Cambridge United secured their tenth clean sheet of the season in a keenly contested draw with Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road in Sky Bet League Two..
Uche Ikpeazu returned at centre forward following his suspension for the U’s, who were looking to make a quick response to the disappointing defeat at the hands of Luton Town four days earlier.
The hosts made life difficult in the opening ten minutes as Gary Johnson’s men moved possession of the ball around quickly, forcing United to show good defensive discipline. To their credit the U’s stayed firm, with only Carl Winchester’s shot that was flicked over by Taylor on nine minutes, a chance of any note.
David Forde was called into action later in the half though to twice deny Harry Pell, who attacked from the right of the United 18 yard box on both occasions, but the U’s keeper was equal to the central midfielder’s efforts.
The U’s began to build a little momentum, spearheaded by Uche Ikpeazu midway through the first half. The big striker managed to work space in the area to cross into the heart of the Cheltenham six yard box on 23 minutes but the Robins cleared, before Ikpeazu himself attacked the back post from the resulting corner but headed wide.
Liam O’Neil was then stretchered off with a worrying looking head injury following a clash with Pell, and in the ten minutes of added time that followed, United did just enough to deny the hosts an opening on goal as the pushed forward before half time.
The U’s shot out the blocks in the second period, clearly keen on increasing the number of opportunities on goal. Piero Mingoia threaded an excellent low cross through to Ikpeazu on 50 minutes but the striker saw his side-footed shot miraculously flicked over the bar by a covering Cheltenham defender.
Leon Legge then went agonisingly close from the following corner when the centre-back typically powered on to the ball at the far post, but headed marginally wide of the mark.
Cheltenham too offered a threat going forward but only looked like troubling David Forde when Harry Pell curled a sweetly struck effort towards the top right, which slammed the advertising hoarding rather than the back of United’s net.
The best chance of the game though fell to Greg Taylor at the other end with ten minutes remaining, when Medy Elito who tested Robins keeper Scott Flinders with a cracker of a shot moments later, lofted a ball towards the United defender on the six yard box where he fired over into the travelling Amber Army.
Cheltenham Town: Flinders, Grimes, Storer (Atangana, 82 mins), Pell, Wright, Winchester (Hinds, 42 mins), O’Shaughnessy, Boyle, Sellars, Morrell, Moore
Cambridge United: Forde, Halliday, Legge, Taylor, Carroll, Mingoia (Brown, 80 mins), O’Neil (Lewis, 31 mins), Deegan, Dunk, Elito, Ikpeazu