U’S CLAIM DRAW IN LEYTONSTONE
Cambridge United’s U18s Scholars continued their steady progress with a 1-1 draw against Leyton Orient on Saturday.
After a frozen start to the day and a 45-minute delay to kick off, play finally got underway in Leytonstone between the O’s and the U’s. Several pitch inspections delayed kick off and created disruption for both sets of players on arrival and in preparation for the game, however the game started and began slowly as a result of the uncertainty.
As the pitch softened and the tempo increased, both teams created opportunities in the first half and could have gone ahead, the U’s best chance coming from a fierce Leon Davies cross from the right hand side which was narrowly missed by forward Jordan Brown.
The game was direct from both sides on a surface that was not conducive to the U’s preferred passing style. It was stop start and frantic in periods, rather lacking in control or quality from both teams.
The second half started better and it was United who looked the most dangerous, capitalising on the early possession with a goal in the 52nd minute. Jake Chambers-Shaw slid the ball under the goal keeper after excellent work from Dylan Williams who rounded two defenders before find Chambers-Shaw calmly in the box.
The U’s will be disappointed not to have added to their lead with a period of dominance and a number of attempts at goal and set plays. They may also be questioning the referee’s failure to award a penalty after three good appeals, the best, a clear penalty as Williams was bundled over in the box after another clever dribble that saw him ghost past two reds defenders.
Orient did find an equaliser however midway through the half. The U’s failed to regain possession in their half and missed two occasions to do so, allowing the Orient attacker to find his way into the penalty box in a wide area and cut the ball back to the forward to tap home.
In the closing exchanges, a flurry of corners for the hosts couldn’t find an opening and a strong appeal for a spot kick was waved away by the match official. United too may have found the winner having three efforts blocked off the goal line in the same move from a corner kick.
Professional Phase Lead Coach Mark Bonner commented on the draw: “We haven’t drawn many games at all this season. In fact, this was the team’s second. If we haven’t won, we’ve lost.
“We have been speaking recently since the Gillingham defeat last weekend, that if we cannot win, we mustn’t get beat. This is the mentality we are working to create in the team.”
Team: Macree, Davies, Emmins, Jones, Darling, Bell Toxtle, Burniston, Williams, Chambers-Shaw (Lea 70), Brown (Knowles 70), Leavers