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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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28 November 2023 Venue Cledara Abbey Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: U's vs Lincoln City

27 November 2023

Cambridge United make a welcome return to the Abbey Stadium in midweek as they entertain fellow Sky Bet League One outfit Lincoln City…

The U’s will be determined to chalk some points following consecutive defeats and will utilise their home form - which reads at just one loss at CB5 in the league since late August - and make it four unbeaten. In their way, an Imps side who, despite grabbing one win from their previous six, sit on the outskirts of the play-offs and are looking to build.

How to Watch

Another healthy crowd is expected for Tuesday night’s tussle under the floodlights, which gets underway at 7:45pm. Buy your tickets online at

Alternatively, if you can't make it to the match, pick up an iFollow Match Pass and back the U’s from home! Passes cost £10 and are available to be purchased here.

Opposition Focus

Founded all the way back in 1884, City have spent the majority of their tenure fluctuating between the lower divisions of the Football League, with several, and usually one-off, seasons in non-league. From 2011, five mediocre seasons in the fifth tier beckoned – established in the middle of the pack, an escape attempt from the Conference Premier never looked likely. Up stepped Danny and Nicky Cowley who, in their first season, stormed to the title and helped the Imps become the first non-league side in 103 years to reach the FA Cup Quarter-Finals. The EFL Trophy was lifted a year later, before another promotion was secured in 2019. As recently as 2020/21, they came within a victory of Championship football. Whilst that rampant upward trajectory has slowed down slightly, their ability to go from strength to strength by the season has been admirable. Mark Kennedy reignited a never-say-die mentality with excellent defensive resolve last season, with the well-respected Michael Skubala now picking up the pieces and hoping to guide the underdogs towards a potential play-off push.

Giant Danish goalkeeper Lukas Jensen is a mainstay and has notched six clean sheets so far this season and is usually accompanied by a back three ahead of him consisting of Millwall loanee Alex Mitchell, Adam Jackson and the assuring TJ Eyoma. Providing the width is workhorse Lasse Sorensen - who has popped up with six goal involvements – and 22-year-old Jack Burroughs, with fellow Scots Ethan Erhahon and Alistair Smith or Teddy Bishop getting stuck in and making things tick in the middle of the park. The exciting Hakeeb Adelakun and Daniel Mandroiu are part of a fluid front three which usually has youngster Jovon Makama or Jack Vale at the forefront.

The Imps immediately shrugged off an opening day 3-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers by going unbeaten in their next six meetings after comfortably dispatching Wycombe Wanderers, Shrewsbury Town and Blackpool on top of sharing the spoils with Northampton Town, Bristol Rovers and Carlisle United. A slight blip of three defeats from four followed, but back-to-back victories against Fleetwood Town and Charlton Athletic returned the team to the upper echelons of the division. Most recently, they’ve taken six points from a possible 18, with just the sole win since late October – but a 2-2 draw against promotion-chasing Barnsley at the weekend is a real momentum-booster for City, who occupy 9th position and are just three points from the coveted play-off spots.

Form Guide

Cambridge United: DWWLL

Lincoln City: WDLWD

United’s Approach

The U’s suffered back-to-back defeats in the third tier last time out as Northampton held on for a 2-1 success at Sixfields Stadium.

Following a below-par first half, where neither side were able to ramp up the tempo, the game burst into life shortly after the break when Kieron Bowie capitalised on a defensive mishap and Sam Hoskins immediately doubled the lead following a well-worked move. United’s substitutes breathed life into the encounter and got a way back into the game through Gassan Ahadme with time on the clock, but Paul Digby’s dismissal meant it was too high of a mountain to climb.

Reflecting on a disappointing day, Mark Bonner said: “We couldn’t find the quality we needed to get an equaliser. We turned the ball over too cheaply and we have a lot to do because the result isn’t good enough, our form isn’t good enough and the goals we’re conceding aren’t good enough.”

It was just the second time this season that the U’s have succumbed to successive league defeats and will need a strong response should they wish to mark a return to winning ways. With a creditable home form of one defeat in seven behind them, they’ll look to extend that and rise from their current 16th position, where just three points separates them from both 20th and 10th.


Cambridge United Wins: 14

Lincoln City Wins: 15

Draws: 17

Down Memory Lane

The visiting faithful saw their new-look United side pick up their first League One point of 2023 back in late January as they shared a committed stalemate against Lincoln at Sincil Bank.

Dimitar Mitov and Lloyd Jones returned from injury, whilst Michael Morrison and Conor McGrandles were handed their debuts as the U’s remained organised throughout, dealing with everything that landed their way to secure a thoroughly-deserved clean sheet and hand the group a promising platform to build upon.

Speaking on that afternoon, the Head Coach stated: “It’s been far from easy in recent weeks but that’s more like us, that’s better. It’s a starting point for what we need for the next 19 games. We willingly take the point and the clean sheet, knowing that we’ll get better.”

