United returned to the league with a bump as MK Dons put four past the U’s with just one in reply at Stadium MK…
A costly first half saw the home side race into a commanding 3-0 lead and despite a more spirited second half performance which saw Sam Smith get on the scoresheet, the damage was already done as MK won 4-1.
Three changes were named from the side that drew at Northampton a week ago on Saturday, as Brophy, Weir and Hoolahan rejoined the starting line-up in place of Tracey, May and Worman.
Predictably, it was the home side who enjoyed the lion’s share of possession during the opening exchanges and it only took 12 minutes before they opened the scoring, as United were caught out by a pass in-behind, which Max Watters played across for Scott Twine to finish into an empty net from just a few years out.
Just over 10 minutes later, it was Watters that was on the receiving end of a Twine assist, as the Cardiff loanee raced through on goal before firing home a powerful low strike that left Mitov beaten.
Before the break, it was 3-0 as Twine scored his second goal of the game and fourth free-kick of the season, finding the corner from 25 yards out.
The U’s best chance of the half came in added time, as Hoolahan found Brophy on the break but after taking a good first touch right into his stride, the winger blazed over with the goal at his mercy.
It was a humbling half for United, who went into the game full of confidence but headed into the dressing room with little hope of a points return.
Harrison Dunk replaced Conor Masterson at the break and it was again Brophy who was presented with a sight of goal, as he acrobatically struck the ball over the bar from Ironside’s knockdown.
The U’s were much improved and Smith was next to come close, running onto Hoolahan’s pass behind the defence before forcing Fisher into a smart stop down to his left.
With 15 minutes remaining, Smith then hit the crossbar, heading Hoolahan’s lofted pass over Fisher and moments later, in a rare foray forward for the hosts in the second half, Watters smashed home the fourth to put the game totally out of reach for the U’s.
Smith did finally get his goal with 80 minutes on the clock, to give the 1,767 travelling Cambridge fans something to cheer, but United will now switch their focus to the FA Cup, as Northampton Town visit the Abbey Stadium on Tuesday night for a First Round replay.