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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

29 March 2024 Venue Oakwell Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Barnsley vs U's

27 March 2024

The first match of Cambridge United’s Sky Bet League One Easter schedule sees them make the trip to Oakwell Stadium on Good Friday to take on promotion hopefuls Barnsley…

How to Watch

A healthy number of U’s fans will venture to Yorkshire for Friday afternoon’s tie, which gets underway at 3pm.

Join them by purchasing your tickets online at, over the phone by calling 01223 566500 (option 1) or alternatively by visiting the Abbey Stadium Club Shop on Thursday – three away credits will be issued.

Fans in the UK or abroad who are unable to attend can ensure that they don’t miss a kick of the action by purchasing an iFollow Match Pass – passes cost £10 and can be purchased by clicking here.

Opposition Focus

Established in 1887, Barnsley wasted no time in achieving success. Joining the Football League in 1898, the side originally struggled in Division Two, but used their FA Cup success in 1912 to cement themselves. Post-war, they fluctuated between the Third and Fourth Division, but built their way up and gate-crashed the Premier League for a single season in 1997/98. Most recently, they’ve pulled off the Championship ‘great escape’, went close to returning to the top tier with a promotion tilt, succumbed to League One football and then just last season experienced the agony of a last-gasp play-off final defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. The Tykes now aim to cap off a topsy-turvy era by going one better in what’s primed to be an exhilarating conclusion to the 2023/24 season.

A settled outfit, who deploy the well-accustomed and modern 3-4-1-2 formation under former Tampa Bay Rowdies boss Neill Collins, the dependable Liam Roberts sets the standards between the sticks and has a back three of Frenchman Mael de Gevigney, loanee Jamie McCart and the towering Josh Earl ahead of him. Vital cogs Corey O’Keeffe and Nicky Cadden dominate the flanks and pop up with their share of goal involvements, allowing central midfielders Luca Connell and Jonathan Russell to dominate possession and create for attacking influence Adam Phillips – the consistent playmaker who continues to impress. Up top, Sam Cosgrove is a battering ram and Luton Town loanee John McAtee has adapted to League One life seamlessly, but it’s Devante Cole who has made the mark – his best ever season has seen him bulge the net on 17 occasions – a few more and Barnsley will be firmly in the hunt.

An opening day 7-0 demolition of Port Vale appeared to set the tone for the campaign, with a three-match winless streak being overturned by three consecutive 2-0 victories. A steady start was accelerated from the start of October, with the Tykes remarkably picking up ten wins, six draws and the solitary loss – against fellow chasers Derby County – which was only terminated in late January. Comfortably lodged in the top eight for the past six months, they roared to a seven-game unbeaten run during February and have recently bounced back from a shock 1-5 defeat to on-song Lincoln City by dispatching Carlisle United 2-3 and sharing a stalemate with Cheltenham Town almost two weeks ago. A top six berth looks likely, with Barnsley boasting a nine-point gap inside the play-offs, with seven points worth of ground to make from the automatic promotion spots with two precious games in hand. Whilst it’s still possible, they’ll continue to believe and battle.

Form Guide

Barnsley: WDLWD

Cambridge United: LLDLL

United’s Approach

Lessons were learnt a fortnight ago during the U’s last encounter as United's losing streak was stretched when they succumbed to a heavy 4-0 defeat to Reading at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Strikes in the first half from Sam Smith and Femi Azeez was enough to heavily swing momentum for the afternoon, as the free-flowing hosts comfortably controlled the game and then applied further damage after the break through Lewis Wing’s and Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan’s barnstorming finishes.

Hurting from the defeat, Garry Monk said: “It’s been a symptom of these two games where we’ve started them well enough with a bit of momentum, but it seems like every time we have that we shoot ourselves in the foot.

“But it doesn’t deter me. The one thing is they’re a good group – they’re not divided. They’re not scrapping with each other and there’s going to be a game coming up where those things do go for us, and we need to capitalise. If we can eradicate those poor goals, we’ll give ourselves more of a fighting chance.”

Fresh and raring to go from a lengthy break, where plenty of hard work has been done in training to regain confidence, it’s all still in United’s hands, despite their recent form of six losses from seven with one goal in six. Other results have reduced the safety net from the bottom four to three points – but with 24 points still to play for, they must fight for every single one and break their duck sooner rather than later.


