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19 September 2015

U’s unbeaten in consecutive fixtures

Cambridge United made it back to back games unbeaten and two consecutive draws on the road, following a goalless game at Victoria Park against Hartlepool United in Sky Bet League Two.

Harrison Dunk and Leon Legge had chances in the first half that perhaps would have seen the U’s take all three points from the north east, but Richard Money’s side were forced into some good defensive work for long periods of the second half.

The U’s lined up with three changes to the side that had faced Leyton Orient a week earlier at the Abbey, with Dunk, George Taft and Jacob Blyth regaining starting spots in Richard Money’s side. 

Cambridge enjoyed good possession during the early stages of the match, and also found themselves in plenty of promising attacking positions within the first ten minutes. Conor Newton’s lofted cross to the back post was met firmly by Mickey Demetriou, whose header forced the first save of the match from Hartlepool keeper Andy Bartlett. 

The home side responded well with a spell of good possession of their own, which had Chris Dunn and his defence on their toes. However it was the U’s who again came closest to breaking the deadlock, when Newton this time found Harrison Dunk lurking on the edge the box and the midfielder slithered a shot fractions wide of the mark with 21 minutes played.

Dunn was forced into two fine saves in as many minutes before the half an hour mark, firstly from a scruffy deflected effort by Rakish Bingham which the U’s keeper did well to get low down to his right, before he also ensured the score line remained goalless when Carroll’s cross came close to creeping underneath his cross bar.

The U’s keeper made another smart stop shortly before the break, when Hartlepool right back Brad Halliday marauded up field and found himself one on one, but Dunn stood tall to shoulder a shot away from the target.

Cambridge ended the half on the front foot with Leon Legge battling hard in the Monkey Hangers’ 18 yard box to prod two shots towards goal, only for Ronnie Moore’s men to clear their lines.

The hosts put United under early pressure in the second period with a majority in possession, but the U’s remained well-structured resolute and determined in defence to restrict Hartlepool’s efforts on goal. 

The U’s wrestled a portion of possession back from the home side as the game crossed the hour mark and although chances were few and far between, United competed hard to try and craft out a chance that could lead to a winner.

Leon Legge rose highest for a Luke Berry corner on 72 minutes before watching his headed effort drift marginally wide. 

Both sides pushed for a winner in the dying moments of the game but neither were able to craft out the opportunity that could clinch the spoils. The U's remian unbeaten in League on the road this season and return to the Abbey Stadium in seven days' time to take on Stevenage.

Cambridge United: Dunn, Omozusi, Legge, Roberts, Taft (Coulson, 45 mins), Demetriou, Berry, Newton, Dunk (Chiedozie,72mins), Simpson (L.Hughes, 56 mins), Blyth

Hartlepool United: Bartlett, Halliday. Harrison, Boyce, Carroll, Bates, Woods (Walker, 80 mins), Featherstone, Oates, Paynter, Bingham (Fenwick, 66 mins)

Attendance: 3,665 (208 U’s fans)

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