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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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15 November 2022 Venue Abbey Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English FA Cup

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Match Previews

Match Preview: U's vs The Nash

14 November 2022

The Abbey Stadium hosts the second coming of Cambridge United and Curzon Ashton on Tuesday evening as both sides aim to book their place in the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup...

With a home tie against Grimsby Town awaiting the winners, Mark Bonner’s men will be hoping to put in an accomplished performance to get the job done, but the Nash, who sit 73 places below in the football pyramid, will be desperate to keep the U’s at bay once more and pull off a mighty shock.

How to Watch

Tuesday evening’s clash kicks off at 7:45pm. Supporters who wish to attend can buy their tickets for the match online at or over the phone by calling 01223 566500. Please note, the Habbin is not open for this fixture. Adults can grab theirs for just £15, Concessions £10 and Under 18s for £5.

The match will not be broadcasted domestically. However, U’s fans who can’t make it can still receive minute-by-minute updates from the official Twitter account or listen to full live match commentary of the game on iFollow or via BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Opposition Focus

Sixth-tier outfit Curzon Ashton have already kept out their League One counterparts once, but can they do it a second time and book their place in the Second Round of the prestigious competition for just the third time in their history?

Formed in 1963, the Nash’s rise over the past decade has been an applaudable and well-documented one – this has included back-to-back promotions, mazy cup runs and, most recently, stabilisation.

In a recent schedule battered by cup matchups, form has slightly dipped following a thoroughly impressive introduction to the season, where they were rewarded with one defeat in seven during August and September. Josh Hancock grabbed the decider in the visitors’ last victory - that came just shy of a month ago when Boston United were downed. A stalemate was earned against Peterborough Sports, before Hereford United picked up a 1-3 win at the Tameside Stadium. Since then, goalless draws were played out against ourselves and Leamington, with Brackley Town securing a last-gasp win on Saturday.

Curzon sit 19th in the National League North, but do retain a healthy lead from the drop and importantly boast a couple of games in hand over their rivals. Their current form makes for intriguing reading – although they’re winless in five, scoring just once in that time, they’ve recorded five clean sheets in seven across all competitions.

That defensive doggedness was evident in the reverse fixture, with goalkeeper Chris Renshaw pulling off some smart stops to keep the U’s at bay. A key figure between the sticks and undoubtedly one of the division’s best, his agility on the line will be key yet again.

Captain Craig Mahon has been a mainstay too, solidifying the defence and adding grit and a driving force when he’s pushed to midfield, the experienced man will relish his battles. Proven goal-getter Tom  Peers will be hoping he's supplied with the chances at CB5, he’ll be confident he can put his name in FA Cup folklore thanks to an impressive start to his season.

Form Guide

Cambridge United: LWLDD

Curzon Ashton: DLDDL

United’s Approach

United approach this encounter cautiously off the back of a 0-0 draw against play-off chasing Bolton Wanderers at the Abbey Stadium.

In a thoroughly improved performance, the hosts did everything right apart from finding the back of the net, predominantly due to some excellent stops from an inspired James Trafford. Importantly, they were creating the chances and were defensively sound, forcing Will Mannion to pull off very few saves.

Speaking after the game, the Head Coach said: “Clean sheets is the thing that will build us some stability to be in games and grind out some results, and the work ethic of the team was outstanding.”

Consecutive clean sheets is most definitely a foundation to build on. Harrison Dunk has added extra security since returning, whereas the partnership of Lloyd Jones and Jubril Okedina complimented each other well. On the contrary, no goals have been scored in three, firing blanks in seven of their last nine. Whilst they’ll be wary, United hope Tuesday offers them the chance to show a clinical, possibly even ruthless, edge.

Knowing a thing or two about giant killings, the U’s have been the underdogs many times – even proving victorious in many occasions. Now, with the tag flipped, they need to stay composed and navigate their way through an optimistic unit.

Regarding team selection for Tuesday, a similar threadbare squad is expected. Zeno Ibsen Rossi (hamstring) is the new addition to the injury list, who will be out for a month, whereas Bonner expects Sam Smith to be fine after limping off at full-time against Bolton.


Referee: Charles Breakspear

Assistant Referee: Gareth Viccars

Assistant Referee: Daniel Cook

Fourth Official: Stephen Parkinson

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Match Reports

U's overcome spirited Curzon Ashton on penalties

15 November 2022

Cambridge United navigated their way towards the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup after overcoming National League North outfit Curzon Ashton on penalties following a battling 0-0 draw at the Abbey Stadium...

Like they had been at the Tameside Stadium, the U’s were made to work hard throughout the 120 minutes of football, which was testament to the desire of the step six opponents. From the spot, they remained composed to confirm a home tie against League Two outfit Grimsby Town in the next stage of the competition.

