Cheltenham Town delivered a smash and grab result against the U's, as Sam Jones' second half goal proved to be the difference in a 0-1 defeat at the Abbey Stadium in Sky Bet League Two.
For the second time in a week, United dominated proceedings on home soil but were punished from the Robin’s only chance of the match, which striker Sam Jones tucked away on 66 minutes.
David Forde was the solitary United change from the encounter with Exeter City earlier in the week, as the goalkeeper returned following his spell side-lined with concussion.
Joe Dunne’s men were quick to take control of possession and largely controlled the play for the opening 45 minutes.
Liam O’Neil created the first opening with a clever flick over his head to work space inside the final third but lifted his cross beyond Azeez at the far post on 8 minutes. The midfielder then drilled a shot of his own across the face of goal moments later as the U’s continued to push forward with immense regularity.
United’s best opportunity came on the end of a menacing run into the Robins 18 yard box by George Maris, before he shifted a pass inside for Azeez whose cushioned shot was quickly closed down by Cheltenham keeper Scott Flinders.
Maris himself came close minutes before the break, when his long range strike dipped late but not enough to sneak inside the cross bar and clipped the top of the net.
The pattern of the game with the U’s in the ascendency was quickly replicated after half time, and United added further attacking impetus with the introduction of David Amoo minutes after the break.
The winger forced Flinders into a smart stop with a left footed strike before the hour mark, whilst Jevani Brown was denied with United’s best opportunity of the game with the Robins keeper closing down the forward when one-on-one before Amoo then directed the rebound wide.
Joe Dunne’s men were dealt the sucker punch on 66 minutes though, when substitute Sam Jones capitalised on an error by Taft, and found the net on the second occasion after Forde had made a great initial stop.
Despite a constant wave forward of the U’s offence for the remainder of the clash, the visitors held on to their lead and completed a disappointing result as heavy rain hammered down at the Abbey.
Cambridge United: Forde, Halliday, Taft, John, Carroll (Lambe, 78 min), Deegan, Maris, O’Neil (Amoo, 48 mins), Brown, Azeez (Dunk, 68 mins), Ibehre
Cheltenham Town: Flinders, Hussey (Debayo, 73 mins), Mullins, Atangana, Thomas (Dawson, 45 mins), Duku, McAlinden (Jones, 45 min), Broom, Boyle, Maddox, Forster
Bookings: Boyle, Dawson
Attendance: 3,660 (140)
Man of the Match: Gary Deegan