To Scraley Road, home of Heybridge Swifts, on Bank Holiday Monday. Swifts have drawn their opening two games of the season but they are unbeaten in the League at home since February. Among their ranks is former Saint John Pollard, injured today.
For today, Cookie selected Wilmot in goal, 4 at the back: Gledhill, Brown (C), Campbell and Smith; 4 in the midfield: Graham, Wraight, Castle and Oakes; and up front: McDonnell and Martin. On the bench: De Souza, Deacon, Seeby, Murray and Glynn.
For the first time this season, City kept the ball on the ground from the start and adopted the passing game that was reminiscent of the opening games of last term. Graham clearly prefers the right hand flank and created difficulty for the home defence in the opening exchanges. Half chances were created for McDonnell and Martin as City took control. Smith twisted his knee and, to the surprise of the visiting fans, was replaced by Jay Murray who soon settled at left back and had an excellent game.
City opened the scoring midway through the half when a Castle free-kick from wide on the right was given the faintest glance by Campbell which distracted the home keeper to cross the line at the far post. 0-1. Wilmot made a couple of sharp saves but, today, the City back 4 who solid and the home strikers were given little opportunity. The visitors were in command for the remainder of the half. H.T. 0-1.
Heybridge started the second half strongly and City seemed to fall too deep once again. Clear chances were denied, however. Castle was replaced by Glynn who showed his pedigree and had a commanding game in the midfield. The Saints came back into the game and re-took control. Graham, in particular, was causing difficulty for the haome defence. A City goal was disallowed for a reason which no-one could decipher after the home keeper gathered a cross on the goal-line but fell backwards into the net.
It wasn't one-way traffic but City began to take control once again
for the last 20 minutes. The second goal was a peach. Quick interplay between Gledhill and Graham, who found Glynn and a first-time cross reached Martin in space who lobbed the out-rushing keeper from 20 yards. 0-2. De Souza replaced McDonnell and he came close to scoring the goal of the day. Once again Graham played a part finding the Saints striker on the left whose jinking run beat three men before his shot from the edge of the box found the outside of the post. F.T. 0-2.
Both sides played football today and The Saints were the better at it. Graham enjoyed his day and Glynn looked the part. Murray may well get a run at left-back on this performance. The back 4 showed their class particularly during the opening 20 minutes of the second half. Brown played a captain's role. T fine all-round performance which delighted the Travelling City faithful, under 100 of the crowd of just under 300 or so. My MotM? Graham again.
Entertainment 8/10. Technical Merit 7/10. Referee 6/10. Atmosphere 4/10.
Match report by Awayday