Simpson grabs late leveller

Robbie Simpson’s stoppage time equaliser gave Cambridge United a hard earned point against Stevenage.

Dean Wells’ first half goal looked set to win the match for the visitors, who defended solidly for long periods. But substitute Simpson reacted quickest to meet Richard Tait’s long throw and level it up at the death.

Richard Money made three changes to the starting line-up, bring in Kaikai after his goalscoring cameo appearance from the bench at Shrewsbury last weekend. Liam Hughes and Harrison Dunk were also recalled, with Robbie Simpson, Greg Taylor and the injured Matt Harrold making way.

And with Kaikai, Donaldson and Mendez-Laing linking up well behind Slew, United played some good football at times in the first half, but were unable to make the breakthrough.

Slew came closest in the 18th minute, latching on to a Donaldson flick but seeing his snap-shot parried by Day. Stevenage immediately broke away, and Pett won a free kick on the right as he was brought down by Dunk. Parrett delivered it into the box, and a poor header clear was pounced on by Wells, who fired home.

On the stroke of half-time United could have levelled when Mendez-Laing found Donaldson charging into the box, but his cross was just too high for Kaikai at the back post. Stevenage then almost gifted the U’s a goal when Dembele’s clearance cannoned off Wells, but Day was able to gather as it span goalwards.

The second half produced little in the way of chances, as United had most of the ball but couldn’t test Day, despite a barrage of set-pieces.

Referee Horwood’s whistle punctuated the match on regular intervals, and David Martin was perhaps a little fortunate to escape a red card for two fouls in quick succession on Tait and Champion.

United toiled to make the breakthrough, and were rewarded in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Coulson flicked on Tait’s long throw and Simpson swivelled to fire in a half-volley.

May I Claim Man of the Match: Michael Nelson

Cambridge (4-4-2): Dunn, Tait, Coulson, Nelson, Dunk, Champion, Hughes (Taylor 64), Mendez-Laing (Margetts 68), Kaikai, Donaldson, Slew.

Subs not used:  Miller, Norris, Hunt, Ball.

Stevenage: (4-4-2): Day, Henry, Wells, Dembele, Okimo, Martin, Parrett, Keane, Pett, Kennedy (Bond 68), Lee.

Subs not used: Beasant, Ashton, Bond, D.Johnson, R.Johnson, Conlon, Andrade.

Referee: Graham Horwood

Attendance: 5,503 (away 926)