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18 February 2023 Venue Abbey Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: U's vs U's

16 February 2023

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Three precious Sky Bet League One points are up for grabs on Saturday afternoon as Cambridge United look to reward their home faithful when Oxford United make the journey to the Abbey Stadium...

Back-to-back defeats have hampered the U’s of late, forcing them to rue the missed opportunities of climbing up the league. Remaining in 23rd, with three points separating them from safety, they’re still very much in with a shout of escaping, but need to ignite that fire and ensure their point return arrives in a more consistent fashion.

How to Watch

Saturday afternoon’s clash kicks off at 3pm, with tickets available for fans to buy online at The Abbey have welcomed over 5,000 fans in all of their league encounters so far this season, so thank you for your continued support. 

By securing your ticket well in advance, you can avoid disappointment and also save money as all prices increase by £2 when buying in-person on the day of the game.

Overseas fans can stream the game live with an iFollow Match Pass. Match Passes cost £10 and are available to purchase by clicking here. Elsewhere, domestic supporters who can’t make it to the Abbey can listen to live match commentary on iFollow.

Opposition Focus

This weekend’s visitors make the trip to CB5 desperate to change their fortunes by putting to an end a discouraging run. The U’s, who have recorded four consecutive top-half finishes, including two near-misses in the play-offs, look to continue that correlation under the tutelage of Karl Robinson – who is approaching his fifth year in charge of the side. The former League Cup winners, who last appeared in the second tier in 1999, have high aspirations to soon return, but for now look to find some consistency to their game and rise up the ladder.

A testing start to the campaign saw the visitors lose three of their opening four games in slender fashion, with Derby County, Bristol Rovers and Lincoln City winning by one. Their one victory came in the reverse fixture when starlet Tyler Goodrham secured the last-gasp 1-0 success. Picking up steam, they picked up seven points from their next three, dispatching Cheltenham Town and Burton Albion thanks to Cameron Brannagan’s exploits. Unable to find the consistency, Robinson and co won just once in their next six, that being a 2-4 thriller at Exeter City either side of four defeats. However, they then embarked on an eight-game unbeaten run, dispatching Bolton Wanderers 1-3 and Port Vale 4-0 – their first clean sheet in over three months – and securing five 1-1 ties. From Boxing Day onwards, they recorded nine points from a possible 15, with a late 2-1 triumph over Ipswich Town just under a month ago proving their last win. A 1-3 defeat to leaders Plymouth Argyle in midweek consigned the U’s to a fifth defeat in six, scoring just three goals throughout. Languishing in 16th, they’ll deem today an excellent time to register a second away win since October and get the ball rolling.

Sticking with their four at the back approach, 33-year-old Simon Eastwood should don the sticks – he’ll be eager to add to the three clean sheets he’s kept this season. Ahead of him, versatile figures Ciaron Brown and long-serving Sam Long are steady performers, with the formers’ long-throw usually utilised as a secret weapon. A penetrative midfield three packed with grit and quality on the ball consists of star man Cameron Brannagan, who has popped up with 11 strikes, former Barcelona youngster Marcus McGuane and promising Leeds United loanee Lewis Bate. In the attacking ranks, youngsters Tyler Goodrham and Kyle Joseph have little fear, they could be the spark as they look to learn from experienced heads Yanic Wildschut, Josh Murphy and Sam Baldock. An impressive squad on paper, the U’s have a spine to hurt anyone and will certainly keep Cambridge on their toes.

Form Guide

Cambridge United: LDDLL

Oxford United: LLLDL

United’s Approach

United will be desperate to showcase a strong reaction from their 1-2 midweek defeat to Cheltenham Town.

On an evening where recording points on the table would have bridged the gap from their rivals, the hosts couldn’t capitalise on their momentum after Joe Ironside’s penalty immediately cancelled out Elliot Bonds’. Contrastingly, the Robins improved as the game progressed, finishing in the ascendency and taking maximum points through James Olayinka.

Giving an honest assessment on the missed opportunity, Bonner admitted: "It was definitely one to win and not to lose. Look at all the other results tonight, they've gone the way that we'd have wanted them to. If we don't win games and do better, it doesn't matter. My apology is that we're doing as we are. We haven't backed up enough good performances, we haven't looked a good enough threat.”

Analysing their overall form, the U’s are now winless in eight, with their Boxing Day victory over Shrewsbury Town the solitary success in 14. Although worrying, their gap from second bottom to safety is three points – and with 48 points to play for, a quick shift in momentum could aid their charge.

In regards to team news for the weekend, the Head Coach revealed that Fejiri Okenabirhie will miss the remainder of the season owing to a hamstring injury, whilst ankle damage has sidelined Harvey Knibbs for roughly six weeks.


Cambridge United Wins: 11

Oxford United Wins: 14

Draws: 14

Down Memory Lane

The Kassam hosted the U’s first away journey of the 2022/23 campaign over six months ago, but it proved to be a cruel conclusion when Goodrham dealt Bonner’s men a sucker punch in the dying embers to seal the 1-0 victory.

