Cambridge United returned to winning ways to bring 2019 to a close with a 1-0 victory over Morecambe at the Abbey Stadium.
Jack Roles’ fifth goal of the season proved to be the difference on the day as United picked up an important three points following back to back defeats in Sky Bet League Two.
United lined up with three changes from the clash with Swindon on Boxing Day, as Callum Burton made his first league start for the U’s and Marc Richards and Dan Jones returned to the starting eleven.
In a low key first half, Jack Roles tested Mark Halstead with a 25 yard shot that required the Morecambe to palm wide before United came closest of either side to opening the deadlock on 19 minutes, with Marc Richards seeing h shot from an acute angle blocked off the line by George Tanner.
The Shrimps full back cracked a shot of his own at the other end of the field which had Burton diving wildly to his left but the effort missed the target over the top. Kevin Ellison also fired over when he connected with a pulled back cross from six yards, whilst Burton’s only other action of the first half was to catch a late free kick from
United took early control of possession after the break and Richards tested Halstead with a header from six yards having attacked a cross from Paul Lewis.
The breakthrough finally came on 58 minutes when Jack Roles entered the Shrimps area from the right and lashed a shot across goal which took the slightest of deflections to beat Halstead in front of the NRE.
Morecambe looked to have found a leveller minutes later when Ellison diverted a Tom Brewitt shot over Burton, but the Shrimps veteran was in an offside position and the flag was promptly raised.
Marc Richards was extremely unfortunate not to double the lead when the striker connected perfectly with a diving header on the end of a Jack Roles corner on 77 minutes, which Steven Old somehow cleared off the goal line.
A lovely passing move from the U's ten minutes from time almost unlocked the visitors once more, but when Paul Lewis pulled a cross back for Lambe, the midfielder leant back too far and fired over.
The U’s were forced to soak up a spell of late pressure from the visitors, but only sub Jordan Cranston’s teasing cross which Burton parried away from danger and a scramble inside the U’s area from a late corner, caused a scare for the home fans in the Abbey who saw United clinch the win.
Cambridge United: Burton, Darling, Taft, Taylor, Jones, O’Neil (Lambe, 54 mins), Lewis, Maris, Roles (Knibbs,82 mins), Richards (Dunk, 77 mins), Smith
Morecambe: Halstead, Conlan, Kenyon, Old, O’Sullivan, Alessandra (Leith-Smith, 73 mins), Ellison (Cranston, 69 min), Sutton, Brewitt (Wildig, 73 mins), Mendes-Gomes, Tanner
Attendance: 4,086 (47)