U's beaten at the Lamex
Cambridge United were beaten 3-2 by Stevenage at the Lamex Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The U's back-line was caught out by Charlie Lee, who lobbed in the opening goal, and though Ryan Bird leveled from close range, Tom Pett and Dean Parratt give the home side a commanding lead at the break.
An improved second half display will have encouraged the large travelling support, but Adam Cunnington's late goal wasn't enough to help his team grab a share of the spoils.
Richard Money made three changes, bringing in Bird and Cunnington at the expense of the injured Kwesi Appiah and Jordan Chiedozie, who was named among the substitutes. Sulley Kaikai also dropped to the bench to accommodate the return of Robbie Simpson.
Though United looked fairly comfortable in the opening stages, they fell behind in the 14th minute, when a long ball forward was flicked on by Ryan Brunt to Lee, who reached it ahead of Dunn and sent a perfectly placed lob into the net despite the efforts of Josh Coulson on the line.
It was all square when Bird netted eight minutes later, profiting from a Cunnington knock-down to bundle the ball in at the back post after a long free kick into the box hadn't been cleared by the Boro backline.
But the U's always looked uncomfortable dealing with balls in from wide areas, and when former Peterborough man Lee got in behind them in the 32nd minute, he was able to chip the ball to the back post, where Pett arrived behind Greg Taylor to volley in.
It got worse for United six minutes later when Tom Champion had his pocket picked by Parrett, who was allowed to stride forward before blasting an excellent shot into the top corner from 20 yards.
United came out for the second half looking more purposeful, and the introduction of Kaikai and Bobby-Joe Taylor gave them extra cutting edge down the flanks. The pressure paid off five minutes from time when Taylor got to the byline and supplied a perfect cross for Cunnington to slot home at the far post.
But despite a couple of late free kicks and corners, the U's were unable to muster an equaliser, and will now turn their attention to the FA Cup, with Luton Town the visitors to the R Costings Abbey Stadium on Saturday.
Stevenage: Day, Henry, Wells, Charles, Okimo, Pett, McAllister, Parrett, Whelpdale (Deacon 68), Lee, Brunt (Beardsley 43). Subs not used: Beasant, Walton, Conlon, Zola, Marriott
Cambridge United: Dunn, Tait, Taylor, Coulson, Miller, Champion, Cunnington, Simpson (Kaikai 71), Hughes, Chadwick (Taylor 77), Bird (Chiedozie 71). Subs not used: Norris, Nelson, Atkinson, Hurst
Referee: Fred Graham
Attendance: 4,579 (1,624 away)