A fine header from Greg Taylor and a gritty away display from Cambridge United saw them take the spoils, picking up a vital win over Notts County in front of a bumper crowd at Meadow Lane
New U’s loan signing Rushian Hepburn-Murphy moved straight into Colin Calderwood’s starting eleven, as the only change in place of Liam O’Neil.
The game and United settled into a solid rhythm early on, and whilst they didn’t create a mass of chances looked comfortable in front of a raucous and hefty crowd.
The first flash at goal came from Calderwood’s men when George Maris’ shot from long range deflected off Jabo Ibehre, wrong footing Notts keeper Ryan Schofield, who could watch as the ball bobbled fractions wide of the his left post on 18 minutes.
Krystian Dennis twisted and turned with possession inside the U’s area midway through the half but his squirmed shot through on goal missed the target, whilst Greg Taylor and George Taft kept David Forde largely untested for the majority of the half.
Brad Halliday’s excellent drive at goal which saw Schofield produce an impressive save at the expense of a corner, led to the opening goal on 40 minutes. From the resulting set piece George Maris lofted a precise delivery over towards the far post where Taylor leaped highest and produced a header of equal quality, looping the ball over the keeper and into the net to send the travelling amber army into delirium in the away end.
And Forde showed he was still well alert moments before the break, as the U’s shot stopper threw himself across his goal to get his right glove on a vicious strike by Jim O’Brien to protect United’s advantage.
The hosts upped their tempo after the break and saw more possession of the ball. They carved out a golden opportunity just after the hour mark with a tricky sequence of passing splitting the U’s defence before Dennis shot from the acutest off angles across the United goal line and wide.
Cedric Evina almost picked out a fluke lob when his cross on the volley looked to have the beating of Forde, but dropped off target with 19 minutes to play.
Harrison Dunk and Ade Azeez were introduced by Colin Calderwood as the game moved into the final quarter and United aimed to manage the remainder of the contest.
And despite a nervy six minutes of stoppage time to endure, the U’s did just that backed wholeheartedly by the tremendous support of the travelling amber army.
Notts County: Schofield, Bird, Hewitt, Duffy, Barclay, Alessandra (Thomas, 65 mins), Dennis, O’Brien, Milsom, Evina (Etete, 83 mins), Stead
Cambridge United: Forde, Halliday, Taft, Taylor, Carroll, Deegan, Amoo (Dunk, 74 mins), Maris, Brown (Osadebe, 87 mins), Hepburn-Murphy (Azeez, 74 mins), Ibehre
Bookings: Amoo, Azeez
Attendance: 15,026 (1653)