Cambridge United bounced back with a 2-0 win over Stevenage at the Abbey Stadium, to claim a precious first three points of 2019 in Sky Bet League Two.
David Amoo and Jevani Brown’s first half goals earned the U’ an unassailable advantage as they saw out the contest with relative ease.
Captain Gary Deegan returned from suspension alongside Amoo and George Taft as the three changes made to the U’s starting eleven prior to game by Colin Calderwood. And there was late team news too as Liam O’Neil also dropped out in the warm up, with Paul Lewis stepping into the side.
A lively start from Amoo crafted a golden opportunity inside five minutes as the winger zipped a cross through the Stevenage six yard box towards Maris, whose shot was blocked on the line by Joel Byrom.
United persevered though and found the breakthrough with a finely worked goal which saw Jabo Ibehre and Jevani Brown carve open the visitor’s defence to allow Amoo to charge through, round the keeper and slot in the U’s opening goal on 34 minutes.
Brown then went from provider to goalscorer moments before the break, hammering in a low shot from 18 yards out to ensure the hosts went down the tunnel having doubled their advantage.
They weathered a purple patch for the first 15 minutes of the second half from the visitors, with Gary Deegan making a notable block to deny substitute Emmanuel Sonupe a clean strike at goal inside the United area.
Whilst Colin Calderwood’s men had to do their fair share of team defensive work, they kept their visitors at arm’s length and actually created the most threatening opportunities in front of goal during the remainder of the second half.
Jevani Brown played a neat pass into the stride of Ibehre on 76 minutes, but the striker’s effort one on one was closed down quickly by Farnham in the Stevenage goal. And Brown came close to setting up U’s substitute Harrison Dunk too, but again Farnahm was on hand to deny United with his right boot on this occasion.
Nonetheless, United held out for a precious three points and moved five points clear of the bottom two in Sky Bet League Two.
Cambridge United: Forde, Halliday, Taylor, Taft, Carroll, Deegan, O’Neil, Maris (Dunk, 78 mins), Brown (Brown, 90 mins), Amoo (Azeez, 78 mins), Ibehre
Bookings: Lewis, Deegan
Stevenage: Farman, Wildin, Timlin, Cuthbert (Smyth, 80 mins), Byrom, Revell, Kennedy (Campbell-Ryce, 45 mins), Seddon, Iontton (Sonupe, 45 mins), Newton, Nugent
Bookings: Cuthbert, Timlin
Man of the Match: George Taft
Attendance: 4,235 (635)