turned in another disappointing Jekyll & Hyde display to chuck
away a strong half-time position in the derby match against bottom
placed Cinderford. The Foresters had been through a world of changes
since the encounter last month at The Causeway, with their new manager
bringing in several new loan signings that had visibly strengthened
their side. City meanwhile reshuffled too, with Parnell passing a
fitness test and Jenkins winning a spot in midfield.
Jenks repaid Callinan
almost immediately. Dicks worked the ball down the left towards Cox
who sped to the by-line before crossing behind Baylo but leaving
Jenkins to smack the ball in from six yards. It was his first for
City's senior side, and the second minute goal settled our team and
left the Cinderford plans in pieces.
tried their luck with a free kick it was City who were playing all the
football. For once we seemed able to keep the ball and were putting
passes together well. Jenks and Chennas were bossing the midfield and
Dicks had plenty of room to push forward down the left. City won a
free kick after Chennas was tripped, and caught Cinderford flat by
pushing in Dicks down the left. His near post cross was dangerous but
the keeper just reached it before Marshall.
Baylo was guilty of misfiring on a couple of occasions as City seemed
able to create chances at will. First Chennas chipped in a cross for
Baylo to blaze a volley high over the bar from the edge of the area.
Minutes after Cox and Chennas broke through and again Chennas slid in
a weighted pass only for Bayliss to hit a rather lame shot straight at
the keeper. He made full amends on 28 minutes when a Chenoweth run
broke down. The ball went wide on the right to Jenks who hit a first
time cross straight into the run of Bayliss who crashed his header
past a stranded goalkeeper.
on to create more chances although the speedy on-loan Frankie Bennett
was having to be watchfully marked by Parnell. Cox saw one good run
come to a crunching end, before another run forced a couple of
corners. From one Chennas cross Baylo almost added a third but his
header clipped the post.
However the second half started badly for City and went downhill as
cruise control quickly became panic stations. City survived a couple
of early scares as a header crashed down off our bar and Hines needed
his defenders to help him scramble away a free kick. However on 52
minutes City committed the cardinal sin of not playing to the whistle.
As they stopped for a possible Addis handball the game carried on and
seconds later an unmarked Donnelly had headed one back.
As so often this season City's
confidence immediately collapsed and every Cinderford clearance left
us looking vulnerable. Some of the last ditch defending was fabulous,
but unfortunately we lacked the cohesion to ever look in control of
the situation. The runs of Adie Harris, Campbell and in particular
Bennett were leaving us looking decidedly stretched. Hines was again
impressive after his extended workout at Bilston, saving at the feet
of Addis before the forward had time to dig out his shot.
Although Cinderford were posing a serious threat City did have further
chances, with Cox in particular unlucky after a good interchange with
Bayliss saw him scuff his shot harmlessly into the keeper. With City
struggling to regain the tiller Cally put himself on, but sadly he
wasn't able to stamp any authority on a game which was now all flowing
one way. Callinan did have a rare glimpse of goal later in the game,
but his header went high and wide.
defence was exemplified by an excellent saving tackle by Abbo on the
diminutive Adie Harris. The desperate lunge was immaculate, taking the
ball and robbing Harris from a clear shot at the last possible moment.
However good the challenge, and similar others during the game, a well
rehearsed defence would not be so exposed by simple balls over the
The ball kept coming back at City, but as time ticked on there was
always the outside hope Cinderford wouldn't manage to grab the
equaliser. On 82 minutes Cinderford swapped passes on the right and
then worked it to Campbell who from just outside the corner of the box
rifled his shot past the fully outstretched Ally Hines.
City finally seemed to
realise they were in trouble and Cox and Bayliss both had chances as
we piled some pressure on. However the best opportunity came at the
other end as Cinderford sub Scott Medcroft was unlucky to see an
opportunity to seal it flash past him.
It was a disappointing result for City who will be hoping they find
form soon to start climbing back up the table. Cinderford though will
surely avoid the drop on this form, while City's most pressing
problems continue to lie away from the pitch.