Barnsley Wins: 12

Cambridge United Wins: 5

Draws: 7

Down Memory Lane

Minds will be casted back to October for our last meeting, when a tough evening at the Abbey saw Barnsley charge to a 0-4 win to terminate the U’s three-game unbeaten run on home soil.

Strikes in the first half from Nicky Cadden and Mael de Gevigney gave the hosts work to do, who couldn’t muster up a consolation despite a spirited display, with the Reds going from strength to strength to put the game to bed courtesy of Max Watters’ drilled finish and Jon Russell’s curler at the death.

After completing the double during the 2022/23 campaign, the winning run for Friday’s hosts reads at five games, which was kick-started in 1992. The solitary United triumph in the past nine was certainly a memorable one in what was a rollercoaster Division Two campaign when late goals from Steve Claridge wrapped up a 2-1 success at CB5 to further boost hopes of the unlikely climb towards the inaugural Premier League campaign.


Referee: Simon Mather

Assistant Referee: Mark Cunliffe

Assistant Referee: Stephen Wade

Fourth Official: Karl Buckley


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Match Reports

Report: Barnsley 0-2 Cambridge United

29 March 2024

Cambridge United returned to winning ways at Oakwell on Good Friday as Garry Monk’s men put aside their recent troubles to pull off a stirring upset and reignite the team’s season…

An early own goal from the hosts set United on their way, before Ahadme came off the bench to double the U’s advantage in the closing stages of the content. The result is the first victory under Garry Monk and means United continue to control their destiny in the fight for League One survival.

Garry Monk named three changes from the team that fell to defeat at Reading last time out, as Mamadou Jobe came in for his full league debut in place of the injured Michael Morrison, whilst Will Mannion and Sullay Kaikai replaced Jack Stevens and Elias Kachunga, respectively.

The U’s Head Coach also opted for a change of shape, as United lined up with five across the back for the first time under Monk – Jobe, R. Bennett and Andrew the three centre-backs with Gibbons and L.Bennett as wing backs.

Although United got off to a composed start to proceedings – keeping the ball well and limited the home side to very little in the final third, it was Barnsley who had the first big chance of the game, a well worked move ended with Cadden firing wide from 10 yards out.

Three minutes later though, the U’s took the lead through the more bizarre circumstances, as Barnsley defender De Gevigney tried to pass the ball back to his goalkeeper, Roberts, but inadvertently found the net. A moment of fortune but one that United have been crying out for in recent times.

It looked like United had doubled their lead on 32 minutes, as Ryan Bennett headed home from inside a congested six-yard box, only to see the referee half proceedings for a foul against the U’s. The disallowed goal came just moments before a well saved free-kick from Danny Andrew – a potentially pivotal period of play.

The moment almost came back to bite the men in Amber and Black just minutes later, as McAtee somehow hit the woodwork from just a few yards out.

Barnsley’s pressure continued to grow as the half approached, and Mannion proved his worth with a fine stop to deny Phillips on the 45th minute.

There would be one more chance for Monk’s men to extend their lead, as Brophy lead a counter-attack up the pitch, resulting in Kaikai getting off a deflected shot that flew just wide of the post.

Just two minutes into the second half, Taylor had a golden opportunity to get on the scoresheet, as he was slipped through on goal by Gibbons, but Barnsley defended the chance well and closed the striker down quickly, which lead to a difficult shot on the stretch which was easily gathered by Roberts.

It would be Taylor’s last action of the game however, as he was forced off with injury soon after, allowing Ahadme to enter the action on 52 minutes.

With the home crowd growing all the more frustrated, United seemed to thrive on playing spoiler as they aimed to pull off a big upset away at promotion contenders. Half chances for the home side came and went, but the U’s continued to work hard, harry and play when they could.

United stayed patient, knowing that more chances would come their way, but when it did with 25 minutes to go, Kaikai blazed over the bar after Brophy lofted the ball over the defender for him to run onto.

The second goal came soon after though, as Ahadme played the role of super sub to perfection, powering home a superb header off Andews’ brilliant delivery.

After the final whistle blew, the United supporters gave the players and staff a rousing reception as they left the pitch, which was reciprocated back to the fans, with both knowing that they would need each other if the Club are to achieve their goals from these last seven games of the season.

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