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09 October 2023 Venue Pirelli Stadium Attendance

Kick off 20:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Reports

Report: Burton Albion 2-1 Cambridge United

9 October 2023

Cambridge United suffered back-to-back Sky Bet League One defeats for the first time in 2023/24 as Burton Albion secured a clinical 2-1 victory at the Pirelli Stadium...

A pacy start in front of the cameras saw the Brewers take an early lead through Josh Walker, before doubling their advantage on the half an hour mark thanks to Deji Oshilaja’s close-range finish. Fejiri Okenabirhie reduced the deficit with his seventh of the campaign during a bright second half spell, but time ran out for the U’s, who were unable to rescue a point.  

Heading into the battle on the box, United were winless in four and hoping to bounce back with a positive result – just as they had done in response to their three previous league defeats of the campaign. As for the hosts, they approached the encounter unbeaten in four and were picking up steam.

In reaction to the tricky defeat to Barnsley last time out, Mark Bonner freshened up his XI by naming four changes. Jack Stevens donned the sticks for the first time since August, with Liam Bennett restored to the backline and attacking options Sullay Kaikai and Okenabirhie also introduced to the fold.

The first attempt of the evening was conjured up on the 4th minute when Thomas Hamer’s header down the right spearheaded an attack which resulted in Oshilaja teeing up Joe Powell from 25 yards, who invitingly struck a fierce attempt past Stevens’ left post.

Five minutes later, they drew first blood when Kwadwo Baah’s teasing delivery across the six-yard box was gracefully met by Walker who tapped home from a matter of yards.

After capitalising on their rapid start, Dino Maamria’s men were forced back for a brief spell, with the U’s in firm control of the possession since the setback.

Starting to cause a stir, two quickfire chances on the 26th minute were agonisingly close to being snatched at by the visitors. First, an excellent Kaikai switch allowed L. Bennett to roam and drill a ball into the penalty area, which was struck cleanly by Okenabirhie but crucially intercepted over the crossbar by Hamer. The following corner was concluded by Jack Lankester, whose low curler towards the far post was matched by Max Crocombe.

The inability to convert proved costly when, just minutes later, Baah’s cross similar to the first caused pinball, but was pounced at by captain Oshilaja from close range.

Vying for an immediate response, a blistering run from Lankester on 36 helped him drive into the pocket and jink to the left, before pulling the trigger from outside of the box, which was blocked by a stern backline.

All in all, Burton had been clinical and were good value heading into the break, thanks mostly due to their danger they posed on the wing.

But the U’s came out of the blocks firing and should have restored parity on 48 after Lankester profited from a scramble inside the area, retaining and then shielding for James Brophy who, from yards out, lifted over Crocombe and his bar from a tight angle.

Stevens kept his group in the game just shy of the hour mark when a wicked ball from Mustapha Carayol received the deftest of touches from Oshilaja, but the keeper showcased great reflexes to dive to his left and paw away.

United gained the consolation they craved on the 66th minute when an in swinging corner was flicked at by George Thomas and towards the head of Okenabirhie at the back post who made no mistake with his head.

An already-planned triple substitution was unleashed in the aftermath, with John-Kymani Gordon injecting speed and Adam May and Jordan Cousins the tenacity in the middle.

Shortly after, Saikou Janneh received his first minutes since limping off against Stevenage in the early stages of the season and almost claimed a perfect return as his blistering pace beat the offside trap and handed him the time to execute a chip over an onrushing Crocombe. Too much height was added, however, as it brushed past the roof of the net.  

Up the other end, Josh Gordon kept hold of the ball well on 85 and danced into the final third before darting a venomous shot from 20 yards. It asked questions of Stevens, but couldn’t pass him as he got his fingertip to the effort.

Ultimately, Burton got bodies back and were resilient when it mattered, frustrating the visitors into little action at the death - who were unable to take anything from the evening.

United return to the Abbey Stadium on Saturday afternoon (14th October) when Shrewsbury Town make the trip to Cambridgeshire – be sure to back the boys.

Burton Albion: Crocombe, Hamer, Hughes, Sweeney, Seddon, Baah (Caprice, 80’), Gilligan, Powell, Carayol (M. Bennett, 76’), Oshilaja (Harper, 79’), Walker (Gordon, 64’)

Subs Not Used: Blackman, Chauke

Goalscorers: Walker (9’), Oshilaja (30’)

Bookings: Baah, M. Bennett

Cambridge United: Stevens, L. Bennett, R. Bennett, Morrison, Andrew, Digby, Thomas (Cousins, 67), Brophy (Janneh, 76’), Lankester (May, 67’), Kaikai (Gordon, 67’), Okenabirhie

Subs Not Used: Mannion, Okedina, Ibsen Rossi

Goalscorers: Okenabirhie (66’)


Referee: Benjamin Speedie

Attendance: 2296

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