Dunk and Corr register goals in U’s victory at the Abbey
Goals from Harrison Dunk and Barry Corr secured the U’s all three points against Northampton Town in a highly entertaining Sky Bet League Two encounter at the Abbey Stadium.
Dunk’s first half strike from 25 yards gave Richard Money’s side a 1-0 advantage at the break which Corr was quick to double in the second period, and when Marc Richards pegged one back for the visitors from the penalty spot, United showed their teeth for the final half an hour of the match to hold on for the win.
Richard Money opted to make four changes to his side ahead of the fixture, including new loan signing Alie Sesay who featured to make his debut for the club whilst Liam Hughes, Greg Taylor and George Taft started the match.
The first opportunity of the game fell to Robbie Simpson on 13 minutes, after the striker made a clever run to get across his man and meet Ryan Donaldson’s whipped cross with his head from seven yards, but Northampton keeper Adam Smith produced an outstanding save to keep the game goalless.
Moments later it was the turn of U’s shot stopper Sam Beasant to maintain the deadlock, when he kept his cool to deny Sam Hoskins in a one on one situation.
The two chances opened the game up with both sides enjoying sights on goal regularly for the next ten minutes, Barry Corr the closest of any United player to register when he wrapped his foot around a shot on the 18 yard box.
Robbie Simpson again tested the Northampton goalie midway through the first half with a venomous drive on the turn, but Smith’s impressive display continued to frustrate Richard Money’s side when he palmed over for a corner.
The U’s stayed patient however, and when Liam Hughes fizzed in a low pass to Harrison Dunk on 39 minutes, the midfielder marauded 15 yards into a shooting position before placing a brilliant strike into the bottom left corner to give United a 1-0 lead going into the break.
It took just five second half minutes for the U’s to double their lead, when Hughes this time played Greg Taylor in down the right channel before the right back crossed well to give Barry Corr the easiest of finishes for his seventh goal of the campaign in front of a rocking Newmarket Road End.
The visitors bounced back quickly though, when Alie Sesay’s mistimed challenge on substitute Calvert-Lewin in the area gave Marc Richards the opportunity peg a goal back from 12 yards out.
Northampton pushed the U’s hard for an equaliser, but Richard Money’s side remained resolute and offered a real threat on the counter attack, twice coming close through Dunk and Jeff Hughes to registering the killer goal before the hour mark.
An exciting second half continued into the final quarter of the game and when Lawson D’Ath lunged in on Harrison Dunk on 76 minutes, the Northampton midfielder was sent to the stands leaving his side with ten men for the remainder of the game.
Referee Darren England then waved away a strong penalty claim for Robbie Simpson moments when the U’s striker seemed to have been clattered to the floor by Furlong in the 18 yard box.
Despite a late push from the visitors, United showed real grit to hold on to their lead and secure an important win before heading down to the West Country for back-to-back away fixtures against Exeter City and Yeovil Town.
Cambridge United: Beasant, Taylor, Taft, Sesay, Demetriou, Donaldson, J.Hughes, L.Hughes, Dunk (Newton, 87 mins), Simpson (Berry, 87 mins), Corr
Northampton: Smith, Creswell, D’Ath, Byrom, Richards, Adams, Hoskins (Calvert-Lewin, 50 mins), Buchanan, O’Toole, Furlong (Hackett, 87 mins), Brisley
Attendance: 5,459 (1,199 away)