It stretched the unbeaten run to three matches against City, who have failed to score in each one. Form was quite the contrary beforehand, nonetheless, with the U’s going winless in six which stretched back to the 2013/14 promotion-winning Conference campaign.  

Match Officials

Referee: David Rock

Assistant Referee: Paul Evans

Assistant Referee: Stuart Kane

Fourth Official: Stephen Parkinson

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Match Reports

Report: Cambridge United 0-3 Lincoln City

28 November 2023

Cambridge United were dealt a 0-3 defeat by Lincoln City in their latest Sky Bet League One tie at the Abbey Stadium…

A bright start from the visiting Imps saw them draw first blood through Daniel Mandroiu’s penalty, before Dylan Duffy doubled the advantage shortly after the half an hour mark. The U’s were unable to muster a response to the setback and fell victim to a third late in the evening when substitute Jack Vale sealed the victory.

After suffering back-to-back league defeats for just the second time this campaign, the U’s were out to spark a response by stretching their positive home form of just one defeat from seven. In their way, an Imps side who sat on the outskirts of the play-offs despite claiming victory once from their previous six.

In response to the defeat at Northampton Town three days earlier, Mark Bonner freshened up his XI by naming five changes. Jubril Okedina earned his second league start of the campaign, with George Thomas, Elias Kachunga and Sullay Kaikai drafted into the midfield and Gassan Ahadme being introduced to the attacking ranks.

Obtaining the 4-2-3-1 formation, the new-look U’s attack started in the ascendency, with marauding full-back Liam Bennett driving down the right and pulling the trigger from an inviting position on the 3rd minute, which was claimed well by a diving Lukas Jensen.

City soon imposed themselves by crafting a well-worked opportunity a few minutes later when Jack Burroughs and Alistair Smith combined down the right, with the latter floating a precise ball to an unmarked Duffy from 12 yards, whose tame effort was blocked by Jack Stevens.

Deadlock was broken on the 15th minute when referee David Rock pointed to the spot after Duffy was tripped in the penalty area by Jordan Cousins, prompting Mandroui to send Stevens the wrong way and emphatically convert.

In response, United enjoyed their spells in possession and were moving the ball progressively, but not creating anything clear cut and at the same time leaving themselves exposed at the back, with Ethan Hamilton exploiting on the half an hour mark with a lung-busting run, before cutting inside and drilling a speculative effort towards Stevens.

The Imps gained their second of the evening in the following attack after a corner was cleared towards Duffy on the edge of the area, who fired an attempt which kindly deflected into the top corner.

Riding on a wave, Michael Skubala’s men poured forwards and cut open the U’s defence frequently, with a long-range attempt on the 34th minute, which drew a strong save from Stevens, being their last chance of a half where they had been in control.

As for the hosts, it had been far from ideal. They had been inventive in spells, but not in consistent fashion and without any real bite.

Although vying for a way back into the game, United needed to be patient with their build-up play. L. Bennett picked out a strong delivery on 62 with Ahadme ready to bounce near the 12 yard box, but Lincoln cleared their lines well.

The double substitution of wingers James Brophy and Glenn McConnell a couple of minutes later immediately gave the side more impetus and trickery, which was shortly followed by Adam May and Jack Lankester.

The first pairing combined well inside the area on the 77th minute, with the Academy graduate blasting over Jensen’s crossbar from an angle.

Plugging away, United created their best moment of the match on 82 when Brophy’s deep cross landed to a free Lankester, who from a matter of yards headed at Jensen. The ball was won back, where L. Bennett teed up May whose 20-yarder crucially deflected wide of the post.

The U’s were undone and it was game over on the 84th minute when Paudie O’Connor got a delicate flick on a corner, which kindly fell to Vale who was on hand to poke home and make sure of the points to consign Bonner’s men to a third straight defeat for the first time in 2023/24.

Attention now turns to Emirates FA Cup action here at CB5 on Saturday afternoon (2nd December) as the U’s look to dispatch Fleetwood Town and book their place in the Third Round – be sure to back the boys.


Cambridge United: Stevens, L. Bennett, Okedina, Morrison, Andrew (Lankester, 74’), Cousins, Thomas (May, 74’), Kachunga (Brophy, 64’), Okenabirhie (Gordon, 84’), Kaikai (McConnell, 64’), Ahadme

Subs Not Used: Mannion, R. Bennett


Bookings: Ahadme, Cousins


Lincoln City: Jensen, Mitchell, Jackson, Eyoma (Shodipo, 90+1’), Burroughs, Smith (Adelakun, 46’), Erhahon, Duffy (Brown, 63’), Hamilton, Mandroiu (O’Connor, 75’), Makama (Vale, 75’)

Subs Not Used: Wright, Okewoye

Goalscorers: Mandroiu (15’), Duffy (31’), Vale (84’)

Bookings: Vale, Mitchell


Referee: David Rock

Attendance: 5103 (358 away fans)


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