Pugh and Gash seal win for U'sA Michael Gash goal 16 minutes from time earned Cambridge United a hard-fought victory at AFC Telford on Saturday.
Gash notched the winner - his 12th goal of the season - when he diverted a Liam Hughes shot past Ryan Young. Earlier, Andy Pugh had put United in front in the first half before Jake Reid headed his side level.
Head coach Richard Money made two changes to the team that drew 0-0 with Grimsby in United's last match. Harrison Dunk made a welcome, and timely, return from injury, and came into the side for James Jennings, who switched to Mansfield on transfer deadline day. Also recalled was midfielder Tom Shaw, with loan striker Matthew Fletcher dropping to the bench. This meant Hughes partnered Gash up front, with Shaw taking his place in central midfield. Kevin Roberts was also back, but only fit enough for the bench after his recent injury.
The U's dominated the early stages, and were rewarded in the 16th minute when Pugh finished coolly from ten yards after a neat one-two with Gash. But the lead only lasted 14 minutes; United had already repelled a couple of dangerous crosses when Gerald Kinsella's deep centre found Jake Reid, who was able to head the ball home for the equaliser.
Telford changed manager in midweek, with Mark Cooper replacing U's legend Andy Sinton as the Bucks looked to halt a run of 16 games without a win. But Gash, who had hit the post with a curling effort moments earlier, denied the home team a share of the spoils with his close range winning goal.
United will be on the road again next Saturday, when they travel to Kidderminster Harriers. With Steve Burr's side currently occupying the final play-off spot, three places and five points ahead of the U's in the standings, the match could be a crucial one to both teams' hopes of achieving promotion.
AFC Telford United: Young, Salmon, Valentine, Preston, Trainer, Kinsella (Rooney 79), Jones, Hubbins (Peniket 76), Reid, Taylor, Rose
Subs not used: Collister, Smith, Spray
Cambridge United: Ross, Wassmer, Haynes-Brown, Coulson, McAuley, Shaw (Fletcher 62), Jarvis, Dunk (Brighton 69), Pugh (Roberts 76), Hughes, Gash.
Subs not used: Hedge, Hudson
Referee: Mr C. Breakspear