MATCH REPORT: BLACKPOOL 1 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 1
Cambridge United stretched their unbeaten run to five games with a 1-1 draw against Blackpool at Bloomfeld Road in Sky Bet League Two.
The U’s were minutes away from making it a fifth straight win until Andy Taylor’s late free kick cancelled out Luke Berry’s delightful first half goal, whilst Will Norris also made his fifth penalty save of the season.
Having been the hero in the U’s previous League outing with a double penalty save against Accrington, Norris was straight into action at pulling off a superb stop to push over Clark Robertson’s header in the third minute of the match.
United responded with a shot of their own on ten minutes, when Harrison Dunk darted up the left wing before cutting back a cross for Piero Mingoia to strike on the edge of Blackpool’s area, which forced Tangerines keeper Dean Lyness into a save low to his left.
Shaun Derry’s men did however take the lead on 15 minutes, when captain Luke Berry picked himself after being fouled 25 yards from goal, to wrap a sublime free kick into the top left corner which gave Lyness no chance.
Norris ensured United kept their lead midway the half when Danny Philliskirk caused the U’s problems at the back, but the keeper closed down the winger’s angle at goal before stopping a close-range shot comfortably.
However, the shot stopper was not finished there though, as he once again saved a penalty on 32 minutes, denying Brad Potts, after referee Richard Clark adjudged Harrison Dunk to have handled the ball in the 18 yard box.
He completed a fine first half display by pushing over Kyle Vassell’s eight yard drive with an excellent reaction save before receiving a standing ovation from the travelling Amber Army as he headed down the tunnel at the break.
United had to weather a 15 minute storm at the start of the second half, but stayed resolute in defence as Blackpool probed for an equaliser. The introduction of Uche Ikpeazu before the hour mark by Shaun Derry gave the U’s the ability to play further up the field.
The powerful striker twice tested Lyness in the Blackpool goal, but was unable to double the advantage.
Tangerines centre back Kelvin Mellor crashed a sweetly struck volley off the cross bar with 18 minutes left to play as Gary Bowyer’s men searched for the leveller.
Substitute Mark Cullen found himself in space behind the U’s defence with six minutes left to play but the striker dragged his effort well wide of the mark.
However, there was still time for Blackpool skipper Andy Taylor to level the game in stoppage time with an outstanding free kick of his own, which he curled into the same corner Berry had found earlier in the contest.
Blackpool: Lyness (Boney, 70 mins), Mellor, Taylor, McAlister, Robertson, Vassell, Potts, Aldred, Phillskirk (Osayi –Samuel, 58 mins), Payne, Gnaduillet (Cullen, 58 mins)
Cambridge United: Norris, Taylor, Coulson, Roberts, Long, Mingoia, Berry, Dunne, Dunk, McGurk (Clark, 87 mins), Williamson (Ikpeuzu, 55 mins)