Cambridge United saved their best performance of the calendar year for the final game of 2017, as the U’s ran out 3-1 winners at the Abbey Stadium against Crewe Alexandra in Sky Bet League Two.
George Maris stamped United’s authority on the game inside a minute, before David Amoo scored his first for the club and set up Uche Ikpeazu to ensure a comfortable victory.
Amoo, who had impressed during as a second half substitute in United’s 1-0 Boxing Day win over Barnet, was the only change to Shaun Derry’s starting eleven, whilst Liam O’Neil returned to the U’s bench.
United were immediately on to the front foot, George Maris finding the back of the net 33 seconds after referee Craig Hicks had blown the whistle to indicate the start of the game. Jevani Brown was again the man to pull the strings and pick the perfect pass for Maris to coolly place the ball into the bottom corner.
It was almost two within five minutes, when Ikpeazu guided a cross into the path of Amoo who scuffed an effort across goal to beat keeper Ben Garratt but wide of the far post.
A dominant opening continued with Taylor bending a shot inches over after a delightful cross field ball by Deegan, and Maris denied a second goal of the game when one-on-one with Crewe keeper Ben Garratt.
However, their persistence paid off when David Amoo capitalized on a mistake from Zoumana Bakayogo made an error at full back, to power into the Crewe area and fire in a second for the U’s.
The visitors responded quickly though, top scorer Chris Dagnall splitting the U’s defence with a strong run before rounding David Forde and scoring against the run of play.
United were forced in some miraculous goal line defending after the break to protect ther lead, whilst David Forde produced a magnificent point blank save before the hour mark.
However, the game was put to bed when Amoo delivered a perfect in-swinging cross towards Uche Ikpeazu, who lost a tooth in the process of heading home past Garratt from eight yards out.
The only negative of the afternoon saw substitute Jabo Ibehre shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident involving Perry Ng, but it didn’t stop the U’s claiming seven points from a possible nine heading into the New Year.
Cambridge United: Forde, Halliday, Legge, Taft, Taylor, Maris, Elito (Ibehre, 60 mins), Deegan, Brown (O’Neil, 78 mins), Amoo (Azeez, 85 mins), Ikpeazu
Crewe: Garratt, Bakayogo, Raynes, Dagnall, Bowery (Porter, 66 mins), Nolan (Ng, 45 mins), Ainley, Pickering, Kirk (Cooper, 67 mins), Stubbs, Grant
Attendance: 4,165 (182)
Vindis Man of the Match: Uche Ikpeazu