After their defensive grit and perseverance was almost rewarded with a third successive clean sheet, the dejected Head Coach stated: “I’ve just said to the players – 126 games I’ve been their coach and that’s the most unjust result we’ve taken part in.”

Cambridge have struggled to break down Oxford in recent league encounters, losing four and drawing two of their previous six. The last success, which occurred at this weekend’s venue in October 2014, saw the U’s come from behind to batter the fellow city 5-1 in front of the Sky Sports cameras. A remarkable quickfire brace from Kwesi Appiah, alongside strikes from Ryan Donaldson, Tom Elliott and Robbie Simpson, sealed a memorable victory.


Referee: Ollie Yates

Assistant Referee: Daniel Cook

Assistant Referee: Nicholas Cooper

Fourth Official: Andy Bennett

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Match Reports

United earn valuable victory at the Abbey

18 February 2023

Sponsored by

Cambridge United secured their first victory of 2023 with a morale-boosting 1-0 victory over Sky Bet League One opponents Oxford United at the Abbey Stadium...

An early header from Lloyd Jones handed the U’s the impetus to dominate the first half of football, where they were in control and pleasing on the eye. Following the break, the stubborn hosts dealt with everything that came their way to grind out three precious points.

Going into the encounter, back-to-back defeats had hampered the U’s of late - stretching their winless run to eight games and forcing them to rue missed opportunities to climb up the league. With the gap from safety at three points, registering points on a more consistent basis could prove crucial. In their way, an Oxford side who had lost five of their previous six, registered one away win in eight and had fallen to 16th as a consequence.

Following the frustrating defeat to Cheltenham Town four days earlier, Mark Bonner opted with an unchanged side. Two changes to the bench saw deadline day signing George Thomas included in the matchday squad, whereas Liam O’Neil returned for the first time since suffering an injury against Peterborough United in late October.

The U’s rapid start was rewarded on the 8th minute when Conor McGrandles’ delightful inswinging corner was met by Jones inside the six-yard box who rose highest to head home and give his side the early ascendency.

Playing with tenacity and energy, United continued to nullify their opponents to very little with their physicality and front-foot approach, which heled engineer promising attacks into the final third.

A prime example of that fell on the 19th minute when James Brophy’s endeavour down the left allowed him to embark on a mazy attacking run before his curling cross landed to Paul Digby from 12 yards who fired just wide.

Striving to double their advantage, a long ball from Michael Morrison on 33 floated to Liam Bennett down the right who played in an open Sam Smith on the outskirts of the box – the forward drilled towards the corner but Simon Eastwood was on hand to dive to his left and paw the attempt.

The last golden opportunity of the first half fell to Bonner’s men three minutes before the whistle when a move down the left resulted in McGrandles lashing at an attempt which gained a crucial deflection on the way as the ball landed whiskers wide of the crossbar.

Because of the hosts’ superb application, Oxford could not really get a sniff at goal throughout, but that soon changed moments after the interval when Sam Baldock latched onto a through ball and attempted to lift the ball over Dimitar Mitov, but the Bulgarian protected his clean sheet with an astute prevention.

With the tie becoming more end-to-end, the U’s started to become slightly under the cosh, with Cameron Brannagan firing a free-kick from 25 yards straight at Mitov on 55. In spite of that, they continued to clear their lines and hold their ground.

United’s number one impeccably dealt with another Brannagan effort on 73, as Karl Robinson continued to ring the changes with some attack-minded options.

With ten minutes of play remaining, Ryan Bennett was forced into a crucial intervention after Yanic Wildschut chased down Morrison’s header in the penalty area.

A crucial counter on the 84th minute saw Smith released down the left on the 84th minute, who scampered forwards and looked to pick out an unmarked Thomas, but a critical block from an Oxford man ensured the game couldn’t be killed off.

A heart-in-mouth moment occurred on the 90th minute when a Wildschut piledriver from 20 yards looked to be creeping in, but Mitov importantly got a hand on it to see out the danger and ultimately the game, as the U’s put to bed an eight-game winless run and hand them the momentum they need. As coconuts ringed around CB5, the belief that they were striving for had been acquired – now, they looked to build.

Up next, the U’s make the mammoth trek to Lancashire on Tuesday evening (21st February) ready to take on Fleetwood Town in their next crucial League One tie. Whatever way you can, be sure to back the boys.


Cambridge United: Mitov, Morrison, R. Bennett, Jones, L. Bennett, Digby, McGrandles (Worman, 76), Brophy, Lankester (Thomas, 68), Smith, Ironside

Subs Not Used: Mannion, Williams, Haunstrup, O’Neil, Okedina

Goalscorers: Jones (8)

Bookings: L. Bennett, Jones, Ironside


Oxford United: Eastwood, Long, Moore Brown, Murphy, Fleming, Bate (Henry, 74), Brannagan, Joseph (Wildschut, 64), Baldock (Konate, 74), Smith (Browne, 45)

Subs Not Used: McGinty, Findlay, McGuane


Bookings: Baldock


Referee: Ollie Yates

Attendance: 6613 (745 away fans)

Man of the Match: Jones


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