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Cambridge City hope for financial boost with FA Cup run

Ryan Sharman scored twice for Cambridge City in the FA Cup. Picture: Rich Marsham
Ryan Sharman scored twice for Cambridge City in the FA Cup. Picture: Rich Marsham

Cambridge City set off on what they hope will be a financially lucrative FA Cup run with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Spartan South Midlands Premier side Biggleswade United in the preliminary round last Saturday.

Goals from Ryan Sharman, Nathan Olukanmi and Ryan Ingrey, who has re-signed on a permanent basis, just before the break meant the tie was all but over when the half-time whistle sounded.

The match became bitty in the second half, with the Lilywhites struggling to display that ruthlessness which had served them so well in the opening half an hour.

However, Sharman netted again in the 81st minute, just after receiving treatment for a clash of knees, which City manager Robbie Nightingale later clarified was an issue that originally surfaced against Peterborough Sports in a pre-season friendly three weeks ago.

Nightingale was pleased with the dominant performance, and underlined the significance of advancing to the first qualifying round of the FA Cup given the financial implications that the pandemic has presented.

“There’s the pressure of prize money and that’s one of the biggest things – this was probably more important than a league game,” he said.

“We want a cup run, we want to generate extra money because we have five or six people that put money in from their own pocket.

“So if we can help limit the amount of money they put in and we get a nice cup run in the FA Cup or the FA Trophy then it’s great for us as a club.”

Following a successful trial against Barton Rovers in pre-season, the match was the first competitive fixture at Bridge Road where crowds were able to return at a social distance.

Just under 300 spectators clicked through the turnstiles and Nightingale was delighted that everyone was able to experience some sort of normality again.

“Sun shining, we’ve won and we’ve kept a clean sheet again, there’s no better feeling,” he said.

“We’re really happy we’re back playing football and that’s the biggest thing.

“Everyone that’s turned up wants to see football and it’s really important for everyone that football carries on.

“I know it’s tough and I know there are things going on that are much bigger than football but it makes everyone so much more happier having football and having something to look forward to at weekends and in the evenings.”

City will now face Stowmarket Town at home in the first qualifying round on Tuesday, September 22.

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