Skip to main content

Match Centre

23:37 3rd July 2012
By  Matt Gooding

Incident-packed game ends in a draw

Cambridge United and Tamworth shared the spoils in an incident-packed match at the R Costings Abbey Stadium.

Harrison Dunk, who had hit the bar for United in the first half, gave the U's the lead with a low shot after good work from Michael Gash. But the lead lasted less than a minute as Adam Cunnington blasted in the equaliser from 20 yards.

Earlier Rory McAuley had also struck the cross-bar with a header, but Tamworth had their moments too, with Cunnington putting a good chance over the bar in the dying minutes.

Head coach Richard Money named an unchanged line-up after last Saturday's impressive victory over Macclesfield, and saw his charges fly out of the traps and almost open the scoring in the second minute. A corner from Rossi Jarvis got a flick on at the near post and found Rory McAuley, who powered a header against the cross bar. Michael Gash's follow-up shot was blocked away by a brave defender.

But it wasn't long before Tamworth gave notice of the threat they would pose on the counter-attack all afternoon. A long ball over the top caught McAuley and Josh Coulson unawares, and it broke to Adam Cunnington, who curled a shot just wide from 20 yards with goalkeeper Jed Steer in no-man's land.

A good move from the U's in the 17th minute saw Luke Berry play a clever pass into Gash in the area, who in turn found Dunk, but the winger saw his low shot saved by the legs of Lambs keeper Tony Breeden. Dunk also came close when he arrived to meet a brilliant cross from James Jennings, but could only plant a header onto the top of the cross-bar.

Cunnington was proving to be a thorn in the side of the United back-line, and he was inches away from getting a touch on a teasing cross from Richard Tait, which flew just past the upright with Steer beaten.

This seemed to give Tamworth some heart, and they came out after half-time with renewed vigour. Steer had to make a terrific diving save to palm a half-volley from Hendrie around the post, while Tait's looping header from a corner bounced away off the top of the bar.

United were struggling to find their rhythm, with the home crowd getting increasingly frustrated with what they perceived as the visitor's time-wasting tactics.

But the deadlock was finally broken in the 75th minute. Gash stumbled into the area, and though he was crowded out by a couple of defenders the ball broke to Dunk, who slammed a low shot across Breeden into the far corner.

Sadly the visitors were level within a minute, as Cunnington smashed in an unstoppable shot from 25 yards after substitute Charlie Collins had headed a long ball forward back into his path.

The last quarter of an hour produced some end-to-end football, with United feeling they should have had a penalty after Tom Marshall handled a cross from Robbie Willmott. But despite the linesman signalling for a spot-kick, the referee waved played on.

Cunnington could have had the last word, but headed over the bar from close range after finding space at the far post. Defeat would have been harsh on United, who will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Billericay in the first round of the FA Trophy.

Man of the Match: Harrison Dunk - Could have had a hat-trick and was a constant menace down the left flank.

Cambridge United: Steer, Roberts, Jennings, Coulson, McAuley, Willmott, Dunk, Jarvis, Berry, Gash, Elliott. Subs not used: Hedge, Wylde, Shaw, Smith, Pugh.

Tamworth: Breeden, Tait, Barrow, Marshall, Courtney, Till (Baldock 83), Kelly, Hendrie (Kerry 71), Taylor, Cunnington, Wright (Collins 74). Subs not used: Gudger, Belford.

Referee: Mr C.Knowles

Attendance: 3,003 (away 73)


16.53: Another Tamworth set piece, but the ref spots some pushing and it's a United free kick. The U's get the ball forward and that's it! Full time, honours even at the R Costings Abbey Stadiun.

16.49: Five minutes to be added and Tamworth have a corner on their left, in it comes into the six yard box but Jarvis hacks the ball to safety.

16.44: Jennings free kick is low, through the wall, but blocked and clear by a defender behind it.

16.42: YELLOW CARD. Willmott runs at the heart of the Tamworth defence and is cynically charged off the ball by Kelly. That'll be a booking a free kick fr United in a dangerous position, central on the edge of the D.

16.39: Baldock is the final sub for Tamworth, on in place of Till.

16.34: GOAL CAMBRIDGE UNITED 1-1 TAMWORTH. But the lead lasts less than a minute, straight from kick off Tamworth come forward and ADAM CUNNINGTON lashes in a shot from 20 yards which beats Steer and finds the corner, the visitors level.

16.33: GOAL CAMBRIDGE UNITED 1-0 TAMWORTH. United lead thanks to HARRISON DUNK'S first goal of the season. Gash tries to charge through the centre, loses the ball, but it breaks kindly for Dunk to lash in a low shot.

