Match Preview: Cambridge Utd vs Fleetwood Town

Cambridge United this weekend welcome Fleetwood Town to The Abbey having beaten Tottenham U21's on Tuesday...


Following Sam Smith’s glancing second half header, ensuring victory over Tottenham U21’s in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday, Mark Bonner’s men made it five wins from their last seven outings.

Cambridge United Form: WWLWW

The U’s last League One outing saw United end a 43-year wait for a victory over Portsmouth thanks to Joe Ironside’s towering header minutes before the conclusion of the first half, followed by a phenomenal second half volley from Liam O’Neil, and despite Ronan Curtis’ late strike setting up a nervy finale at Fratton Park – The U’s held on for all three points.

The Cod Army wouldn’t have been blamed for fearing the worst this season, after suffering three defeats in their opening three League One games. However, since the international break, Simon Grayson’s men have turned their fortunes around, picking up four points in their last two League One clashes against pre-season favourites Rotherham and Sunderland most recently, scoring six goals in the process.

Fleetwood Town Form: WDWWD

The story was so nearly not so pleasant for Fleetwood on Saturday if it had not of been for Gerard Garner’s 97th minute penalty saving a point, much to Sunderland manager Lee Johnson’s displeasure – with the Cod Army impressively battling back from two goals down.

Points in both earlier fixtures against Cheltenham Town and Plymouth Argyle mean Simon Grayson’s side sit three points above the drop zone in 17th, yet hold a game in hand over sides around them.

Down Memory Lane:

Fleetwood’s impressive rise throughout the 21st century means The U’s have only clashed with The Cod Army on just five occasions, with neither side being able to boast a better record – winning two games a piece.

The last time in which both sides battled out came at the very start of The U’s famous FA Cup run during the 14/15 season – a run in which Richard Money’s side would eventually be knocked out by Manchester United in a Fourth Round replay. Kwesi Appiah’s strike, ten minutes from the final whistle and just a minute after Jamie Proctor had been dismissed for the Cod Army following an off the ball incident with Richard Tait, was enough to set up a Second Round tie against Mansfield Town.

The U’s ended the Cod Army’s 29-game unbeaten run in the Conference Premier the last time the two sides clashed in a league game. With Rory McAuley’s double enough for victory over the already crowned champions Fleetwood Town in April 2012.

Quick Quotes:

U’s boss Mark Bonner is wary of the attacking threat Simon Grayson’s side carry ahead of Saturday: “They have a definite goal threat, to score four at Rotherham and then two against Sunderland, you know you are up against a team that have got real firepower. They [Fleetwood] have recruited well, Callum Morton is a real threat for them at the top of the pitch. The two Garner boys have done very well for them, certainly Joe Garner, signing at the back end of the window, an experienced player that is going to play a big part in their season.

“They tend to play more with a front two then some might in the division, so it will be a good challenge, an interesting one for us, but certainly a team that when you look at the games they have played – after not winning in their first three, against quite a lot of the top sides, or certainly the teams you perceive to be at the top end of the table. More recently, results have been excellent so for them to have three wins from the games they have had, similarly to us really – I think it has got the making of being a really good game.”

Full notes from Mark Bonner’s Pre-Fleetwood Press Conference can be found here.

Simon Grayson is looking to build on the belief shown in Fleetwood’s comeback against Sunderland as they gear up to face The U’s this weekend: “I’m pleased with the players’ attitude and performance. Our dressing room after the game was feeling like it was a win and Sunderland’s will have felt like a defeat because when you concede in the last minute that’s how it can be.

“We can take more belief from what we’ve done (in the last two games) because we’ve taken four points from two teams that will be pushing to be in the Championship next season.”

Match Officials:

Referee Paul Howard takes charge of his first U’s game since United’s memorable 3-0 win against Grimsby Town on the final day of last season in which Mark Bonner’s men secured their first promotion to the third tier in almost 2 decades.

Paul Howard’s last outing saw him head up Shrewsbury Town’s 3-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle last weekend – with three yellow cards being dished out.

The London based referee will be joined by assistants Garry Maskell and Stuart Butler, with Nicholas Cooper being appointed as fourth official.


The game will be FREE to watch for all NHS employees as a thank you for their hard work throughout this incredibly tough last year and a half.

Proof of NHS employment when visiting the Cambridge United Ticket Office is all that is required to secure your match ticket. Tickets must be used on the day by the employee redmeeming them - proof will be requested upon entry.

The clash kicks off at 3pm on Saturday 25th September with tickets available online, over the phone by calling 01223 566500 (option 1) or by visiting the Abbey Stadium Ticket Office on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Matchdays.

Save money by purchasing your tickets in-advance of the fixture, as all prices increase by £2 when buying in-person on the day of the game. Please view advance prices below:

Advance Match Ticket Prices

Newmarket Rd/North Habbin

Main Stand Family Enclosures

Main Stand Blocks B, E, F & AC 1, 2

Main Stand Blocks C & D











Under 18





Under 12





Wheelchair Disabled





Ambulant Disabled supporters in receipt of higher level disability living allowance pay their relevant age category with a Carer Free of Charge, whilst the Wheelchair Disabled price also included the admission of a Free Carer Ticket, if required.

*Concessions = Seniors (64+), Young Adults (18-23), Serving or Retired Armed Forces and Full-Time Students