With 73 places separating the sides, the U’s were eager to put in an accomplished performance, build on back-to-back clean sheets and get the job done. However, despite being winless in five, the travelling Nash were quietly optimistic thanks to their resolute defensive record.

Following the stalemate against Bolton Wanderers three days earlier, Mark Bonner rotated his side by making five changes. Greg Taylor returned to captain the side, Ben Worman to help hold the midfield and Saikou Janneh, Sam Smith and Shilow Tracey to inject venom to the attack. Elsewhere, Academy starlet George Scales made the bench.

Looking to start in an authoritative fashion, the U’s forced two excellent stops from highly-rated Chris Renshaw just past the ten-minute mark. First, Tracey muscled his way into the box and drilled low, before the sweetest of strikes from 20 yards by Lloyd Jones looked destined to nestle into the top corner – only to be denied by a dive at full stretch.

Compact and more than holding their own, the Nash carved out their first attempt on the 24th minute when captain Craig Mahon tested his luck with an ambitious strike from 25 yards – it got dip and caused a scare, but ultimately flew over the crossbar.

A short period in possession on 40, which originated from the backline, resulted in a piledriver from Joshua Hancock who lashed wide of Will Mannion’s right post.

Having to bide their time, United got the chances flowing a couple of minutes later when Smith’s free-kick from 25 yards was on target, but kept out by Renshaw. The resulting corner eventually found its way to Joe Ironside who rose highest but couldn’t direct it into the net from a matter of yards.

Although they had yet to break the deadlock, the U’s had navigated the cup tie well, but Adam Lakeland’s men had put in another good account of themselves. All that was missing was the goal to ease the nerves which had started to creep around the stadium.

The start to the second half was an encouraging one. Tracey enjoyed freedom to roam down the right and supply into the danger zone, with the majority of the ball situated in the final third.

A pinpoint long ball on the 53rd minute was met by a marauding Smith inside the box – the forward got his shot away, but could only slot it straight at the approaching Renshaw.

Moments passed before United were at it again. Excellent skill from Janneh down the left allowed him to jink and cut inside, before picking his spot with a curler which deflected and clattered against the crossbar. The National League North side had to roll their sleeves up and continue denying the hosts’ pressure.

Ultimately, this was a frustrating test for the U’s. Curzon had camped back in their numbers, but were mightily effective, soaking up the pressure and clearing their lines impeccably.

On the 73rd minute, a teasing Jones cross was met by Ironside, who managed to poke a shot at goal whilst falling but Renshaw was on hand to claim.

The plucky underdogs were scratching their heads wondering how they hadn’t taken the lead on two occasions on 82 when substitute Craig Hobson first couldn’t get a touch from a matter of yards when Hancock supplied him, before the former was presented with a one-on-one position seconds later, but the 34-year-old couldn’t get his angles right as it blazed wide.

It wasn’t the last heart-in-mouth moment, with Curzon undoubtedly finishing normal time in the ascendency. With nothing to separate the sides, despite a plethora of attempts, 30 more minutes were required.

Aiming to secure the scalp, Hancock was the next to come close when he twisted and turned towards the penalty area on 93 before finding the space to fire at goal which Mannion steered wide with his gloves.

Five minutes later, Jubril Okedina teed up Jack Lankester who pulled the trigger from range, but it got yet another vital deflection as it landed on the roof of the net.

With 100 minutes on the clock, Paul Digby’s cross reached the destination of Ironside but last season’s cup hero couldn’t direct his header goal bound as it rose high and wide.

Ten minutes from the potential penalty kicks, Lankester embarked on a promising run, weaving his way through a sea of pink and lashing at Renshaw, who was there to deny.

At the death, Knibbs flicked on Okedina’s cross and Ironside was there to meet it from a matter of yards but he couldn’t produce pandemonium as the inspired Renshaw met to ensure the teams could not be separated after 210 minutes of football.

When it mattered, United held their nerves from 12 yards, with Ironside, Lankester, Knibbs and Digby all converting their penalties to ensure their 2022/23 FA Cup journey continues.

Action at the Abbey continues on Saturday afternoon (19th November) when the U’s hunt a return to winning ways in Sky Bet League One when they take on Accrington Stanley – be sure to back the boys.


Cambridge United: Mannion, Williams, Jones, Taylor, Brophy, Digby, Worman, Tracey (Lankester, 64), Smith (Knibbs, 75), Janneh (Okedina, 90), Ironside

Subs Not Used: Holden, Scales


Bookings: Jones


Curzon Ashton: Renshaw, Richards, Poscha, Matthews, Hampson, Barton (Edmundson, 116), Mahon (Walker, 116), Dimaio, Hayhurst, Hancock, Waring (Hobson, 63)

Subs Not Used: Ollerenshaw, Hogan, Merridith


Bookings: Hobson, Hayhurst


Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 2222 (96 away fans)


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