Following successive cup victories, attentions now turn back to League One as the U’s prepare for a trip to Lincoln City…
Harvey Knibbs’ second half brace made it two wins in two for the U’s, as well as setting up a final eight Papa John’s Trophy tie against Rotherham United on the 25th January (7pm).
The forward slotted into the bottom corner from the edge of the Pompey area five minutes after the restart before Wes Hoolahan excellently picked out the former Villain in the six-yard-box to double the U’s lead just nine minutes after. Michael Jacobs did pull a goal back for the visitors, setting up a tense finish, however United were able to hold out to preserve their 100% cup record while playing at the Abbey Stadium this season.
Cambridge United form: LLDWW
Prior to Tuesday’s outing, Mark Bonner’s men sealed a historic 1-0 win over Newcastle United in the U’s previous outing on Saturday, with Joe Ironside scoring the game’s only goal in the 52nd minute after Harvey Knibbs’ strike was saved, only for the ball to fall to the striker, who on the turn, fired home to send the 5,000 raiders from Cambridgeshire into raptures at St. James’ Park.
Saturday’s Sincil Bank clash will see the U’s return to League One action for the first time since Portsmouth and United played out an entertaining 0-0 draw on the turn of the new year.
Successive wins over Sunderland and Oxford United have eased growing relegation fears in Lincolnshire, however, Michael Appleton’s side sit just two points above the bottom four going into Saturday’s clash. Although – they boast a game in hand over sides around them.
Lincoln City form: DLLWW
Chris Maguire’s treble, against former club Sunderland, saw Michael Appleton’s Imps make it two wins in four days, having downed Oxford United thr weekend prior thanks to goals from Anthony Scully and new signing Morgan Whittaker either side of the half time whistle
Key Player: Chris Maguire
The forward, who has been deployed across the front three this season has contributed to four goals and two assists in the Imps’ last four outings in League One. Most recently scoring all three of Lincoln’s goals against former club Sunderland.
Down Memory Lane:
U’s fans will have certainly pushed memories of their side’s last outing against the Imps to the back of their mind, having witnessed United fall to a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Michael Appleton’s side, after Anthony Scully’s brace, coupled with goals from Hakeeb Adelakun, Conor McGrandles and Lewis Forini condemned the U’s to defeat at the Abbey Stadium at the start of September.
It’s certainly a tale of ‘less said the better’ when it comes to The U’s recent Football League history against Lincoln, with Saturday’s visitors boasting a 27-year unbeaten record against The Amber and Black Army in matched played in the top four tiers of English Football.
A crowd of just 2,472 attended a wintery Abbey in December 1995 to witness Tommy Taylor’s U’s last victory over Lincoln City. With Cambridge United only tasting victory over the last 50 years on eight of the 38 occasions both sides have battled it out.
Outside of the Football League, The U's have tasted victory against Lincoln as recently as 2013, where Luke Berry bagged in a 1-0 win for United en route to Conference promotion.
More recently, despite Jabo Ibrehe’s strike midway through the first half giving The U’s the lead, it wouldn’t prove to be enough as Neal Eardley and John Akinde responded to send Lincoln six-points clear at the top of League Two.
U’s Head Coach Mark Bonner believes Lincoln City’s current league position is a false one: “Their league position is probably a false one. We saw first-hand the level of quality within their team when they came to us earlier in the season, they have a lot of creativity and goals in their squad.
“They have had some injuries to key players, and on very few occasions have they been able to get their best eleven on the pitch, apart from our game!
“They have made a couple of good signings and are starting to look strong, they had two excellent results in the last two games against Oxford and Sunderland so, they are certainly going into this weekend in really good form.”
Andrew Kitchen will head up Tuesday’s clash at the Abbey Stadium, alongside Paul Graham and Mark Jones,who have been appointed as his assistants. David Hunt will watch from the side-lines as fourth official.
How to Watch:
Advance tickets are now off sale for Saturday’s match at Lincoln City, with 600 tickets being sold. Matchday sales are card only from the visitor’s ticket window at the Club Store, where collections can also be picked up.
If you can't make it to the game, listen to the action live on iFollow.
International U’s will be able stream the action live with an iFollow Match Pass. Match Passes cost £10 and are available to purchase by clicking here.
The best way to stream the match is by doing so via the EFL iFollow App but please note, the App is only for streaming and supporters can't purchase their Match Passes through the application.