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22 October 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 Valiants

20 October 2022

Cambridge United look to restore that winning feeling in Sky Bet League One at the weekend as the Abbey Stadium plays host to newcomers Port Vale...

Mark Bonner’s side have slipped down the table of late owing to a four-game losing streak, but they’re adamant to put things right against the Valiants, who continue to progress under the tutelage of Darrell Clarke.

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.

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.

If you encounter any issues, please contact the customer support team by emailing

Opposition Focus

Since the appointment of owners Kevin and Carol Shanahan in 2019, the Valiants stabilised and enjoyed real progressive years, which was revved up a gear when Darrell Clarke entered the building early last year. Determined to return to this level sooner rather than later, the Valiants broke through at the fifth attempt last season, conquering Mansfield Town in the play-off final. Serial winner Clarke wants further success to his CV – his first step, prove that they are where they belong.

Vale got the ball rolling with the perfect introduction as they conquered Fleetwood Town on home soil, but only picked up a point in their next three as Exeter City and MK Dons proved too strong. Burton Albion were put to the sword 0-2 in what was their first success on the road, although Portsmouth dampened spirits with a resolute win the following week. This sparked a three-game unbeaten run, as the shares were spoiled against Cheltenham Town and Barnsley before securing a last-gasp victory against Shrewsbury Town. Promotion-chasing Peterborough United and Sheffield Wednesday gained 3-0 and 0-1 triumphs respectively, but they turned on the gas away at Derby County by pulling off their result of the season in a comeback win, which was backed up by a point last time out against Forest Green Rovers. Thanks to their endeavour and overall consistent showing, the travellers arrive in 16th and level on points with the U’s.

At their disposal are several key men who will keep the hosts on their toes throughout the 90. Nathan Smith orchestrates the defence impeccably, whilst young partner Will Forrester is learning by the game alongside him. Gavin Massey and David Worrall operate well on the flanks, boasting experience and undoubted quality in possession, and former top flight striker James Wilson is enjoying providing for Ellis Harrison, who’s already bulged the onion bag seven times in 11 games.

Form Guide

Cambridge United: LLLLW

Port Vale: LLWDW

United’s Approach

Last time they graced the pitch, the U’s cancelled out a four-match losing streak as they gained a 1-0 victory over 10-man Ipswich Town.

Although it took them time to find their feet following Kyle Edwards’ dismissal, the hosts put in a determined shift in the second half to go ahead through Lewis Simper’s sublime strike, before seeing the game out assuringly.

Although it proved an end to their Papa John’s Trophy campaign, it was an important night for minutes for the threadbare squad, who will take heart and momentum into the clash against the Valiants.

Speaking on Tuesday night, the Head Coach was impressed with the mentality of his players, as well as stating: “We’re pleased to win the game, we’re pleased to get some of the players playing that we did, and pleased to move on now and get ready for Port Vale at the weekend, knowing that the road to Wembley is off for this year.”

Ultimately, their first win since Morecambe away in late September is something to hold onto and utilise as they aim to kickstart an unbeaten run. On top of that was a much-needed clean sheet, Will Mannion’s third from just five appearances, which is a foundation to build upon, particularly when it’s just the second game in the new 3/5/2 experiment which has shown promising signs.

Updating the press with injury matters ahead of the weekend, Bonner confirmed that Adam May will miss the rest of the season after rupturing his ACL. Elsewhere, Dimitar Mitov is out for a few weeks at the minimum, Brandon Haunstrup a month and Harrison Dunk could be back in contention next weekend. Paul Digby, Shilow Tracey and Joe Ironside, however, all stand a chance of returning.


Cambridge United Wins: 9

Port Vale Wins: 11

Draws: 2

Down Memory Lane

Although the sides have been well-accustomed to each other in recent years, this weekend will be their first clash in the third tier in just over 20 years.

Last time out, a Liam O’Neil thunderbolt in February 2021 rose the U’s to the summit of Sky Bet League Two in a critical 0-1 success at Vale Park. Pulling something special out of nothing near the death was just one of many awe-inspiring afternoons in the COVID-stricken, promotion-winning campaign.

