Cambridge City make a case for the defence in search for safety
PUBLISHED: 07:05 23 February 2017
Iliffe Media Ltd
Jordan Gent and Jordan Williams catch the eye
Every little counts in the battle to beat the drop and four points from six games must be seen as a success for Cambridge City.
After winning 2-1 away at Redditch in the Evo-Stik League Southern, Premier Division last Saturday, there must have been high hopes that a home game against another mid-table side would reap another three points when they faced King’s Lynn Town on Monday night.
And you could sense the disappointment from both supporters and management after the teams muddled their way through to a 0-0 draw.
But just looking at the league table does not tell the whole story, as Lynn are one of the form sides in the division, unbeaten in their last seven games.
They pack the midfield, look to use their two wing-backs to stretch the play and get in behind the defence by opting for the direct route and hitting the channels.
So City needed to be strong and resolute, and while the hosts’ frustration may have come from the fact that they did not offer much as an attacking outlet – failing to trouble the Lynn defence – they did a job on shutting out the visitors’ attack.
Jordan Williams and Jordan Gent have developed into quite a formidable partnership at the heart of the City defence.
Their imposing statures are not to be taken lightly, with anything up in the air treated as food and drink for the centre-backs.
Williams, on a youth loan from Cambridge United, is not shy of a turn of pace either, so on the few occasions Lynn tried to play through the City defence, the youngster was alert to the problem.
Since the pair came together, City have conceded 16 goals in 13 games, not a bad record considering their lowly position in the table.
“We needed to defend well and I think the back four did okay,” said City manager Robbie Nightingale.
“They didn’t have too many clear-cut chances and I think that’s credit to how we set up.
“It’s one of those where if it’s in the air, they should win it and Jordan Williams has got a bit of pace and he can cover. It’s a good combination at the minute.
“We changed it to put Darren (Foxley) in at left-back and it just gives us a bit of balance with a left footer.
“Paul (Cooper) has done really well but we just felt we wanted a left footer, especially against wing-backs who want to get it wide, move it and get an overlap.”
And it is such partnerships that have helped their bid to avoid relegation as they now sit just a point from safety, but just as importantly for the bottom five, they are clawing those above them back into trouble.
Next up for City is a trip to third-placed Leamington, but if they can be as mean and frugal in Warwickshire then they should be optimistic about getting something from the fixture.