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22 January 2022 Venue Abbey Stadium Attendance

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Cambridge Utd vs Crewe Alexandra

21 January 2022

Mark Bonner’s side host Crewe Alexandra this weekend looking to make it five wins on the bounce in all competitions…

Form

Despite having to spend much of the game withstanding Doncaster Rovers pressure, with Dunny forcing U’s stopper Dimi Mitov into multiple good saves, Cambridge United made it four wins on the bounce thanks to goals from Harvey Knibbs, Harrison Dunk and Sam Smith.

Good work from Jack Lankester saw the midfielder break free before playing in Harvey Knibbs to slot under Louis Jones to score his sixth goal of the season in additional time at the end of the first half. Harrison Dunk doubled the U’s advantage on 62 minutes following a sublime curling cross from Adam May evading the Donny defence before falling to Dunk who headed home his first of the campaign.

Joe Dodoo did half the deficit before Sam Smith ensured the points would stay in Cambridgeshire after scoring his 12th of the season in additional time.

Cambridge United form: DWWWW

Following his goal that secured a memorable 1-0 victory over Premier League Newcastle in the FA Cup Third Round a fortnight ago, striker Joe Ironside once again provided the goods after nodding in Wes Hoolahan’s free kick in the first minute of stoppage time against Lincoln City on last weekend.

After weathering somewhat of a Lincoln City storm towards the back end of the first-half, United and Mark Bonner, managing his 100th U’s game, regrouped and returned looking a far more threatening outfit in the second 45, with United’s endeavours being eventually rewarded after Adam May’s initial header was saved, seeing the ball deflect into the path of Joe Ironside to head in from close range.

David Artell’s men arrive at the Abbey Stadium on Saturday having considerably boosted their survival chances – after picking up maximum points in three of their last six League One outings. Including an impressive 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic recently. Oliver Finney’s 38th minute goal, having responded quickly to Mikael Mandron’s initial shot being saved, saw the hosts take the lead. Crewe then doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time, with Mandron again involved after heading home Tom Lowery’s cross.

Crewe Alexandra form: WLLWD

Second half substitute Mason Burstow did half the deficit with ten minutes to play, however Crewe – despite a controversial offside call ruling out Elliot Lee’s late goal – were able to hold on for a massive three points at the Mornflake Stadium.

Most recently, a goalless draw at home to Shrewsbury Town on Saturday has seen the Railwaymen claw their way to being within just four points of safety, having sat bottom and seven points shy of then 20th placed Morecambe, following a 2-1 defeat to Ipswich Town towards the back end of November.

Tom Lowery.png

Key Player: Tom Lowery

A product off the ever-impressive Crewe academy production line, the midfielder, now 24, has firmly locked down his position in the Railwaymen’s midfield three having properly announced himself on the first team stage three seasons ago. The Alex’s upturn in form is no surprise having been in direct correlation to Lowery’s growing influence within the team, with the midfielder contributing to three goals in Crewe’s last four League One games.

Down Memory Lane

Memories of the two sides 2-2 draw at the Mornflake Stadium will be fresh in fans’ minds having only met in the league at the start of October. Adam May’s dramatic last-minute strike salvaged a point for the Mark Bonner’s side on the day, having seen his side fall two-goals down before half-time after Oliver Finney and Scott Robertson fired Crewe into a commanding lead after just 26 minutes.

However, a dominant second half display from the U’s was rewarded with ten minutes to play, with Sam Smith’s initial shot being bundled into his own net by ‘keeper Will Jääskeläinen, before Adam May fired home from the edge of the area in the 94th minute to see the points shared.

History favours the hosts as they prepare to welcome Crewe this afternoon, having seen the U’s run out victorious on 15 of the 32 occasions both sides have clashed – with Crewe coming out on top eight times.

Prior to October’s clash, then United loanee Sam Smith’s brace, coupled with an excellent Paul Lewis header, saw Colin Calderwood’s side run out 3-2 winners against eventual League Two runners-up Crewe in an entertaining affair at the Mornflake Stadium in 2019.

Quick Quotes

U’s Head Coach Mark Bonner appreciates the challenge his side will face this weekend, “They have a lot of good players and are a good to watch. I’ve watched Crewe now quite a bit, I went to Portman Road just before Christmas, they fell to a narrow defeat, but they were really competitive in the game.

“They’ve recently had a big win against Charlton and did well then as well as picking up a solid point against Shrewsbury last weekend. They've got some good points recently and have clawed back really what was a little bit of a gap.

“What they do as a club, developing players and selling them on; they've lost some really key players in the squad and then have had to start a new cycle with quite a lot of younger players integrating into the first team.”

Officials

Sam Allison has been appointed as referee for Saturday’s Sky Bet League One match between The U’s and Crewe Alexandra at the Abbey Stadium.

He will be assisted by Andy Bennett and Samuel Ogles. The fourth official will be Andrew Aylott.

How To Watch

Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash kicks-off at 3pm, with tickets still available for fans to buy.

