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Match Reports


16 February 2019

Cambridge United settled for a share of the spoils against Tranemre Rovers, as a goalless draw extended their unbeaten run at the Abbey Stadium to four games.

Harrison Dunk was United’s only change from their win over Port Vale at the Abbey seven days earlier, replacing Jake Carroll at left back.

Having scored three in his last five for the U’s, David Amoo looked like a man playing with huge confidence in the early stages of the encounter with a looping acrobatic kick and a long range drilled strike inside 15 minutes delivering an early warning to the visitors.

At the other end United’s defence were tasked with keeping tabs on the League’s top scorer James Norwood, and George Taft’s excellent challenge when the striker looked to have snuck in behind on 25 minutes summed a good opening quarter of the clash defensively.

It was then the U’s that carved out the better opportunities before the break but were frustrated by a fine performance from Scott Davies between the Tranmere goalposts.

First, Jabo Ibehre latched on to a loose pass from Zoumana Bakayogo but was closed down quickly by the Rovers shotstopper, before Hepburn-Murphy was denied a point blank header for a second consecutive game as Davies produced lightening reactions to get his left glove to the ball.

The second half was an even tighter affair and finely balanced throughout.

Taylor and Taft continued to keep a track on Norwood whose clever movement meant the striker was a constant threat throughout, and dogged work in central midfield from Deegan and Maris ensured the U's remained structured enough to protect the U's defensively.

Norwood's only opening came when he peeled off the back of Taft to work space for a shot, but his volley from the ball over the top was miss-timed and failed to hit the target.

In fact Dimitar Mitov was largely untested and called into action only twice when the Bulgarian put his body in the line to block a bouncing ball that was being chased down hard by Connor Jennings. And he was well-positioned to calmly catch Jordan Smith’s near post effort after the Tranmere substitute had cut in from the right.

Offensively the U’s never really threatened at all after the break and in the end settled for a deserved draw that ensured they move on to three away consecutive games in League Two having with a seven point gap between themselves and the bottom two.

Cambridge United: Mitov, Halliday, Taylor, Taft, Dunk, Amoo (Coulson, 63 mins), Deegan, Maris, Brown (Lambe, 63 mins), Hepburn-Murphy (Jones, 63 mins), Ibehre

Bookings: Halliday

Tranmere Rovers: Davies, Monthe, Norwood, Jennings, McCullough, Caprice (Buxton, 81 mins), Ellis, Perkins, Morris, Bakayogo, Pringle (Smith, 66 mins)

Bookings: Pringle, Perkins

Attendance: 4,872 (629)

Man of the Match: Gary Deegan

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