Cambridge City 2-1 Chippenham Town (attendance 322); the second of Untold’s non-league games from the non-league weekend.
Welcome to the Glassworld Stadium in Impington, near Cambridge, the temporary home of Cambridge City for a Sunday k/o in the CALOR league premier division. The Glassworld is actually Histon FC’s ground and Histon play in the Blue Square Premier alongside highflying Cambridge United.
Cambridge City were once called Cambridge Town, Cambridge United were once Abbey United. In 1951 when Cambridge (neither City nor united but the city…) was awarded city status both clubs applied to the Town and East Counties league to be called Cambridge City. Cambridge Town got their application in first and so Abbey United changed their name to Cambridge United [are you following this ed?]
So why are City playing at Histon and not at their own ground? Well I asked a couple of supporters and got mixed and possibly libellous responses so let’s go with the official line (as I’d hate Tony to end up on the end of a protracted legal challenge). Last season City’s lease on their Milton Road ground came to an end and the site is being redeveloped for housing. Thus, they will share with Histon for two years and then move to a new ground again.
The move has, according to some locals impacted the gate. 300+ was pretty low and they reckon they used to get more in the past, transport connections to Impington are not great if you don’t drive, I was told.
Still it’s a tidy ground and hosted Leeds United not so long ago (and survived the experience too!) and we got a warm welcome in the bar. As we hadn’t booked for the NL Sunday lunch deal (£9.95) we settled for a beer and bacon roll at the burger bar next to the pitch. It cost a tenner to get in and £2 for the programme, which seems pretty standard so far.
The ground has a largish main stand, lots of seating plus standing and seating on all sides; Histon are clearly preparing for the league proper one day soon. People were very friendly and I chatted to several, and City have a good youth program with the under 15s demonstrating their skills at HT. I also noted they have no less than 6 girls sides from U10-U16 which is impressive.
So, to the match: this was a fairly even affair, with City starting the better and taking the lead after 9 minutes through the impressive Adam Marriott. Marriott plays number 9 and came through Cambridge United’s youth academy. He was loaned to City and eventually released by the U’s. He looks like a decent player and at 22 has the potential to show United that they made a mistake letting him go.Unfortunately for him the Chippenham players also seemed to rate him to which meant he landed in a heap on more than one occasion (notably by Town’s captain Alan Griffin) and was subbed off in the second half.
(Ouch! Marriott is felled by Town’s captain)
I thought it was all fairly easy for City in the first 30 minutes but they couldn’t build on their lead. Then out of nowhere Town equalized. Coming in from the left James Guthrie lobbed in what looked like a speculative cross and the City keeper (Zac Barrett) who was otherwise pretty solid, misjudged it and it flew over his head and into the net. Cue wild celebrations from the two dozen Town fans…
(Guthrie takes the credit but was a little embarrassed)
The second was tight until City made some adjustments and brought on their secret weapons: Joey Abbs, David Prada (a tricky Spanish midfielder signed from Deportivo Javea no less) and Nick Beasant. Abbs was clearly popular but a bit gangly – on more than one occasion he charged up the wing with little end product [we Arsenal fans no all about those sorts of players, eh ed?…] But City huffed and puffed and kept up the pressure.
They had what seemed like a decent shout for a penalty turned down – much to the annoyance of Mr. Beasant (the son of Dave Beasant of Wimbledon fame) who berated the linesman. I enjoy this bit of non-league atmosphere; you rarely get to hear what PL players say to refs, linesmen and each other, but at this level you get the lot without having to lip-read on MoTD.
(City’s Ultras berate the linesman for his poor decision-making)
Then City scored. Beasant broke through Town’s defence and slip his shot past the heavily side burned keeper. Whether he would have saved it if he’d shaved we will never know. Beasant was suitably pleased with himself and was mobbed by his teammates. Look at how much it meant to this supporter and remember that a goal is a goal at whatever level you play or watch.
(Beasant powers through to score – check out the sideburns..)
(Cue wild delight in the Shed end)
(and the rest of the team join in..three points in the bag)
There were a few hairy moments for City to survive, they had to clear off the line and Town had their chances but I thought it was the right result. Both these teams were hovering just below the top ten and looked capable of doing ok this season. Good luck to them both.
Again, I had a great day out and will be trying to find another match to match in the next couple of weeks. Came-ber-idge,came-ber-ridge, came-ber-idge…came.berrr.ridge!
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Royal Arsenal: from the Common to the Manor. Coming next.
The sites from the same team…
- Referee Decisions – just what are the refs up to this season?
- The Arsenal History Blog from the AISA Arsenal History Society