Ten man United displayed huge heart to fight back from two goals down and secure a dramatic 2-2 draw with Bury F.C. at the Abbey Stadium.
In a Sky Bet League Two clash that had virtually everything, United found themselves two goals behind against a well-oiled Shakers attack, before Paul Lewis grabbed a goal back for the U’s before half time. The midfielder was subsequently sent off after the break, although United held Bury out to provide Greg Taylor the opportunity to level late on.
The U’s lined up with two changes as Reggie Lambe returned from international duty and Leon Davies replaced the injured Brad Halliday.
United were denied an early penalty claim on five minutes, when Reggie Lambe’s cross seemed to strike the outstretched arm of Will Aimson inside the area. George Taft then couldn’t get his head on the end of the resulting corner delivery from George Maris, despite attacking a promising position six yards out.
United had to show good defensive discipline against a clearly well-equipped Bury side offensively in the opening 20 minutes, and it was Joe Dunne’s men crafted the clearest opening on with a swashbuckling counter attacking move. However, Paul Lewis was denied a headed goal at close range by keeper Joe Murphy who was down quickly to palm away the midfielder’s flick from a Brown cross off the right.
The visitors then struck with a double blow, as Jay O’ Shea’s effort from the edge of the area deflected past David Forde on 23 minutes, before Will Aimson arrived at the back post to side foot in a second for the Shakers two minutes later.
The U’s pulled themselves back into the fixture five minutes before the break though, as Lewis remained composed to slot away a loose ball from six yards out after Joe Murphy had produced a superb save to deny Ibehre initially.
The challenge mounted in intensity for the U’s when Paul Lewis was shown a second yellow card ten minutes after the break, from what looked to be genuine 50/50 challenge in the air against Chris Stokes.
However, they gritted their teeth, defending like Trojans at times through the second half and continued to craft openings which threatened a leveller.
George Maris was denied with a fine goal line clearance, having looped a shot over the head of Joe Murphy on 64 minutes.
Osadebe and Amoo were introduced with 20 minutes to play in order to provide fresh legs for Joe Dunne’s side, as they did a fine job of hanging in the game and giving themselves a fighting chance.
Nicky Maynard missed Bury’s best chance to kill the game off when the forward directed a shot from four yards out at an open goal off the inside of the post, before George Taft was able to hook it clear.
That set up a dramatic finish in which Greg Taylor, on his 200th League appearance for the club stepped up in the right position at the right time to rifle in an equaliser five minutes from time with the laces of his left boot, in the process raising the roof off the Abbey.
United were denied another strong penalty claim as the game reached it’s close when David Amoo was seemingly bundled over inside the Bury area, and in the end they showed huge commitment to throw their bodies on the line and secure a valuable point.
Cambridge United: Forde, Davies (Dunk, 88 mins), Taylor, Taft, Carroll, Deegan, Lewis, Maris (Osadebe, 71 mins), Lambe (Amoo, 71 mins), Brown, Ibehre
Bookings: Davies, Carroll
Bury F.C: Stokes, Aimson, Thompson, Adams, Mayor, Styles (O’Connell, 61 mins), Moore, McFadzean, O’shea, Maynard (Telford, 79 mins)
Man of the Match: Greg Taylor
Attendance: 3,846 (237)