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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

03 May 2023 Venue Pirelli Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Brewers vs U's

1 May 2023

Sponsored by

The Pirelli Stadium hosts Cambridge United’s final journey of the 2022/23 Sky Bet League One season on Wednesday evening as they strive to dispatch Burton Albion and take one step closer towards safety...

Four significant wins from the last seven games has ensured that the U’s are in the charge of their own destiny, with the chance to escape from the bottom four for the first time since mid-January on offer. Like the Brewers, the visitors aim to conclude the campaign in style.

How to Watch

Well over 1,200 U’s fans have already secured their place for Wednesday’s encounter in East Staffordshire, which kicks off at 7:45pm.

Supporters who wish to join us can buy their tickets online at or over the phone by calling 01223 566500. Fans who buy their tickets from this point forward should collect from Burton on the day - one away credit will be allocated for this fixture.

Fans who are unable to make the game will be able to stream it live with an iFollow Match Pass. Passes cost £10 and are available to purchase by clicking here.

Opposition Focus

Founded in 1950, the former non-league outfit rose through the ranks within the decades and have not looked back since reaching the Football League in 2009. Famously, they spent a couple of years in the Championship as recently as five years ago. With a sixth season in the third now confirmed after churning out results consistently under galvaniser Maamria, they look to end the season strong by exceeding back-to-back rankings of 16th and lay the foundations to surprise again.

Considering the side spent just the solitary week outside of the relegation zone up to late January, the turnaround has been an applaudable feat. In their opening eight games, the Brewers suffered seven defeats, picking up just one point in their 4-4 thriller with Accrington Stanley. Two victories in three, 0-2 at Exeter City and 3-2 against Forest Green Rovers, helped fortunes, before they enjoyed a three-game unbeaten streak during October. Following a 4-2 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday in the eve of that month, they registered four consecutive draws, before concluding 2022 with back-to-back victories – their first of the season. All in all, one loss in seven was a handy return. After shrugging off 5-0 and 0-4 demolitions against Morecambe and Shrewsbury Town respectively, four triumphs in five ramped up momentum. Form since has been patchy, but ultimately they’ve ticked along well – notably picking up wins against Wycombe Wanderers, Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday. Yet to lose consecutive games since the turn of the year, Maamria’s troops are lodged in 17th and still could finish as high as 12th.  

Accustomed to a 3-4-2-1 formation, the Brewers have a real mix of up-and-coming talents and experienced heads who help lead the way. One of those is goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray, the 30-year-old has been indispensable since making the move in January. Loanee Jasper Moon has been integral towards the safety pursuit and has benefitted playing alongside the know-how of John Brayford and fierce centre-back Sam Hughes, who has popped up with nine league goal involvements. In the middle of the park, Deji Oshilaja has been transformed into an industrious, no-nonsense midfielder, pulling the strings alongside Joe Powell to ensure the likes of wide threats Jonny Smith, Charlie Kirk and Zac Ashworth can thrive. Blessed with a plethora of attacking options, exciting prospect Mark Helm is growing with minutes, Nottingham Forest loanee Dale Taylor has adapted to third tier life astutely and Gassan Ahadme and Mustapha Carayol wait in the wings hungry to impress.

Form Guide

Burton Albion: WDLWL

Cambridge United: DWLLW

United’s Approach

The U’s are in charge of their own fate after they picked up a significant 1-2 victory to leapfrog Accrington Stanley at the Wham Stadium last time out.

Assertively controlling a cagey introduction, the visitors drew first blood through club legend Harrison Dunk on the stroke of the break, before George Thomas opened his United account with a composed finish with an hour on the clock. Aaron Pressley’s late penalty forced a scare, but the men in blue remained firm to ensure three precious points.

Beaming with delight, Mark Bonner said, “Our temperament was excellent. Our discipline was superb and in the first half we were really well controlled. We handled everything that was going to be here today well until the frantic finish.”

Although work still needs to be done, the task doesn’t require too many permutations for United – win their final two and survival is secured. Up to 22nd, the group are a single point away from Morecambe and MK Dons – who both avoided defeat – but can utilise this game to climb to 20th. Enjoying their best form of the season, and scoring in eight successive matches, the U’s are eager to steam to the finish line.

Looking forward to the trip, the Head Coach pleaded, "The message to them (the fans) is come Wednesday if you can. If you can get to Burton, come. If you can tell your mates to come, bring them. And tell them to bring their mates because if we can sell that out we’re going to need everyone. It’s a massive game for us… we’ve got to be outstanding and win the game.”


Burton Albion Wins: 5

Cambridge United Wins: 7

Draws: 5

Down Memory Lane

The U’s last meeting against the Brewers dished up undoubtedly their most pulsating victory of the season when a warm Abbey played host to a breath-taking 4-3 success in August.

Although Ahadme prodded home after 14 seconds, the Brewers had work to do when they were reduced to ten men shortly after. Despite needing to battle back on numerous occasions, United secured maximum points courtesy of a delightful Sam Smith hat-trick and Liam O’Neil’s sweet piledriver.

After witnessing his side stretch their early formidable form on home soil, a relieved Bonner said: “I think the analysis of the moments that could be better is probably for another day because, in the end, if you win 4-3, you’re behind three times, and you’ve got a third win on the spin at home in the league, and a lad scores a hat-trick and we have as much good attacking play as we did in that game, I think that’s worth the headlines a lot more.”

