Cambridge United were edged out against a well-drilled Swindon Town outfit, who took the spoils 0-1 through Jerry Yates’ first half goal at the Abbey Stadium.
United lined up with a three changes with Reggie Lambe starting at left wing back in the absence of Luke Hannant and Harrison Dunk, Elliott Ward replacing Harry Darling and Jack Roles moving into the starting eleven after his first professional goal earlier in the week at Mansfield.
United marshalled the visitors well in the early stages as Richie Wellens side move the ball around quickly in the opening encounters without testing Dimitar Mitov.
The game lacked any real sights at goal in the first 25 minutes. United’s only real chance came from a set piece delivery by Jack Roles from the right wing, which Marc Richards tracked but was unable to angle on target with his head to score against his former club.
The deadlock was broken just before the half an hour mark, when a weaving run by Ellis Iandolo carved the U’s open with three men unable to lay a tackle on the Robins man, who duly cut a shot across goal which was turned in by Jerry Yates at the back post.
Danny Rose was within whiskers of doubling the advantage for the visitor’s moments before the break, but whistled his free kick from 18 yards fractions wide of the top corner, as United went down the tunnel slightly fortunate to be only one goal behind at half time.
Marc Richards lifted a delightful cross onto the head of Sam Smith six minutes in the second half, and the striker’s powered attempt at goal was flicked away at full stretch by McCormick, as United started brighter after the break.
Colin Calderwood introduced Jabo Ibehre with 25 minutes to play as the U’s switched to a 3-4-3 formation in search of a leveller.
Richards lofted another dangerous delivery Smith’s way on 70 minutes and again the striker made contact with his head back across goal but the effort was read by McCormick who caught with ease.
As the U’s push forward, the game became increasingly stretched and spaces opened up for the visitors to hit the U’s on the counter. Greg Taylor and George Taft both kept United in the game with excellent one on one defence against Woolery and Doyle respectively.
In truth though, the U’s huffed and puffed without creating a clear goalscoring opening against a well organised Swindon outfit who saw out the remainder of the fixture unscathed.
Cambridge United: Mitov, Knoyle, Taylor, Ward (Ibehre, 66 mins), Taft, Lambe, Lewis, O’Neil, Roles (Maris, 72 mins), Smith (Dallas, 85 mins), Richards
Swindon Town: McCormick, Fryers, Rose (May, 71 mins), Isgrove (Doughty, 65 mins), Yates, Iandolo, Hunt, Conroy, Doyle, Anderson (Woolery, 13 mins), Grant
Bookings: Isgrove, Doyle
Attendance: 4,443 (736)
Man of the Match: Kyle Knoyle