Cambridge United grabbed a commendable away point against Cheltenham Town in a 1-1 draw at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Paul Lewis’ 26th minute goal in an excellent first half display from the U’s, was cancelled out by a Will Boyle header early in the second period as United extended their unbeaten Sky Bet League Two run to three games.
United named a pair of changes as Dan Jones returned at left back with Harry Darling missing through illness and Samir Carruthers making his first start since returning from injury in place of Liam O’Neil.
Dimitar Mitov was called into action twice inside the first minute, but found both Alex Addai’s and Ryan Broom’s low shots comfortable to save low at his feet.
United dictated much of the opening quarter of the game, with Samir Carruthers in particular commanding play from central midfield for the U’s. They initially only had Sam Smith’s tame effort from 20 yards to show for their work, which Cheltenham keeper Scott Finders stopped with ease in the centre of his goal.
The first clear opening came at the other end when Ryan Broom got the better of Paul Lewis and his effort across goal was almost turned in by Addai, which fortunately for United squirmed wide on 25 minutes.
Colin Calderwood’s men quickly grabbed the opener a minute later, with Lewis beating Flinders to a sublime Knoyle cross to leave the keeper flailing as he directed the ball into the vacant net from eight yards out.
United were unlucky not to make it two ten minutes before the break when a top class forward ball from Carruthers sent Lewis clean through again, where the midfielder took a touch and got his shot away only for Flinders to somehow make contact to divert the effort wide by the smallest of margins.
They pushed the Robins right up to half time, with Sam Smith close to getting a toe on a loose back pass before the striker did test Flinders again with a bouncing effort from 25 yards, as the U’s closed out a positive opening 45 minutes that had frustrated the home support.
Cheltenham looked to work the ball into the United area in the early stages of the second half, but Mitov was sharply down to his right to pounce on a mis-hit shot by Reuben Reid. Jacob Greaves missed a guilt-edged chance for the Robins as the left back volleyed wide from an unmarked position of the end of a deep free kick.
However, the hosts looked to be carrying a far greater threat in the opening stages of the second half than they had for the entirety of the first, and soon levelled. Will Boyle moved into a dangerous position eight yards out on 52 minutes to meet a cross from the U’s right and power a header past Mitov.
The U’s got their foot back on the ball to take the sting out of Cheltenham’s momentum and the game sat perfectly in the balance right up to 70 minute mark. Colin Calderwood introduced fresh legs in Liam O’Neil and Jack Roles as United went in search of a winner in the final 20 minutes.
Reggie Lambe was not far away when the Bermudan cracked a half volley that had Flinders stranded but is clattered the advertising hoardings rather than the net in front of the travelling away support. It proved to be as close as either side came in Gloucestershire.
Cheltenham Town: Flinders, Long, Tozer, Raglan, Clements, Reid (Smith, 73 mins), Broom, Boyle, Addai (Debayo, 88 mins), Doyle-Hayes, Greaves (Sheaf, 67 mins)
Cambridge United: Mitov, Knoyle, Ward, Taylor, Jones, Carruthers (69 min), Lambe, Hannant (O’Neil, 69 mins), Lewis, Knibbs, Smith (Dallas, 82 mins)
Bookings: Ward, Lambe
Attendance: 2,813 (192)