16.30: First change for the visitors, it's Kerry on for Hendrie. The second follows a minute or so later, Tom Wright coming off and Collins replacing him.

16.26: Vicious cross on the run from Barrow comes off Jennings' head and creeps across goal and wide of the post, almost an own goal there. Tamworth have a corner, in it comes, Steer comes but doesn't get there and ball comes off someone's head, off the top of the bar, and away for a goal kick.

16.23: Jennings with a lovely pass inside the full back for Dunk, but his first touch is heavy and a defender is able to come across and cover at the expense of a... goal kick. The fans in the NRE don't like that decision, looked like a corner. Courtney, the covering defender, has injured himself too so stays down. The crowd don't like that either.

16.18: Great save from Steer, Hendrie picks up a loose header from Berry and hammers in a low half-volley which the on loan keeper turns round the post. The resulting corner bobbles around on the edge of the box until Courtney hammers a cross shot over the bar.

16.12: Prolonged stoppage here as Cunnington receives treatment in the U's box, he feel heavily after a tussle with McAuley, few optimistic shouts for a penalty from the Lambs fans but there was nothing in that. Cunnington now on his feet, presumably he'll continue though he looks a bit dazed.

16.07: Today's attendance is 3,003 (away 73).

16.04: Jarvis whips it into the near post but it's headed away for a throw in.

16.03: Back underway at the R Costings Abbey Stadium, and almost immediately Dunk is taken out on the edge of the box. Free kick United wide on the left.


15.45: Two minutes to be added at the end of a watchable first half, United have had the better chances but Tamworth could easily be in front too, though none of their efforts have really troubled Steer. Indeed, there goes the half-time whistle, 0-0 at the break.

15.36: Gash tussles with Courtney by the byline and wins a corner. In it comes from Jarvis, and it's just past the head of Elliott, who can't connect, and Dunk hooks the ball onto the roof of the net.

15.29: Crikey, that was close for Tamworth, Barrow's cross curls just past the post with the diving Steer beaten. Cunnington threw himself at that and any meaningful touch would surely have made it 1-0 to the visitors.

15.22: United hit the bar again! This time a superb cross from Roberts find Dunk at the far post, but his header rebounds off the top of the crossbar and behind. At the other end Tommy Wright finds some space in the left channel, but balloons a shot over with frustrated team mates racing up in support.

15.20: Raking pass from Berry finds Willmott in space on the right. He cuts into the area but his low shot goes into the side netting, Breedon had it covered I think.

15.16: Great football from United, Jennings gets it back to Berry, who finds Gash in the box. His lay off is perfect for Dunk, but his low shot towards the corner is stopped by the legs of Breedon, good save.

15.09: United break quickly with Dunk, who is flattened by Hendrie as he plays the ball to Gash. Ref plays advantage but Gash sees his shot charged down and it runs through to Breedon. Hendrie then gets away, perhaps luckily, with a talking to as Dunk receives treatment from Greg Reid.

15.03: Then at the other end a long ball forward causes some confusion in the United ranks. The ball breaks to Cunnington, but he can only curl his shot wide of the far post with Steer in no mans land.

15.02: Nearly the perfect start for United. Courtney shanks a clearance over his own cross bar to give the U's a corner. Jarvis' delivery gets a flick on at the near post and Rory McAuley climbs highest but sees his header bounce back off the cross bar. Gash latches onto the rebound, but his shot is deflected away for another corner. This time McAuley can only head over the bar, close.

14.58: Here we go, Tamworth about to get the match underway attacking the Newmarket Road end.

Cambridge United: Steer, Roberts, Jennings, Coulson, McAuley, Willmott, Dunk, Jarvis, Berry, Gash, Elliott. Subs: Hedge, Wylde, Shaw, Smith, Pugh.

Tamworth: Breedon, Tait, Barrow, Marshall, Courtney, Till (Baldock 83), Kelly, Hendrie (Kerry 71), Taylor, Cunnington, Wright (Collins 74). Subs: Baldock, Kerry, Gudger, Collins, Belford.

14.45: TEAM NEWS. United are unchanged for this afternoon's match, with Kevin Roberts again skippering the side as he continues his return from injury. The only change is among the substitutes, with Sam Smith back on the bench at the expense of Liam Hughes, who is injured.

Tamworth are without U's loanee Adriano Moke, who is ineligible, but have an experienced line-up which includes former England midfielder Lee Hendrie and striker Adam Cunnington, who is the Lambs top scorer this season with 11 goals.

14.30: Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the R Costings Abbey Stadium for this afternoon's Blue Square Bet Premier clash between Cambridge United and Tamworth. Inconsistency has dogged United this term, but can they build on last week's encouraging 2-0 win over Macclesfield by dispatching Marcus Law's Lambs? Find out from 3pm.