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Match Reports

Match Report: U's earn first ever win at Fratton Park

18 September 2021

For the first time in Cambridge United history, Cambridge United beat Portsmouth at Fratton Park…

Joe Ironside’s header, and an incredible strike from Liam O’Neil earned The U’s all three points against Portsmouth.

Mark Bonner named two changes to his U’s side ahead of their trip to Portsmouth, with Wes Hoolahan dropping out of the side after picking up a slight knock last weekend, replaced by Adam May who made his Fratton Park return for the first time since joining The U's from Pompey last summer.

James Brophy also returned to the side in place of Sam Smith, who dropped down to the bench. 

The defence remained unchanged for the fifth league game running, with loanee Conor Masterson keeping his place in the heart of the United defence, with Jubril Okedina remaining on The U's bench.

United found their greatest success in the first half down Portsmouth’s left, with Wiliams and Tracey linking up on numerous occasions. The U’s best chance of the early proceedings fell to Liam O’Neil in the 11th minute, who was found well by Shilow Tracey on the edge of the Pompey area – however, the midfielder’s shot fell straight into the grateful arms of Gavin Bazunu.

Both sided continued to cancel one another out as the first half progressed, with neither side really testing the opposition ‘keeper.

Despite soaking up pressure as the first half concluded, The U’s found themselves in front after George Williams’ excellent delivery was met by the head of Joe Ironside in the 38th minute – sparking pandemonium in the U’s away end.

It got even better for The U’s in the 69th minute, with Liam O’Neil producing a wonder strike to double United’s lead. Adam May’s corner evaded advancing U’s heads, before felling nicely for the midfielder to volley home into the top corner.

Seconds later, Adam May forced an excellent diving save out of Gavin Bazunu – with United looking for the killer third.

Mark Bonner turned to the United bench for the first time following O’Neil’s strike, bringing on Sam Smith in place of goal scorer Joe Ironside.

Ronan Curtis set up a nervy finish for The U’s, with Ronan Curtis capitalising on Shilow Tracey’s failed clearance, expertly finishing into the far corner on the half volley.

Harrison Dunk was introduced with five minutes left to play, coming on for Shilow Tracey – who had caused the Pompey defence problems all afternoon.

Despite Portsmouth going close on a number of occasions, United survived the seven minutes of added time to seal their third win of the season.

Following today’s excellent win, United turn their attentions to the Papa John’s Trophy, as they welcome Tottenham Hotshpur U21’s to The Abbey.

Cambridge United Starting XI: Mitov, Williams, Iredale, Digby, Jones, Brophy, O'Neil, Ironside (Smith, 74’), Tracey (Dunk, 85’), May, Masterson

Bench: Kai McKenzie-Lyle, Smith, Dunk, Okedina, Weir, Lankester, Knibbs

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