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12 November 2022 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 Trotters

10 November 2022

Cambridge United divert their attention back to Sky Bet League One as they welcome Ian Evatt’s Bolton Wanderers to the Abbey Stadium on Saturday afternoon...

After three successive clashes on the road, it’s a welcome return to CB5 – where Mark Bonner’s men will look to use it to their advantage by adding more goals to their game and return to winning ways against the well-oiled Trotters.

How to Watch

Saturday afternoon’s clash at CB5 kicks off at 3pm, with tickets still available for fans to buy online at or over the phone by calling 01223 566500 - another healthy home crowd is anticipated.

Save money by purchasing your tickets in advance of the fixture, 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

Formed in 1874, the four-time FA Cup winners have had a topsy-turvy couple of decades recently – experiencing the highs of a UEFA Cup run to sliding to the pits of the fourth tier. Since the appointment of Ian Evatt in July 2020, the Trotters’ faithful have been accustomed to an impressive incline, which has consisted of one promotion and a season of real stabilisation. The aim of playing Championship football for the first time since 2019 looms closer.

Starting as they meant to go on, the Trotters tallied up a respectable eight points in their opening four matches - conceding the solitary goal en-route to dispatching Wycombe Wanderers and Morecambe and sharing the spoils with Ipswich Town and Port Vale. Strong starters Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth Argyle picked up victories by two goals, but this kick-started a four-game winning streak and confirmed a sixth clean sheet from their opening ten games.

Gloucestershire outfits Cheltenham Town and Forest Green Rovers put Evatt’s side to the sword next, but they responded with a stern stalemate against Barnsley and comeback triumphs at Accrington Stanley and on home soil versus Burton Albion. Although they’ve lost to Oxford United and crashed out of the FA Cup since, they sit in a healthy 6th with the least goals conceded in the division. The task now – to stay there.

With a really settled side at his disposal, who have really taken to his stubborn formations. Despite his tender age, James Trafford is already experienced at League One level – he’s kept an impressive seven clean sheets already on top of some match-winning saves. The returning Jack Iredale and Liverpool loanee Conor Bradley implement real energy from the full-back slots, whereas Ricardo Santos and Michael Williams are mainstays. In the forward ranks, Oladapo Afolayan and Dion Charles have proved themselves already and will be hungry to add more goals to this season’s tally.

Form Guide

Cambridge United: WLWLD

Bolton Wanderers: WWWLL

United’s Approach

Last time out, United were forced into a stalemate away at National League North outfit Curzon Ashton in Sunday’s FA Cup First Round tie.

The U’s undoubtedly improved as the game progressed – they had their chances to secure their passage, but to their credit so did the Nash, with both goalkeepers staying firm throughout. Ultimately, Bonner’s men kept their name in the competition thanks to a defensively sound performance. The task now, to add goals.

Speaking after the game in Greater Manchester, the Head Coach stated, "We’ve got to score more, it’s obvious. Players have got to find that level and I’ve got to get it out of them. At the moment we’re not doing that and we haven’t made the most of the situations we had."

In what is contrasting reading from the start of the season, the U’s have lost their last four games on home soil – failing to score in each occasion. Although the overall recent record shows six losses in seven, United should, and will, take heart from the recent league meetings against Wycombe Wanderers and Peterborough United. Sitting in 18th, just four points separate the group from 9th – in a tightly-contested division, matters can change in a heartbeat.

Regarding team news for the weekend, Liam O’Neil (ankle) may still potentially be ruled out, whereas George Williams (shoulder) could be close to a return. Elsewhere, Fejiri Okenabirhie, Dimitar Mitov and Adam May remain the long-term injuries. The Head Coach will address the media on Friday to give a further update on who is available for selection.


Cambridge United Wins: 4

Bolton Wanderers Wins: 7

Draws: 6

Down Memory Lane

Enjoying two mirroring recent seasons, each side enjoyed victories on their home turf during the 2021/22 campaign. Most recently in February, Afolayan inspired the Trotters to a fourth win in a row as they cruised to a 2-0 win, whereas in August 2021 Shilow Tracey’s early strike was enough to see out the visitors, who threw the kitchen sink at the U’s but couldn’t pass a dogged defence.

Speaking on that summer afternoon, Bonner said, "We played a really good side there, and the patience of the team and supporters to not just want to go and press and chase everything all the time was excellent. I’m really pleased with the outcome."

Digging into the archives, arguably the most memorable meeting, for all the wrong reasons, came in January 2000 when Sam Allardyce’s Bolton travelled to a sold-out Abbey in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup. Trevor Benjamin put the Second Division side ahead, before shortly after racing towards goal in a one-on-one position, only to be illegally brought down by the last man – to the U’s faithful’s disbelief, a free-kick the other way was shown instead of a blatant red card. The Trotters recuperated, flowing to a 1-3 win and making the hosts wonder what could have been.


