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02 December 2023 Venue Cledara Abbey Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English FA Cup

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Match Previews

Match Preview: U's vs Fleetwood Town

1 December 2023

Attention turns to the Emirates FA Cup this weekend as Cambridge United look to dispatch fellow Sky Bet League One outfit Fleetwood Town at the Abbey Stadium and book their place in the Third Round for the second time in the past three seasons…

A new era dawns in CB5, with the U’s hoping to get the ball rolling under Interim Head Coach Barry Corr and march on in the competition after previously edging out Bracknell Town. The Cod Army make the long trek down the country having showcased great character to prevent a potential shock at Kidderminster Harriers in the First Round.

How to Watch

Tickets are still available for Saturday’s cup clash, which gets underway at 3pm. At a reduced rate, a seat in the Buzz Catering Supplies Main Stand is £15 for Adults and £12 for Concessions, whilst terracing in the Newmarket Road End or Intelligent Membranes Habbin is priced at £12 and £10 Concessions – for either, Under 18s are admitted for £5.

Please note, season tickets are not valid for FA Cup fixtures. Holders can secure their place online at, over the phone by calling 01223 566500 (option 1) or by visiting the Abbey Stadium Ticket Office on the day.

Opposition Focus

Originally formed in 1908, the Cods went through three separate reformations, with the most recent incarnation occurring in 1997, 12 years after they finished runners-up in the FA Vase. Placed in the ninth tier of English football, seven campaigns equated to the solitary league success, but a meteoric decade from 2004/05 onwards saw them gain six promotions to take them to the heady heights that is step three. More than established, they’ve remarkably reached the League One play-offs on two occasions since, with recent respective finishes of 15th and 20th being enhanced by last season’s showing of 13th. Now under the tutelage of Lee Johnson following Scott Brown’s September dismissal, the only way is hopefully up for the ambitious Lancashire outfit.

Installing a compact 4-3-3 system, Johnson can rely on dependable Jay Lynch between the sticks, with a familiar backline of attack-minded Shaun Rooney, Josh Earl’s physical prowess, Ben Heneghan and Celtic loanee Bosun Lawal. Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu is the midfield destroyer, with Scott Robertson, utility man Josh Vela or 27-year-old Ryan Broom either side. An enticing front three usually consists of the creative Danny Mayor, powerhouse and clinical options in Jayden Stockley and Jack Marriott and the exciting Phoenix Patterson darting down the flanks.

A turgid introduction to the campaign has seen Town occupy a relegation spot ever since mid-August after responding to an opening day share of the spoils with Carlisle United by crashing to six defeats on the bounce, scoring just twice in that time. Form improved from here, with a 1-1 tie against Burton Albion with a first win swiftly followed by another as Leyton Orient and Cheltenham Town were dispatched. Wycombe Wanderers and Lincoln City dampened momentum as they secured three points away from home, but a commendable four-match unbeaten run – which included taking points from Barnsley and Blackpool – meant a corner was turned. Most recently, convincing 3-0 losses to Stevenage and Wigan Athletic ensures Johnson’s men sit in in 21st with a two-point gap from safety.

Form Guide

Cambridge United: WWLLL

Fleetwood Town: WWWLL

United’s Approach

The U’s succumbed to a third successive defeat in Sky Bet League One on Tuesday evening as Lincoln City powered to a comfortable 0-3 success.

A bright start from the visiting Imps saw them draw first blood through Daniel Mandroiu’s penalty, before Dylan Duffy doubled the advantaged shortly after the half an hour mark. Despite enjoying the possession, the hosts were unable to muster a response to the setback and fell victim to a third late on when substitute Jack Vale made sure of maximum points.

It signalled the end of ara under Mark Bonner - who had galvanised club ever since taking the reins in 2020 – on the night he stated: “It’s really obvious, we want to win more games, score more goals and concede less. It’s all a concern, but nothing that can’t be fixed, if everybody shows up, rolls their sleeves up and has a little bit of a belief in themselves that they can do it.”

It was the first time since early March that the U’s have suffered a trio of losses, but a brief break from the third tier could do them good as they look to return to basics and develop some momentum by booking their place in the famous velvet bag.


Cambridge United Wins: 4

Fleetwood Town Wins: 3

Draws: 3

Down Memory Lane

The U’s continued their positive form against the Cod Army just under four months ago as they tasted victory in their first away outing of the 2023/24 season thanks to a sublime 0-2 win in Lancashire.

No-nonsense in the defence and blistering in attack, a complete performance on a sunny August afternoon was capped off by Paul Digby’s close-range strike and Gassan Ahadme’s header in the six-yard box as they maintained their 100% start.

Since returning to the Football League, United have lost just once in six matches and are hoping to make it three successive wins on Saturday. The sides have previous in this competition, meeting at the same venue back in 2014, with Richard Money’s men claiming a 1-0 First Round scalp thanks to Kwesi Appiah’s fine first-time finish ten minutes from time.

