Goals from Corr and Simpson secure opening day win for U's
Two goals from Barry Corr and a strike from Robbie Simpson saw the U's claim an impressive 3-0 vistory over Newport County at the Abbey Stadium, in the opening encounter of the 2015/16 season.
Corr’s first half effort gave United a 1-0 lead at the interval, before the Irishmen doubled the advantage and Simpson secured the points with a goal ten minutes from time. Credit to Cambridge United goalkeeper Sam Beasant also, who brilliantly saved a penalty to continue the U’s momentum during the second half.
The U’s started the game with great determination and looked to have almost certainly taken the lead just four minutes into the game, when Leon Legge met Harrison Dunk’s delivery from a corner like a steam train. Newport goalkeeper Joe Day spilt the powerful effort on goal with the ball seemingly trickling over the goal line, but both the linesman and referee Darren Handley waved it away.
The away side responded soon after with a great chance of their own, as Scott Boden played Lenell John-Lewis down the left channel before the striker scraped the outside of Sam Beasant’s right post.
An evenly contested opening 20 minutes continued, with Legge again forcing Day into a fine save from another Dunk set piece, before John-Lewis flashed hos second effort on goal wide of the mark on 13 minutes.
As the half moved towards the midway point, the U’s began to steady the ship and enjoy a majority of possession, whilst also proving to be difficult to handle from set piece deliveries, a factor which became even more evident when Corr opened the scoring on 24 minutes.
With Jordan Slew continuing his rich vein of form from the pre-season, the 22-year old wrestled with his opposite number to earn yet another U’s corner, before Dunk delivered impeccably for Corr to slot home past Joe Day and open United’s goal scoring account for the 2015/16 season.
For the remainder of the first period, Richard Money’s men coped well with the Newport attempts to level the scores, reducing the visitors to two long range efforts from Klukowski and Rodman.
Manager Richard Money opted to introduce Luke Berry to proceedings after the half time break, with the 23-year old completing a remarkable recovery having been forced to leave the field with a head injury in the final pre-season friendly against Peterborough United a week earlier.
The midfielder could arguably have won the U’s a penalty on 50 minutes, when he seemed to have his heels clipped by a Newport defender as he darted towards the byline, however the Darren Handley showed no interest and waved the claim away.
The game evened out as the two teams shared possession up to the hour mark, with the game finely poised.
However on 66 minutes Corr beat the Newport offside trap brilliantly with Alex Rodman out of action midway in the Newport half of the pitch, and the Irishman stayed cool, calm and collected to finish emphatically to double the lead and his goal tally for the afternoon.
The visitors were handed an immediate opportunity to reply, when the referee awarded Boden a dubious penalty from Dunk’s tackle. But United keeper Sam Beasant - making his League debut for the club - was not in the mood to relinquish his clean sheet and saved high to his left from Elito’s strike.
The U’s were now brimming with confidence and no sooner had Richard Money sent Robbie Simpson into battle, that the 30-year had drilled home United’s third of the afternoon on the back of good initial play from Legge and Morrissey on 79 minutes.
That goal put the result beyond Terry Butcher’s men, who despite a late fight back were unable to trouble the home side.
Cambridge United: Beasant, Keane (Morrissey, 66 mins), Legge, Coulson, Roberts, Newton, Dunk, L.Hughes, Donaldson (Berry, 45 mins), Slew (Simpson, 76 mins), Corr
Newport: Day, Holmes, Barron, Feeley, Elito, Klukowski, John-Lewis (Aaron Collins, 59 mins), Hayden, Boden, Rodman, Byrne
Vindis Man of the Match: Barry Corr