U’s Edged Out in Another Exciting Encounter
Another notable display from Cambridge United against higher ranked opposition was not quite enough to get the better of Ipswich Town, who edged out the U’s 3-2 despite goals from Barry Corr and Luke Berry.
Early goals from Maitland-Niles and Pitman for the Tractor Boys asserted their Championship dominance on to the game, before Barry Corr registered his second on home soil seven minutes before the break to give the U’s hope in the second half.
Richard Money’s men clinched the opportunity with both hands, with Luke Berry’s free kick levelling the scores shortly after the half time interval, before coming close to giving United an advantage.
However it was not to be as Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy introduced the highly skilled services of David McGoldrick up top for the Blues, who scored the decisive goal on the hour mark.
The visitors wasted no time in breaking the deadlock, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles meeting a neatly played cross from former West Ham starlet Freddy Sears to nestle the ball into the United net two minutes into the game.
Despite a frighteningly quick start to the game from the Tractor Boys, United worked hard and earned themselves a foothold in the match.
On nine minutes the home side’s first chance fell to Robbie Simpson who volleyed wide from a tight angle, following a superb cross from Gearoid Morrissey.
However the Championship outfit, playing near enough to their full first team, continued to pressure with Brett Pitman, Ryan Fraser and Sears proving to be a real handful for new Cambridge United centre back partnership Mark Roberts and Leon Legge.
With a quarter of the first half played the U’s crafted out two quick fire chances, first Harrison Dunk leaped well to head Robbie Simpson’s cross back into the danger zone but none of his teammates were on hand to provide a finish.
That was shortly followed on 24 minutes by a chance for Simpson himself, who managed to get on the end of Barry Corr’s flick on but could not wrap his foot around the shot enough to steer it on target.
However it would be the visitors with the next foray of note, when Maitland-Niles’s effort rather fortuitously deflected off the U’s cross bar and directly into the path of Pitman to slot home and double the lead for Mick McCarthy’s side in the 29th minute.
Cambridge United Manager Richard Money will have been pleased to have seen his side dig their heels in for their next ten minutes, and their efforts were rewarded.
Harrison Dunk’s shot was blocked and resulted in a United corner, which Jeff Hughes delivered impeccably onto the head of Corr who nodded the ball firmly past Bialkowski on 39 minutes to peg the Tractor Boys back to 2-1.
The U’s were able to see out the remainder of the first half, with the Irishman’s second goal in as many games at the Abbey Stadium giving the home side reward for their hard-earned efforts during the opening 45 minutes.
No less than six changes from Richard Money at the interval saw a different looking United side take to the field for the second half. The substitutions made an immediate effect, with Jordan Slew pressuring the Ipswich defence high up the pitch to win a free kick 20 yards from goal.
Luke Berry curled the resulting dead ball emphatically into the inside of the far netting to level the score line on 54 minutes and spark his infamous chant on the terraces of the Newmarket Road End.
Moments later, the 23-year old came close to giving the U’s a goal advantage, when he desperately lunged into the six yard area to knock Danny Carr’s drilled cross narrowly over the bar.
However the visitors, now bolstered by striker David McGoldrick, reinstated their advantage five minutes later, when Cole Skuse opened up the United midfield and slotted through the Blues’ marksman, who calmly finished in front of the 1,200 travelling supporters.
Much like the fixtures against the Tractor Boys’ fiercest rivals Norwich City four days earlier, the U’s continued to compete evenly for the next 20 minutes of the fixture.
Berry, Slew and Carr all carried an attacking threat for the home side, whilst Morrissey, Dunk and Legge all played a part in steadying the ship for United during the second period.
A valiant effort from the men in amber and black during the closing quarter of the match was not enough to carve open the Town defence once more, with the visitors claiming the spoils by a single goal.
Cambridge United: Trialist A, Omozusi (Taylor, 45 mins), Roberts (Coulson 45 mins), Legge, Corr, Dunk, Simpson (Trialist B), 45 mins), Morrissey, L.Hughes (Berry 45 mins), J.Hughes (Carr, 45 mins), Newton (Slew, 45 mins)
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Chambers (Emmanuel), Tabb (Kenlock), Bru (Bishop), Smith (Robinson), Berra (Yorwerth), Maitland-Niles (Hammond), Skuse (Benyu), Pitman (McGoldrick, 46 mins), Sears (McDonnell), Fraser (Henshall)