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MATCH REPORT: EXETER CITY 1 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 2

22 October 2016

MATCH REPORT: EXETER CITY 1 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 2

Cambridge United made it five wins from seven games with an excellent three points in Sky Bet League Two with a 2-1 over Exeter City at St James’ Park.

First half goals from Luke Berry and Harrison Dunk proved too much for the Grecians, who pulled a goal back 16 minutes from time through Joel Grant.

Manager Shaun Derry made three changes to his side, with Will Norris and Uche Ikpeazu both returning to fitness, while Max Clark also begun the game in central midfield.

With the sun beaming down over St James’ Park, it was the U’s who certainly started the brighter, as they raced into a two goal lead in under  11 minutes.

First Luke Berry displayed excellent energy to close down Exeter City’s Christy Pym, rob the goalkeeper of possession before rounding the final defender and finishing calmly into the empty net.

Moments later Harrison Dunk doubled the advantage from 18 yards out, after strong hold up play from Ikpeazu had gifted the winger the ball before he swivelled and slotted it past the outstretched right arm of Pym. 

Despite a spell of pressure from the home side, the U’s once again came close midway through the half, as Max Clark flicked a loose ball back into the Grecian’s area which Berry directed goalwards with his head, Pym saving on this occasion though.

Ikpeazu continued to cause the hosts issues throughout the first period, with United looking menacing whenever they came forward with the ball.

Leon Legge was unlucky not to extend the U’s lead further when he chested a corner on target only for Pym to claw the effort off the goal line. Whilst at the other end, Will Norris ensured the U’s held their lead at the break as he pushed a deflected Grecian’s strike wide minutes before half time.

Manager Shaun Derry was forced into taking Harrison Dunk after half time, when the winger fell on his arm awkwardly in a tackle, Adam McGurk coming on in his place.

United looked comfortable with their lead for the opening half an hour of the second half. However, Exeter substitute Joel Grant pulled a goal back for the hosts on 74 minutes when he headed Lee Holmes’ cross past Will Norris from six yards out.

The U’s spent the large majority of the final 15 minutes defending their lead. Mark Roberts produced a sublime block to deny Lee Holmes from close range in what proved to be the Grecians best chance. The U’s held on and head into their next Sky Bet League Two  clash with Portsmouth full of confidence.

Exeter City: Pym, Woodman, Simpson, Holmes, Wheeler, Watkins, Moore-Taylor, Oakley (Grant, 45 mins), Stacey, Croll (James, 45 mins), Sweeney

Goal: Grant

Cambridge United: Norris, Halliday (Long, 90 mins), Legge, Roberts, Taylor, Mingoia, Berry, Dunne, Clark, Dunk (McGurk, 53 mins), Ikpeazu (Williamson, 70 mins)

Goals: Berry, Dunk

Attendance: 3,485 (172 away)


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