Cambridge United secured an unlikely three points with a dramatic late finish at the Abbey, ending in a 2-1 home win for the U’s against Crawley Town in Sky Bet League Two.
The visitors looked to have struck a hammer blow through Lewis Young with ten minutes left on the clock, but the U’s responded with a high quality equaliser from Sam Smith before Paul Lewis grabbed a winner to extend the unbeaten home run to four games.
United made one change as George Maris completed his return from injury and went straight into the U’s starting eleven.
After a slightly subdued opening ten minutes, the match opened up with both sides showing a good level of intent offensively, with spaces to attack at both ends of the field.
However, neither side created a clear cut opportunity with Dimitar Mitov only called into action to stop a drilled shot at goal by Reece Grego-Cox and close down Beryly Lubala one on one before the break.
Colin Calderwood’s side had moments where they threated but never really tested Glenn Morris before half time.
Grego-Cox ghosted into a shooting position moments after half time but fired a shot over Mitov’s cross bar from 18 yards in the early encounters of the second half.
Sam Smith met Luke Hannant low near post cross after the hour mark, but was unfortunate to see his effort take a deflection on to the outside of the woodwork.
Harvey Knibbs was introduced on 71 minutes and made an immediate impact a his back heel split the Crawley defence wide open for George Maris to tear up the middle but the midfielder’s shot was straight at Glenn Morris.
However, United continued to look increasingly disjointed as the game wore on in what was a poor second half performance looked to have been dealt a decisive blow when Lubala broke into the U’s area with ten minutes to play, and saw his shot was turned in by team mate Lewis Young from close range.
Calderwood’s men picked themselves up from the canvas to level within three minutes, as Elliott Ward fired a peach of cross field path to Sam Smith, who brought the ball under with an exquisite touch and cracked it with his left foot into the far bottom corner.
The U’ weren’t done there though and grabbed a surprise winner of their own, after dogged determination from Paul Lewis led to the midfielder blocking a clearance by Crawley keeper Glenn Morris with the rebound making its way into the goal from an acute angle to give United all three points.
Cambridge United: Mitov, Dunk (Jones, 71 mins), Knoyle, Taft, Ward, Hannant, Lambe (O’Neil, 62 mins), Lewis, Maris, Richards (Knibbs, 71 mins), Smith
Crawley Town: Morris, Young, Doherty, Dallison, Grgeo-Cox. Ferguson, Nathaniel-George (Nadeson, 56 mins), Tunnicliffe, Bulman, Camara, Lubala
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