Cambridge United extended their unbeaten run to five games in Sky Bet League Two with a battling point against high flyers Plymouth Argyle at Home Park.
The U’s lined up with one change as Idris El-Mizouni started in place of Victor Adeboyejo, whilst Jack Roles returned from injury to take a place on the bench.
The Pilgrims took an early stranglehold of possession and threatened from the off with a series of early sighters at Callum Burton’s goal. Antoni Sarcevic mistimed his header on the end of a promising Danny Mayor cross on 12 minutes, before Luke Jephcott went closer moments later with a similar chance moments later, which Burton was able to watch drop wide of his far post.
Greg Taylor made an important interception when the U’s skipper bravely put his head between a drilled shot from Gary Sawyer and the target to flick over the top of United’s goal.
Paul Lewis was forced from the field with a hamstring issue eight minutes before half time and was replaced by Samir Carruthers who quickly joined United’s mammoth first half efforts to keep the Pilgrim off the scoresheet. The midfielder was perfectly positioned to head a Niall Canavan header that had got the better of Burton off the goal line.
In fact despite having to defend for much of the first 45 minutes, Bonner’s boys could consider themselves unfortunate not to have grabbed a goal themselves when Paul Mullin was denied a certain penalty kick. Referee Will Finnie waved away claims from the striker who it seemed clear had been bundled over by Canavan when chasing down a long ball forward by Leon Davies.
After the break Mark Bonner was forced to make second change in midfield through injury as Liam O’Neil hobbled off the pitch and was replaced by Reggie Lambe.
Carruthers presence in midfield gave the United an increased share of possession after the break, but with the quality in the Pilgrims side, it was inevitable that they continued to open up chances despite the U’s remaining stoic in defence.
Sarcevic flicked another header off target before the hour mark and Harrison Dunk showed excellent awareness at a key moment to block a Byron Moore volley from close range before the hour.
United’s big chance came on 68 minutes when an excellent weaving run by El-Mizouni opened up space for the Tunisian to fire a cross back for Reggie Lambe, who really should have hit the target from six yards out but fizzed it wide.
To the U’s credit they continued to battle themselves well into the contest and as the game approached the final 15 minutes, it looked as if either side were capable of grabbing maximum points.
Burton was equal to a shot from Plymouth sub Dom Telford from 20 yards from goal which was actually the first on target for either side on 79 minutes. And aside from a late scarce as George Cooper bent a free kick marginally wide, United held out for a hard earned draw.
Plymouth Argyle: Palmer, Sawyer, Wootton, Canavan, Sarcevic, Edwards (Hardie, 71 mins), Mayor, Bakinson, Moore, McFadzean (Cooper, 71 mins), Jephcott (Telford, 61 mins)
Cambridge United: Burton, Knoyle, Taylor, Darling, Dunk, Maris, Lewis (Carruthers, 37 mins), O’Neil (Lambe, 49 mins), Davies, El-Mizouni, Mullin (Knibbs, 72 mins)
Attendance: 11,597 (153)