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Cambridge United 0-0 Wrexham

18 February 2014

All square at the R Costings Abbey Stadium

Cambridge United and Wrexham fought out a drab goalless draw in a game of few chances at the R Costings Abbey Stadium.

Neither keeper made a save of note in an uneventful 90 minutes, with both teams guilty of making poor decisions in the final third.

Richard Money welcomed back skipper Ian Miller after injury in the one change from Saturday’s win over Grimsby. Andy Pugh dropped to the bench with Liam Hughes moving into midfield.

But United struggled to hit the heights of Saturday’s victory, with Wrexham content to pass the ball around in midfield without making any impact.

Things improved after the break with the introduction of Pugh, which saw the U’s change to a 4-2-3-1 formation. The game became a bit more open, with Jay Harris shooting straight at Will Norris from distance, while a fine passing move ended with a pass from Pugh into the feet of Kevin Roberts, who blazed over when he had options in the centre waiting for a cross.

At the other end Wrexham’s best chance came when the crafty Dean Keates guided a teasing cross into the six yard box, but Andy Bishop couldn’t sort his feet out and shinned the ball well wide.

United will be back in action on Saturday for the second leg of the FA Trophy semi-final with Grimsby Town at Blundell Park.

May I Claim Man of the Match: Ryan Donaldson

Cambridge United: Norris, Roberts, Taylor, Coulson, Miller, Hughes (Arnold 64), Donaldson, Champion, Berry, Elliott, Bird (Pugh 45). Subs not used: Sullivan, Tait, Austin.

Wrexham: Coughlin, Ashton, Livesey, Tomassen, Carrington, Clarke, Durrell (Hunt 62), Harris, Keates (Ormerod 90), Anyinsah (Ogleby 86), Bishop. Subs not used: Thornton, Hunt, Artell.

Referee: Mr Craig Hicks

Attendance: 2,231 (away 108)

FULL TIME: Cambridge United 0-0 Wrexham

21.40: Added time nearly up, but Wrexham will make another change, Ormerod on for Keates. 

21.34: YELLOW CARD. Harris goes into the book for a foul on Donaldson by the touchline. United have a free kick but it's chipped into the box and headed away.

21.25: Best chance of the match falls to the visitors, Hunt with the ball in but Bishop can't sort his feet out in the six yard box and stumbles it well wide.

21.22: Lovely one-touch passing involving Donaldson and Berry moves the ball on to Pugh, who slides a great pass inside the full back for Roberts. But with options in the centre he blazes wildly over the Newmarket Road End.

21.12: Wrexham cut through the United defence for the first time tonight, Harris plays in Anyinsah who shoots wide from the right angle of the box.

21.11: U's changes, Hughes off, Arnold on.

21.09: Wrexham change, Durrell off, Johnny Hunt on.

21.06: YELLOW CARD. Kevin Roberts the first man in the book for the merest of tugs on Ashton as he tries to break forward. Referee Hicks has been very lenient so far and that seemed a weird one to penalise. But never mind. 

21.01: Couple of half-chances for United, whose passing has been a lot crisper since the break. Elliott's chest down finds Berry who guides a volley wide, then Donaldson picks Carrington's pocket but Elliott can't get meaningful contact on his cross.

20.55: Tonight's attendance: 2,231 (away 108)

20.52: Second half underway, and United have made a change, with Andy Pugh replacing Ryan Bird. This signals a change of formation, with Hughes going into a deep lying midfield role with Champion, and Donaldson, Berry and Pugh lining up behind Elliott.


20.35: That'll do for a first half devoid of incident. Neither keeper tested yet, things can only get better.

20.27: Wrexham with a chance to get the ball into the box with a free kick wide on their left, Ashton fouled. In it goes but Bird heads it behind. Corner, which comes off the shins of Keates and out for a goal kick. Moments later Anyinsah clatters into Coulson as they challenge for a high ball and is perhaps a bit lucky to get away without a yellow card.

20.20: Elliott injects a bit of pace this time, spinning away and surging to the byline, but his cross zooms past the boot of Hughes sliding in at the back post.

20.15: Donaldson shows his pace with a cracking burst down the left flank, beating Carrington and delivering a dangerous cross which is just too far ahead of Elliott and Bird.

20.12: Hughes does well to find Donaldson haring down the left. He gets the ball back to Hughes, who measures a cross which is headed away as far as Berry, who volleys a couple of feet wide.

20.06: Home crowd in good voice trying to rouse the players, so far this match has been a slow burner. United make tracks down the left but Taylor's cross isn't the best and is volleyed clear.

19.56: Wrexham's first shot of the night comes from Bishop, who sets himself 20 yards out but drags a first time effort well wide.

19.50: Some shaky defending from Wrexham, Tomasson can only nod the ball up in the air under pressure from Bird. Hughes races onto it but hammers a volley well over.

19.48: Following a minute's applause for England legend Sir Tom Finney, United get us underway and immediately Donaldson gets away down the left and sets up Taylor for a cross which Bird nods wide.

Cambridge United: Norris, Roberts, Taylor, Coulson, Miller, Hughes, Donaldson, Champion, Berry, Elliott, Bird. Subs: Sullivan, Tait, Pugh, Austin, Arnold.

Wrexham: Coughlin, Ashton, Livesey, Tomassen, Carrington, Clarke, Durrell, Harris, Keates, Anyinsah, Bishop. Subs: Thornton, Ormerod, Ogleby, Hunt, Artell.

19.28: TEAM NEWS. The team news is a bit late in arriving this evening as the Wrexham team coach got stuck in traffic. But it's here now and the United side shows one welcome change to the team that beat Grimsby on Saturday - Ian Miller making a rapid return from the injury he sustained last Tuesday against Alfreton. Andy Pugh drops to the bench, meaning Liam Hughes will slot in on the right hand side of midfield.

No ex-U's in the Wrexham line-up, and mercifully player/manager Andy Morrell has refrained from picking himself. Morrell has been a thorn in United's side in recent seasons.

19.20: Good evening everyone and welcome to the R Costings Abbey Stadium for tonight's match between Cambridge United and Wrexham. United will be looking to build on Saturday's win over Grimsby in the FA Trophy by getting back to winning ways in the league - the last two home games in the Skrill Premier have ended in defeat.

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