Cambridge United rounded off a mini training camp in South Wales with a win and a draw against Cardiff City on Saturday…
The two Club’s faced off for a pair of 60 minute friendlies at the Cardiff International Sports Stadium and after winning the first contest 2-0, the shares were spoiled in the second half after a 1-1 draw.
A mixture of First Team and Youth was on show for both sides, and it was goals from Sam Smith, Jensen Weir and Joe Ironside who found the net for United across both games, to cap off a successful few days for the squad.
- 1pm Starting XI: Jonah Gill, Liam Bennett, Lloyd Jones, Greg Taylor, Harrison Dunk, Andy Dallas, Liam O’Neil, Jensen Weir, James Brophy, Wes Hoolahan, Sam Smith
In the first fixture between the two sides, the U’s stormed out to an early lead thanks to a smart finish from Sam Smith who capitalised on a poor Cardiff pass-back.
Aside from a close-range blaze over the bar from Isaac Vassell and a curling effort from Tomlin that flew narrowly past the post, the hosts offered little in-front of goal to trouble the U’s defence.
Smith came close to scoring his second of the game on 20 minutes, after dragging his shot wide from just inside the box and the U’s went into the break one goal to the good.
With the blazing heat, the second half saw little goalmouth action for either side, but Brophy made Smithies work with a well struck free-kick that the Cardiff goalkeeper pushed over the bar and a few minutes later, Jones showed his defensive qualities with a superb block to deny Tomlin from surely finding the net with a vicious strike on goal.
Just as the game was beginning to reach its conclusion, Jensen Weir put the exclamation point on a terrific display from the U’s, with a 25-yard rifle that settled into the bottom corner.
- 2:30pm Starting XI: Chadwick, Williams, Trialist, Joe, Iredale, Tracey, Digby, May, Worman, Knibbs, Ironside
The second fixture started even quicker than the first, with the U’s taking the lead after less a minute. City goalkeeper Phillips took down Tracey with 28 seconds on the clock, leading to Ironside giving United the perfect start.
Unlike the first game though, Cardiff hit back as Zimba headed home after 12 minutes. The 19-year-old connecting to James Collins’ cross with aplomb.
Cardiff looked a much improved outfit in the second game and Ryan Giles, who signed on loan for the Bluebirds from Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this week, rattled the woodwork with a tremendous effort from a narrow angle on 20 minutes.
That was as close as either side came to adding to the scoring in the first half, as the teams went in level at the break.
Harvey Knibbs came close to giving the lead back to his team on 38 minutes, as he back-heeled Iredale’s cut-back towards goal but couldn’t direct it on target.
Moments later, Cardiff saw two good chances go begging as their primary threat, Giles, raced onto a loose ball to force Chadwick into a fine save, before Denham climbed high to head just past the post.
With 15 minutes remaining, Myles Cowling came on in-place of Ben Worman and the final chance of the game fell to Cardiff's Ryan Wintle with just a few minutes left to play, but the former Crewe Alexandra midfielder shaped his shot just wide from 12 yards out.
Whilst not necessarily about results, a win and draw from Mark Bonner’s side certainly makes for an encouraging start to Pre-Season, with many senior and young players contributing towards 120 minutes of action in the searing South Wales heat.
Next up for United is Friday night’s match against Brentford XI at the Premier Plus Stadium, the home of St Neots Town. Tickets are available for supporters to buy now.