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Match Reports

Simper strike earns U's Trophy win

18 October 2022

Cambridge United concluded their Papa John’s Trophy campaign in 3rd position with a hard-earned 1-0 victory against ten-man Ipswich Town at the Abbey Stadium...

An early red card from Kyle Edwards handed the U’s an advantage that they would capitalise on late in the second half as Academy prospect Lewis Simper rifled home his first goal in amber and black to seal the points against the table-toppers.

Owing to a stacked injury list containing key figures, Bonner was forced to freshen up his squad as he named eight changes from the XI that fell to a 0-2 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday three days earlier, with Greg Taylor, George Williams and James Brophy keeping their places. Elsewhere, Ben Worman made his first start of the season, one of five in the squad to come out of the Academy.

Camped back from the get go, the Tractor Boys forged the opening chance within the opening minute when Kayden Jackson squared to Tyreece John-Jules, who viciously blazed straight towards the gloves of Will Mannion.

On the 16th minute, just moments after receiving a yellow card for a dangerous high tackle, Edwards was handed his marching orders after referee Thomas Parsons noticed simulation in the corner of the box.

Enjoying their one-man advantage, the U’s gradually gained a foothold on the clash. Liam O’Neil’s delightful pass on 24 forced a neat spell of possession in the final third, which resulted in a sweet long-range strike from Worman which Vaclav Hladky claimed.

Jack Lankester’s inswinging free-kick on the half an hour mark posed problems for his former club, but Hladky did well to claim the danger. Although there was nothing to separate the sides up to that point, the Czech anticipated a busier rest of the evening than his counterpart.

Moments before the break, Lankester poked the ball to Fejiri Okenabirhie, who beat the offside trap and attempted an audacious curler from 20 yards which sailed over the crossbar.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the visitors showcased their intent to take something from the game in the second period, deploying four substitutes and enjoying their large periods on the ball.

On the eve of the hour mark, United battered the opportunities, going agonisingly close to drawing first blood on numerous attempts. An astute block from Richard Keogh helped deny Lankester, who had pulled the trigger towards a glaring goal.

With their tails up, they continued to pour forwards. On 63, Saikou Janneh forced an astute save from Hladky before Lankester, in the follow up, clattered the crossbar from distance. From here, Brophy and substitute Harvey Knibbs forked out attempts on target.

The breakthrough finally arrived on the 77th minute when Simper rifled home his first goal in black and amber. After the ball fell convincingly to him from 25 yards, the youngster drilled a piledriver against the post and in to spark jubilation.

It was a lead the hosts showed no signs of surrendering, as they bowed out of the competition with their heads held high after a hard-earned victory that provides them with momentum.

Up next, the Abbey plays host for a third consecutive on Saturday (22nd October) as newcomers Port Vale make the trip in what is set to be a key Sky Bet League One match – be sure to back the boys.


Cambridge United: Mannion, Okedina, Taylor, Ibsen Rossi, Williams (Knibbs, 65), O’Neil (Simper, 45), Worman, Brophy, Lankester, Janneh (Smith, 76), Okenabirhie

Subs Not Used: Holden, Cowling, Jobe, McConnell

Goalscorers: Simper (76)

Bookings: Taylor, Brophy


Ipswich Town: Hladky, Agbaje (Armin, 86), Woolfenden (Edmundson, 45), Keogh, Vincent-Young, Evans (Camara, 45), Humphreys, Edwards, Chirewa, John-Jules (Ladapo, 45), Jackson (Burns, 45)

Subs Not Used: Hayes, Chaplin


Bookings: Edwards (RED), Woolfenden, Chirewa


Referee: Thomas Kirk

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