Nathan Olukanmi predicts good times ahead for Cambridge City
And the Lilywhites made FA Cup progress
Nathan Olukanmi was in mesmerising form to produce a display of wing wizardry and inspire Cambridge City to a 3-2 win over Bedford Town in Evo-Stik League South, Division One Central.
The 25-year-old proved too hot to handle for the visitors in the first half, giving right-back Brett Longden a torrid time.
He had a hand in both of the Lilywhites’ first two goals and then, after a quieter second half for the hosts, popped up in the last minute of normal time with a winner from close range.
After their 2-1 win over Harborough Town in the FA Cup on Saturday, the victory over Bedford Town on bank holiday Monday was City’s first league success of the campaign.
“I thought we played pretty well, and it was just nice to get on the score sheet and off the mark,” said Olukanmi.
“The right-back was having a bad time, and he kept on telling me that he was struggling. It was good fun.
“I woke up and felt in the mood for it, and am quite happy with myself just now.
“I flicked the winner off my thigh – it was a good finish I thought!
“Hopefully now the team can push on, and we will get to where we want to be. We’re growing as a team all the time and once we get everything sorted, we will push forward and be up the table where we should be.
“As long as the boys keep giving me the ball, I will keep trying to roast players.”
It was once City got on top in midfield that Olukanmi came into his own, but that was not before they fell behind after four minutes, when Craig Daniel slotted home.
In the 26th minute, Olukanmi checked inside and floated a brilliant inswinging, deep cross for Ryan Sharman to hammer home.
The winger then sped past Longden before putting in a low cross for Ebby Nelson-Addy to finish off.
However, a defensive mishap gave Paul Benson the chance to make it 2-2 just before half time.
It stayed that way until the 89th minute, when Jordan Gent flicked on Jack Wilkinson’s long throw and Olukanmi was on hand to turn the ball home to spark celebrations from City.
“Nathan’s Nathan,” said City boss Robbie Nightingale. “He is 100 miles an hour, he is very good on what he does when he’s got the ball and when he drives forward into areas that can affect the game – like he did – he is unplayable.
“He came short, he went long, he drifted and drove inside and that’s something we’ve been really keen to get into him.
“Instead of just being a road-runner, 100 miles an hour down the wing, we wanted to get him thinking about his game a bit more because he can play, he can cross it, he can score goals and that’s what we’ve seen.
“I think he can score more goals and I think he can add so much more to his game, but he is doing really well.”
After the 1-1 draw with Corby and the 3-1 defeat at Barton Rovers, Nightingale was delighted with the win.
“I thought on Saturday and against Bedford we were good with what we did,” he said.
“Going behind after three minutes, we could quite easily have caved in and thought everything was on top of us, but credit to them because they got on the ball, moved for each other and made space for others – I thought it was really good.
“Going in at half time at 2-2 was a bit of a kick in the teeth because I thought we gifted the second goal to them, having been in quite dominant control of the game for the second part of the half.”
City have been drawn at home to Brightlingsea Regent in the next round of the FA Cup.