Save money by purchasing your tickets in-advance of the fixture, as all prices increase by £2 when buying in-person on the day of the game. Please view advance prices below:

Advance Match Ticket Prices

Newmarket Rd/North Habbin

Main Stand Family Enclosures

Main Stand Blocks B, E, F & AC 1, 2

Main Stand Blocks C & D

Adult

£18

£19

£22

£24

Concessions*

£14

£14

£17

£20

Under 18

£8

£8

£10

£18

Under 12

£5

£5

£5

N/A

Wheelchair Disabled

£15

 

 

 

Ambulant Disabled supporters in receipt of higher level disability living allowance pay their relevant age category with a Carer Free of Charge, whilst the Wheelchair Disabled price also included the admission of a Free Carer Ticket, if required.

*Concessions = Seniors (64+), Young Adults (18-23), Serving or Retired Armed Forces and Full-Time Students

Supporters are to be made aware that COVID Certification checks will once again be carried out at the Abbey Stadium. For more information, please click here.

International U’s will be able stream the action live with an iFollow Match Pass. Match Passes cost £10 and are available to purchase by clicking here.

The best way to stream the match is by doing so via the EFL iFollow App but please note, the App is only for streaming and supporters can't purchase their Match Passes through the application.

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

Visit the Live Match Centre to access form guides, live text commentary and live access to the match on iFollow

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Match Reports

U's make it five wins on the bounce against Crewe

22 January 2022

Cambridge United recorded a third consecutive victory in Sky Bet League One as they edged out Crewe Alexandra 1-0 with a gutsy performance at the Abbey Stadium...

A glorious strike from Adam May on the cusp of half-time was enough to separate the sides in  a hard-fought encounter to rise the U’s up to 12th and stretch their unbeaten start to 2022 to six games.

Mark Bonner made three changes to the side that impressed in the midweek success over Doncaster Rovers. George Williams and Wes Hoolahan returned from illness and dental work respectively, whilst Sam Smith was restored to the striking department.

The U’s had been in inspired form of late - steering clear of the relegation pack and without defeat in all competitions since mid-December. Hunting three consecutive league wins in the third tier for the first time since April 1994, the incentive was there. Pressure had been heaped on the visitors - suffering from the second-season tag and languishing five points adrift in 22nd. Nonetheless, they had found more rhythm in their last six games, picking up three critical wins.

The U’s, who had lost just one in their last eight against the Railwaymen, stamped some early authority on the encounter. A 3rd minute cross from Jack Iredale floated towards an unmarked Harvey Knibbs who generated the power but not the placement as it fell just wide of the post.

A sharp start was also on the agenda for the Alex, who in the 12th minute switched play well which resulted in Oliver Finney arrowing a neat 15-yard volley that lashed narrowly past United’s left post.

The U’s showcased their stubborn resistance on 24 when Chris Porter was released from a pinpoint pass, but an excellent recovery from Iredale to challenge and clear the danger before the striker could pull the trigger.

The opportunity of the game thus far fell to Knibbs just after the half an hour mark after he was played in by an onrushing Williams down the right - but the winger couldn’t keep the shot down as it flew above the crossbar. A minute later, the full-back was released from May’s sublime over-the-top ball but the U’s number 2 couldn’t touch it down when in a one-on-one position.

The deadlock was broken at a convenient time – going the way of the hosts on the 41st minute after excellent recycling from Knibbs, who made a stern interception and teed up May who unleashed a looping piledriver from 25 yards that clattered the crossbar and into the net to hand United the lead going into the break.

Picking up where they left, Bonner’s side conjured up the first attempt of the second period moments in when Sam Sherring popped up with a venomous header from a Hoolahan corner which sailed wide.

The Railwaymen almost equalised on 52 when Chris Long latched onto a high ball - but he couldn’t steer it towards goal with his first touch – instead catching Dimitar Mitov in the process.

This sparked an authoritative spell for David Artell’s men, bursting into life in the final third and asking questions of the U’s defence. Several stubborn blocks on 64 prevented Long’s shot from a tight angle heading into dangerous territory. The storm was weathered but the tie remained an edgy one.

Perhaps the best attempt to wrap up maximum points fell on the 75th minute when Brophy’s delicate header into the path of Smith sent the striker away who scampered into the box before hesitating and being denied by Zac Williams’ last-ditch challenge.

In added time, Hoolahan picked the ball up in the middle of the park and with several men forwards for United, the Irishman played Smith who drilled an attempt wide of Dave Richards’ left post.

In a heart-in-mouth moment, Substitute Luke Murphy lashed a volley wide agonisingly deep into stoppage time – it proved to be the last action as the hosts persevered for yet another three invaluable points.

With their league ranking looking healthy, attention now diverts to the Papa John’s Trophy Quarter-Final tie away at Rotherham on Tuesday night (25th January). Be sure to back the boys as they creep closer to securing a day out at Wembley.

 

Cambridge United: Mitov, Williams, Sherring, Iredale, Dunk, Digby, May (Worman, 85), Knibbs (Lankester, 74), Hoolahan, Brophy (Okedina, 85), Smith

Subs Not Used: Mannion, Bennett, Dickens, Yearn

Goalscorers: May (41)

Bookings: Iredale, Hoolahan

 

Crewe Alexandra: Richards, Mandron (Ainley, 69), Johnson, Sass-Davies, Offord, Williams, Lowery, Finney (Griffiths, 81), Robertson (Murphy, 63), Long, Porter

Subs Not Used: Jasskelainen, Onyeka, Salisbury, Tabiner

Goalscorers:

Bookings: Offord, Johnson

 

Referee: Sam Allison

Attendance: 5428 (320 away fans)

Man of the Match: May

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