Match Officials

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

Assistant Referee: Daniel Bonneywell

Assistant Referee: Stephen Brown

Fourth Official: Farai Hallam

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Match Reports

Report: Cambridge United 4-0 Fleetwood Town

2 December 2023

Cambridge United steamrolled into the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup after expertly dispatching Fleetwood Town 4-0 at the Abbey Stadium...

A scintillating opening 12 minutes saw the U’s race into a three-goal lead thanks to Danny Andrew’s free-kick and clinical strikes from Elias Kachunga and Fejiri Okenabirhie. The hosts remained fluid throughout the encounter and wrapped up the proceedings late on through Gassan Ahadme to secure their place in the famous velvet bag.

United were looking to kickstart their new era by cancelling out three consecutive defeats and booking their place in the Third Round of the competition for the second time in the last three seasons, whereas the visiting Cod Army possessed recent history having secured their best-ever run of the Fifth Round last time out.

In retaliation to the midweek defeat to Lincoln City, interim boss Barry Corr named two changes to the XI as Paul Digby and James Brophy returned to the fold, with Jordan Cousins and Gassan Ahadme dropping to the bench.

A fog-stricken stadium was treated to a blistering start when Andrew struck a delightful 20-yard free-kick into the bottom left corner to get the ball rolling on the 6th minute after Kachunga was fouled in an enticing position after being released by the full-back.

Just four minutes later, the United faithful were celebrating their second of the afternoon when the silky Sullay Kaikai beat his man inside the area and struck against the post, which invitingly fell to Kachunga who poked home from a matter of yards.

Liqiuid football continued and the U’s were in dreamland on the 12th minute when Kaikai’s through ball dissected the opposing defence and released Okenabirhie who marauded into the area and showed great composure to stroke into the net.

The only dampener of a blistering introduction was the forced substitute of striker Okenabirhie on 20, who couldn’t continue despite his best efforts after picking up a thigh injury.

In desperate need of a response, Lee Johnson’s men engineered some quickfire opportunities moments later, with Jayden Stockley’s half-volley from outside the six-yard box blocked by Jubril Okedina, before Jack Marriott picked up a smart Jack Stevens save but blazed over the crossbar.

With 27 minutes on the clock, Corr’s rampant side had the chance to make it four from the spot after Kaikai was brought down whilst charging inside the area. Substitute Ahadme stepped up and attempted a cheeky chip, but Stephen McMullan was on hand to adjust and catch the attempt.

On the half an hour mark, it looked to be a sense of déjà vu when Andrew stepped up with a promising free-kick, but this time the 30-yard effort was well-denied by McMullan, who dived to his left.

Although unable to deal with the hosts’ fluid attacking runs, Town were starting to turn the screw as the half progressed and undoubtedly should have gained a consolation on the 32nd minute when a goalmouth scramble resulted in defender Brendan Wiredu lashing wide from close range.

The U’s exited the field for the break with their confidence at an all-time high thanks to a commanding and extremely clinical first 45. They entered it again in the same fashion and tested the gloves of McMullan when Kachunga cut inside the middle and drilled from distance.

Brophy was agonisingly close to opening his account for the season on the stroke of the hour when Kachunga teed up the winger down the left, who scampered towards goal and unleashed a vicious attempt which rattled the crossbar.

Likeliest to grab the fourth of the afternoon, Liam Bennett picked out a great delivery on 66, which evaded the Cods and fell to Ahadme, whose shot from close range was blocked by an onrushing defender.

Shortly after the fifth and final substitution was made, the U’s had the ball in the back in front of the Newmarket Road End after Digby’s sublime ball was expertly directed into the bottom corner by Ahadme.

In the last moments of an entertaining afternoon, Glenn McConnell lashed a shot inches over the crossbar, whilst at the other end Stevens protected his clean sheet with a fine stop from Kabongo Tshimanga as United roared towards the next round.

Up next, London is calling for the U’s as they travel to Charlton Athletic next Saturday (9th December) with the sole aim of restoring winning ways in Sky Bet League One – be sure to back the boys.


Cambridge United: Stevens, L. Bennett, Okedina, Morrison, Andrew (Haunstrup, 79’), Digby, Thomas, Brophy (McConnell, 80’), Kachunga (Janneh, 72’), Kaikai (Lankester, 72’), Okenabirhie (Ahadme, 21’)

Subs Not Used: Mannion, R. Bennett, May, Cousins

Goalscorers: Andrew (6’), Kachunga (10’), Okenabirhie (12’), Ahadme (82’)

Bookings: Okedina


Fleetwood Town: McMullan, Wiredu, Lawal (Montgomery, 56’), Heneghan, Johnston (Rooney, 56’), Broom (Dolan, 33’), Vela, Mayor, Patterson, Stockley (Tshimanga, 68’), Marriott

Subs Not Used: Lynch, Holgate, Teale, Brown, Armstrong


Bookings: Stockley


Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

Attendance: 3387 (106 away fans)

Man of the Match: Kachunga

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