Speaking on that triumphant afternoon, Bonner hailed his men, stating: “My goodness, that was a tough game, really tough. The boys are shot to bits in there… it was a real collective effort, a real hardworking performance. A sickener if you’re on the other side of that result, but for us, a really important win.”

The U’s will want to capitalise on back-to-back wins against the Valiants, but the overall clashes since the turn of the millennium has been a tight one – with the visitors winning six compared to United’s five. Remarkably, both teams have scored in just one of their previous nine matchups.


Referee: Thomas Kirk

Assistant Referee: Scott Williams

Assistant Referee: Conor Farrell

Fourth Official: Nicholas Cooper

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Match Reports

U's fall to second half defeat against the Valiants

22 October 2022

Cambridge United slipped to another frustrating defeat in Sky Bet League One as Port Vale secured a 0-1 victory at the Abbey Stadium...

In an encounter where the U’s failed to conjure up any clear-cut opportunities, they were made to be punished late in the tie after Forrester forced an unfortunate own goal from Paul Digby to consign the hosts to their fifth defeat on the bounce.

Heading into the encounter, United had attained some momentum from their midweek success - and were now eager to build on that and demolish a losing streak stretching back to four league games. In their way, a newly-promoted Valiants side level on points with the hosts and had shown real progression under Darrell Clarke.

Mark Bonner named four changes from the side that dispatched Ipswich Town 1-0 four days earlier - sticking with the 3/5/2 formation as Lloyd Jones, Digby, Harvey Knibbs and Sam Smith returned to the fold.

A high-tempo introduction, where the sides continuously cancelled each other out in the middle of the park, carved its first chance after 4 minutes when Jack Lankester’s excellent inswinger from the right had to be clawed out for a corner from the visiting defence.

Vale, who themselves shuffled their strike options due to the unavailability of James Wilson and Ellis Harrison, carved upon the U’s defence five minutes later thanks to Mipo Odubeko’s through ball. Latching onto it, Gavin Massey unleashed a fierce shot which Will Mannion applaudingly kept out.

Capitalising on momentum accrued from his midweek clean sheet, the number 25 kept out Odubeko’s vicious chance and Gavin Massey’s long-range effort in quick succession during the 20th minute as the Valiants attempted to force the opener.

The chance of the match fell to the way of the U’s on 35 when Knibbs combined well with Lankester – teeing up the latter inside the box who blazed his shot just over substitute goalkeeper Aidan Stone’s crossbar.

Following the break, both sides appeared visibly frustrated after a stop-start spell where neither goalkeeper could be tested. Deciding to tinker with the system, Bonner introduced Fejiri Okenabirhie to the pitch, before deploying Lewis Simper, Shilow Tracey and Joe Ironside shortly after.

After a lengthy period without a clear-cut opportunity, Vale caused a scare on 72 when defender Conor Hall cut inside well and curled an attempt over the crossbar.

United were punished in a cruel manner on the 78th minute when Forrester’s marauding cross from the right was diverted into the net by Digby, who had put a foot out to attempt to clear the ball.

In the dying embers of the tie, Simper met a long throw-in, but struck into a long throw-in a Vale man before firing the rebound wide of the target.

It topped off an agonising afternoon for the hosts, whose turgid losing streak was stretched to five games.

Up next, the U’s make the journey to Adams Park on Tuesday evening (25th October) to take on Wycombe Wanderers in their next League One outing – be sure to back the boys.


Cambridge United: Mannion, Williams, Jones, Taylor (Okenabirhie, 45), Okedina, Digby, O’Neil (Simper, 62), Brophy, Lankester (Tracey, 62), Knibbs (Ironside, 61), Smith

Subs Not Used: Holden, Ibsen Rossi, Worman


Bookings: Simper


Port Vale: Stevens (Stone, 22), Smith, Forrester, Hall, Worrall (Robinson, 71), Pett (Butterworth, 71), Conlon, Benning (Jones, 85), Garrity, Massey (Charsley, 85), Odubeko

Subs Not Used: Cass, Holden

Goalscorers: Digby OG (78’)

Bookings: Worrall,  Massey, Conlon


Referee: Thomas Kirk

Attendance: 6218 (732 away fans)

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