For 2018/19 Cambridge United’s Academy staff have challenged the Under 18s Youth Team to hone their journalistic skills by writing their own match reports following their fixtures throughout the season.
Below are the reports from the youth team’s pre-season fixtures with Mildenhall and Ipswich Town.
The Return of the Chadwick!
The game began with an intense start from both teams, the ball was forced long and our composure which we had been working on in training was tested as the ball went from end to end.
22 minutes in and the drinks break came, in which the U’s were able to get fluid on board and take in the messages from coaches Tom [Pell] and Jimmy [Unwin] on the side. The temperature began to rise and the challenging summer conditions kicked in, the U’s struggled to find the spare man in midfield as Mildenhall locked on man for man. Just before the half time whistle, a shot from 35 yards out flew past an outstretched arm of Craig Foxall and rifled into the top corner. Half time shortly followed with the score at the half 1-0 to Mildenhall.
When the beginning of the second half came, a change for the U’s...on stepped Luke Chadwick. Chadwick’s experience and composure was on show, helping the U’s to dominate the ball as Mildenhall began to tire.
In the 60th minute a darting running from midfield by Chadwick into the opposition box was brilliantly found by Tom Dickens, a touch to match the pass and a finish to bring the U’s level. The tough pre-season for the U’s began to show as Mildenhall fell off the pace of the game and U’s began to take control once again. United tested the keeper a few times before finally finding the net on 80th minute mark through a deflected shot from Sam Bennett on the edge of the box, which gave the U’s a deserved 2-1 lead. The last 10 minutes of the game was expertly controlled by the U’s as they saw out a 2-1 win to claim their second victory of pre-season.
U’S TURN UP THE HEAT ON THE TRACTOR BOYS
A goal from 1st year scholar Joe Dearman and a second half own goal sealed what was a hard fought away victory for United against Ipswich Town, continuing their good form during their pre-season campaign with a third consecutive win.
With the sun blazing down on the Ipswich training ground, temperatures reaching up to 30 degrees, it was always going to be a tough test for the U’s physically, however it was one they passed with flying colours.
The pitch was in immaculate condition, which led to both teams enjoying possession in the early exchanges. Neither team really gave much away in the early parts of the game. However it was the town who managed to smother the first effort on goal, with the Ipswich number 9 peeling off to the back post. His header sailed into the grateful hands of Craig Foxall in the Cambridge United goal, not exactly troubling him.
As the game went on, Ipswich managed to gain a bit more of the upper hand in terms of possession, however not always with control and the U’s always looked dangerous on the break, picking their moments wisely to attack, in an attempt to consume their energy on a hot day. However it was the U’s who took the lead in the 33rd minute. Brilliant hold up play from United’s number 9 Joe Neal who then slid in an on-marching Joe Dearman down the left hand side, who cleverly finished at Toby Egan’s near post and into the town net, a deserved lead some may argue.
Ipswich then grabbed a hold of the game, with a mixture of the town upping the tempo and Cambridge dropping off the pace a touch. Dominating possession it was evident the U’s needed the half time break.
HT: Ipswich Town 0-1 Cambridge United.
The second half began similarly to the first, very equal. Although Ipswich were the ones managing to form more attempts together. A big moment in the game then followed, a mix up in the Cambridge box between Craig Foxall and Josh Gray led to the Cambridge central defender chopping down the Ipswich forward. The Ipswich midfielder then finished into the bottom left corner, a nice height for the Cambridge keeper however he couldn’t get a strong enough hand on it, game on.
Cambridge had no choice but to up the tempo, in which they did, equally the play out once again. 10 minutes from time, Josh Gray picks up the ball and looks to break the line between the Ipswich back line and midfield, a sliding interception from the Ipswich central midfielder fell kindly into the path of Sam Bennett, who drove forward down the right hand side and whipped in a dangerous ball into the Ipswich box. Jake Battersby contested in the air with the Ipswich defender, who ultimately couldn’t help but help the ball on into the bottom left corner, 2-1 to the U’s. A professional, hard fought final 10 minutes followed from Cambridge, showing real desire and a winning mentality. In the end Ipswich couldn’t break down the resilient Cambridge back line.
An excellent victory for Cambridge United, who were definitely made to work for it.