All in all, it’s usually an entertaining clash when the sides meet. Following a period of encounters in non-league, the U’s boast the superior record since their 2014 promotion – winning three, drawing once at this weekend’s venue and losing the solitary time. In those five matches, 29 goals have been plummeted, with 18 being from United men.


Referee: Andy Haines

Assistant Referee: Grant Taylor

Assistant Referee: Blake Antrobus

Fourth Official: Robert Lewis

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Match Reports

U's defeated by Brewers

3 May 2023

Sponsored by

Cambridge United suffered defeat on their final away journey of the 2022/23 Sky Bet League One season as Burton Albion held on for a slender 1-0 victory at the Pirelli Stadium...

Despite a spirited start, the U’s were undone on the half an hour mark courtesy of Mark Helm’s solo strike. For all their plethora of chances near the death, they were unable to convert an equaliser and bridge the gap from the drop, with their ranking of 22nd retained heading into the final day.

Thanks to impressive form of four wins from seven, the U’s had regained their mojo at a crucial time, ensuring that destiny was in their hands heading into the final two matchups. A victory would rise them out of the relegation zone for the first time since mid-January heading into the curtain closer. In their way, a significantly-improved Brewers side, who had lost one of their previous eight on home soil and were eager to finish as high as 13th.

Following the invaluable victory at Accrington Stanley four days earlier, Mark Bonner decided to name an unchanged XI and formation. The only inclusion to the matchday squad was Brandon Haunstrup, who replaced fellow full-back Steve Seddon.

Buoyed by a sea of passionate amber heads, United looked switched on from the get-go. With four minutes on the clock, a diagonal over the top ball from James Brophy floated perfectly to Harvey Knibbs down the left, who scampered and squared to a looming Sam Smith, but the striker was crucially denied by Sam Hughes’ interception before he could pull the trigger.

Dino Maamria’s men, who hadn’t lost back-to-back matches since early January, were the ones contending with the early encounters. On the 14th minute, a scintillating foray forwards from Harrison Dunk saw him beat a challenge to tee up Knibbs ahead of him – he pulled it across to Smith who drilled an effort wide of Jordan Amissah’s left post from 10 yards.

Up the other end, United’s hearts were in their mouths five minutes later when Helm’s exquisite pass evaded the blue defence to pick out Dale Taylor in a one-on-one position – he rounded Dimitar Mitov and lashed towards the goal but Dunk was there with a goal line clearance before the linesman raised his flag for offside.

Shading the prominent chances, the woodwork was rattled on 26 when Conor McGrandles’ corner was – thanks to the pressure of Paul Digby - darted onto the crossbar from the head of a Burton man.

Seconds later, deadlock was broken when the tricky Helm dispossessed his man and concluded a dangerous counter attack by cutting inside and executing a low 20-yard curler in the bottom corner past Mitov.

Down, but not out, United needed to bide their time to settle again. On 40, substitute Ben Radcliffe picked out a speculative effort from 25 yards, but it blazed over the crossbar.

Finishing in the ascendency, a free-flowing passing sequence from the hosts saw Deji Oshilaja pick a pass across the six-yard box to an unmarked Helm who was unable to tap home from a matter of yards. Fortunately, the linesman’s flag was raised to terminate the close shave.

Vying for a quick equaliser, Bonner added know-how and steel to the ranks during the break, as goalscoring hero George Thomas and Joe Ironside were introduced to the fold.

With a storm brewing, the Brewers were agonisingly close to doubling their lead five minutes into the second half when Charlie Kirk played a through ball to Helm who took it around Mitov and, just as the referee was about to blow his whistle for a penalty, the 21-year-old jumped up and smashed the post from an angle before the U’s cleared their lines.

Despite the endeavour, United persevered and got the attempts away. On the 57th minute, Smith played a one-two with Liam Bennett, with the former being found in the right place at the right time again but his shot from inside the penalty area was blocked by the backline.

As the clock creeped towards its dying embers, the visitors were still awaiting that clear-cut chance, with Amissah and his defending four remaining composed to collect and clear every single cross that was picked into the danger zone.

On the 84th minute, Dunk marauded down the left and floated to Ryan Bennett who headed towards the far post but it tapped against the crossbar.

Five minutes later, the whole travelling contingent were mesmerised as to how they hadn’t pulled level after L. Bennett’s cross was pinpoint for Smith, who leapt well and powered a header towards the top corner but Amissah popped up with world-class reflexes to keep it out.

It proved the last action of a bitter night out for United, who acknowledged that their survival pursuit was no longer in their hands owing to defeat - with final-day drama and fortune awaiting them.

Up next, the 2022/23 season is concluded at the Abbey Stadium on Sunday (7th May) when Forest Green Rovers come to town – be sure to back the boys and be a part of an anticipated bumper crowd.


Burton Albion: Amissah, Latty-Fairweather (Radcliffe, 17’), Brayford, Hughes, Ashworth, Oshilaja, Powell, Smith (Kamwa, 62’), Helm, Kirk (Winnall, 83’), Taylor

Subs Not Used: MacGillivray, Walker, Carayol, Gilligan

Goalscorers: Helm (27’)

Bookings: Latty-Fairweather, Kirk


Cambridge United: Mitov, L. Bennett, Morrison, R. Bennett, Dunk, Digby (O’Neil, 83’), McGrandles, Brophy (Ironside, 46’), Lankester (Thomas, 46’), Knibbs (Okenabirhie, 70’), Smith

Subs Not Used: Mannion, Haunstrup, Okedina


Bookings: Morrison


Referee: Andy Haines

Attendance: 3523 (1500+ away fans)

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