** STARTING LINE UPS ***
Cambridge City – Head (gk), Paterson (cpt), Simpson, Bullin, Robinson, Odofin, Olukanmi, Watkins, Gyasi, Maynard, Oyinsan
Subs used – Sharman, Farrow and Booth
Thame United – Hill (gk), Peake-Pijnen, Lynn, Essex, Jewell, Tack, Tutton, Sturgess (cpt), Goss, West, Martin
Subs used – Mepham, Gledhill and Evans
Thame United entered the game in 9th position with no real prospect of making the playoffs due to the goal difference column. Cambridge City had nothing to play for as they were destined for mid table.
HT Score – Cambridge City 0 – 1 Thame United
The pitch was very hard and patchy in places not to mention there were strong winds in Histon. In the early stages both sides were struggling to pass and move on the field due to the conditions. A long ball from Peake-Pijnen to Goss was neatly controlled before being played back to Sturgess who put In a great cross threatening the goal which was then headed away from danger. Thame looked dangerous on the break and West was often playing in a deeper role in order to get on the ball early. The City defensive line held firm multiple times catching the Thame attack offside. One spark for City was that of Watkins in midfield who was having a great first half in defence and attack. The first real chance for City came to Oyinsan who scuffed his shot which meant Hill had to save the ball with his legs to force the ball behind for a corner. The following corner was hit towards the back past and City captain Patterson climbed over the defender who did connect with his header but he found a defender defending the goal line. Thame shortly after managed to get the ball up field and midfield player Tutton had a half volley which was on it’s way in but was deflected over the bar. Both sets of players were still finding conditions difficult and could not run at full pace on the pitch. A long throw in by Lynn from the left was worked into the box before a shot by Martin was not timed and went wide. City got back on the attack with Olukanmi down the wing who whipped a cross into Gyasi who was un-marked but could only shoot over the crossbar. Then there was a moment of controversy which led to a stoppage in play for 3 minutes. Whereby Watkins and Tack were involved in a physical altercation leading to today’s referee awarding both a yellow card. When play got back underway it was Thame that put the pressure on City’s defence and the first goal fell to Thame. Thame’s midfielder Martin was able to net another excellent half volley from 30 yards for his second in recent weeks. This did give Thame more confidence and the away team were able to stay on top for the rest of the half. As Thame were now able to get the ball more to Goss and West behind the defensive line. A final chance was a corner taken by Peake-Pijnen which flew through everyone in the box and left West frustrated as to why he was not able to head it in.
FT Score – Cambridge City 1 – 1 Thame United
Following the break both sides were unchanged but City were the ones showing more urgency. Thame were happy to play at a slower tempo early on and push the ball wider in the second half. Thame’s Tutton was continuing his fine performance in midfield with his positional play and ability to win the ball back. A moment of magic was witnessed when Gyasi lifted the ball over a defender before hitting a pass across the face of goal which agonisingly could not reach anyone for a tap in. In the 58th minute Thame made three substitutions to hopefully see the away side over the line. Thame nearly made it 2-0 when West made a great run through two defenders and his attempt to lob Head was unsuccessful. The atmosphere was becoming flat in the Stadium until Ryan Sharman was brought in by City. It did not take long for the quality of Sharman to present itself when in the 70th minute he found space just outside the penalty box before launching a half volley into the top of the net leaving Thame’s Hill un-moved. The goal was evidence of reward for all of City’s determination in the second half. One of Thame’s substitutes Mepham provided a great move when he went past two defenders with the ball before moving the ball to West who spotted Martin on the move. It was Martin that was able to fire another shot away but this time it did go over the bar. City continued to pile on pressure in search of the winner and Thame’s Essex and Jewell were made to be alert and dig in deep to clear the ball from danger. One comical moment in the game was when Hill anticipated a through ball before having the ball at his feet and side stepping an attacker. To those watching the game it was closer to playing the video game Fifa 19. The referee awarded three minutes of injury time and a driven run by Peake-Pijnen crossed the ball towards the back post but a full stretching West could not connect with his boot.
The feeling at full time was that this was a fair result. Thame were on top first half and City’s determination and work ethic did help them find the equaliser to snatch a point at home. Thame end the season in 8th place but there is an air of optimism surround this group of players for the 2019/20 season.
*** MAN OF THE MATCH – Ryan Sharman ***
Today’s Man of the Match was decided by Cambridge City. The choice was none other than substitute Ryan Sharman for his equalising goal and presence up top causing a threat in the second half.