U's beat Sky Blues in penultimate friendly
A first half header from Leon Legge ensures Cambridge United secure a 1-0 win over League One Coventry City in their penultimate pre-season friendly at the Abbey Stadium.
The U’s in large controlled possession of the ball throughout the game and following the goal on 36 minutes from Legge, in which remained well-structured and organised to see off their opponents.
Despite an early shot from Coventry speedster Ruben Lameiras, which saw the winger cut inside and test Sam Beasant low to the keeper’s left, it was United who began the game the brightest. A succession of three corner kicks put pressure on the visitors, with Leon Legge coming close to breaking the deadlock with a powerful header five minutes into the fixture which was tipped over the cross bar.
The U’s continued to compete with their League One opponents, holding good shape to keep Tony Mowbray’s men at arm’s length. A fine touch from Barry Corr to control Beasant’s long pass saw the Irishman eventually find Robbie Simpson 30 yards from goal who turned and drilled a shot wide of the mark.
Coventry seemed to have taken the lead on 21 minutes, when Danny Swanson bundled the ball over the line from a corner but was adjudged to have started in an offside position thanks to a good defensive press from the U’s.
Two further long range efforts followed for United, first from Simpson who this time fired over the bar and then from Luke Berry, after the 23-year old had displayed some fancy footwork to outwit his opposite number.
On 28 minutes the officials disallowed a second goal, this for the home side. An outstanding ball from Conor Newton split the Coventry defence before Barry Corr slotted home with his first touch for what would have been his third pre-season goal at the Abbey Stadium, had the offside flag not been raised moments earlier.
However the home crowd did not have to wait too long for the opening goal of the encounter, which occurred on 36 minutes. Good work on the right wing from Berry, Slew and Newton led to yet another United corner and a precise delivery from Berry was met by the outstretched head of Legge, whose effort this time nestled into the inside of the Sky Blue’s net.
Just a solitary and rather speculative effort before the half time whistle by Coventry’s Romain Vincelott sailed over the cross bar, ensuring that the U’s carried their lead into the interval.
United returned for the second half with a real air of confidence, dominating possession and restricting their opponents from the division above to minimal opportunities to get near the United 18 yard box for long periods.
John Fleck’s wild strike on 61 minutes was an indication of the U’s good defensive work as the Sky Blues became increasingly more frustrated. Jim O’Brien was on the end of the best chance for the visitors when he teared through one-on-one with Sam Beasant, but the United keeper stayed tall to save well on 65 minutes.
With eight minutes to play Jordan Chiedozie, on for Elliot Omozusi, cut inside brilliantly before unleashing a powerful drive on Burge who did just enough to stop the effort. That was followed two minutes later, when more good work from Chiedozie and then Matt Low initially gave Jordan Slew the chance to unleash a fierce shot on goal, which again the keeper was able to save.
Despite one final opportunity for Coventry’s George Thomas which saw the winger shoot wide when sent through on goal with four minutes to play, the U’s held on for an impressive 1-0 victory in front of a crowd just short of 2,000.
Cambridge United: Beasant, Legge, Coulson, Roberts, Omozusi (Chiedozie, 75 mins), Newton, Keane (L. Hughes, 45 mins), Berry, Simpson (Taylor, 55 mins), Corr (Lowe, 82 mins), Slew
Coventry City: Burge, Willis (Dion Kelly-Evans, 82 mins), Stokes, Vincelott, Martin, Fleck, Ricketts, Tudgay (O’Brien, 45 mins), Maddison, Lameiras, Swanson (Thomas, 45 mins)