Referee: Darren Drysdale

Assistant Referee: Declan O’Shea

Assistant Referee: Steve Finch

Fourth Official: Scott Jackson

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Match Reports

Spirited United held by ten-man Bolton side

12 November 2022

Cambridge United added a point towards their Sky Bet League One pursuit as they shared a 0-0 draw against ten-man Bolton Wanderers at the Abbey Stadium...

Despite enjoying a man advantage for the latter stages of the encounter after Kyle Dempsey received his second yellow card, the U’s were unable to capitalise on any of the gilt-edged chances they created in what was a thoroughly improved performance.

Following three successive clashes on the road, the U’s made a welcome return to CB5. Here, the aim was clear, add more goals to their game and return to winning ways, particularly after four consecutive defeats on home soil without anything in reply. In their way, a well-oiled Trotters side languishing in the play-offs and boasting the joint-best defensive record.

Following the stalemate at Curzon Ashton six days ago, Mark Bonner opted with two changes to the XI. George Williams returned from his shoulder problem, whereas Jack Lankester was restored to the wings. Elsewhere, Zeno Ibsen Rossi missed out due to injury and Academy prospect George Hoddle made the squad for the first time.

In a feisty opening to the encounter, the U’s forced the first corner through Joe Ironside after five minutes after excellent recycling from James Brophy down the left following Will Mannion’s lengthy goal-kick.

A matter of seconds passed before the Trotters carved their first scare when the ball floated to Iredale down the left – who cracked a belting effort which got a crucial deflection, enough for it to flash a fraction wide of the rising Amadou Bakayoko.

On the 14th minute, the first shot on target fell to the way of the hosts when Harrison Dunk teed up Harvey Knibbs on the outskirts of the box, who couldn’t add venom to his chance as it slowly nestled towards James Trafford.

As the half an hour mark approached, the U’s had certainly imposed themselves - enjoying freedom down the right flank, with Lewis Simper’s long throws causing havoc too. Defensively resolute too – although Mannion was kept on his toes, Wanderers were yet to force him into anything.

On 38, the imposing Elias Kachunga almost caught United out with a well-struck volley from range, but it landed just wide.

Two minutes later, a galloping drive and cut in from Simper allowed him to square to Lankester, who picked his spot and cannoned a shot which got a mighty deflection before sinking just over Trafford’s crossbar. All in all, a really committed first half of football where the U’s had arguably been the better side.

Out of the blocks firing, Bonner’s men were wondering how they hadn’t taken the lead when a sublime passage of play was concluded with Knibbs’ attempt from 12 yards which, somehow, was kept out thanks to Trafford’s immense reflexes.

A breathless period continued. Straight down the other end, Conor Bradley kickstarted a devastating counter, performing a one-two with Kachunga before teeing up Dion Charles who clattered high and wide.

On the 53rd minute, Simper’s corner was pinpoint to Lloyd Jones, who struck a fierce header at Trafford. In what was their fourth attempt at goal, it was evident they were creating the chances, but understood they needed to soon take them.

Liverpool loanee Bradley unleashed a piledriver on 64 from the far right, but it was well-matched by the gloves of the assuring Mannion.

Yet another brilliant piece of play was executed five minutes later when Williams’ drilled cross found Jones, who delicately flicked to Lankester – but the midfielder lashed just over the crossbar.

Wanderers created their most imperious chance on 73 when Jack Iredale’s cross floated to Gethin Jones who executed a free header into the ground, ultimately falling wide of the left post.

Despite remaining in deadlock, the U’s received an advantage moments later when Dempsey received his marching orders after illegally preventing Knibbs from marauding past him.

In spite of that, United needed to remain resolute defensively. In a stop-start conclusion, with a plethora of further cards dished out, they were agonisingly close to clawing a last-gasp winner in the 5th minute of added time after Jones flicked it to Knibbs, but the attacking midfielder couldn’t poke home from the six-yard box, confirming they had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Next up, the FA Cup is calling as Curzon Ashton come to town on Tuesday evening (15th November) in the First Round Replay. Be sure to back the boys as they aim to overcome a tricky minnow and secure a home tie against Grimsby Town in the next stage.


Cambridge United: Mannion, Williams, Jones, Okedina, Dunk, Digby, Simper, Lankester (Tracey, 79), Knibbs, Brophy (Smith, 79), Ironside

Subs Not Used: Holden, Taylor, Janneh, Worman, Hoddle


Bookings: Jones, Digby


Bolton Wanderers: Trafford, Jones, Santos, Johnston, Bradley, Morley, Dempsey, Iredale (Beck, 77), Kachunga (Afolayan, 71), Charles (Thomason, 77), Bakayoko

Subs Not Used: Sadlier, Sheehan, Toal, Lee


Bookings: Kachunga, Dempsey (RED), Bradley, Jones, Santos, Beck, Evatt


Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 6819 (1379 away fans)

Man of the Match: Simper

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