Cambridge United fell to a strenuous 3-0 defeat against on song Sky Bet League One leaders Ipswich Town at Portman Road...
The U’s resistance remained stubborn throughout the first period, but they found themselves undone mid-way through the second half when Tyreece John-Jules broke the deadlock, before fellow substitute Kyle Edwards helped himself to a brace to secure maximum points for the Tractor Boys and consign the visitors to back-to-back defeats.
Warming up in front of a populous atmosphere, the visitors were out to re-enact the previous meeting in Suffolk and make an instant return to winning ways. Unsurprisingly, the ‘confident underdogs’ tag would need to be on show against one of the early pace-setters, who had been eye-catching and defensively sound under Kieran McKenna.
Following the defeat against Derby County three days earlier, Mark Bonner made four changes as he opted for a battling starting XI. Due to several injuries within the squad, Greg Taylor and Jubril Okedina returned to the defence, whereas James Brophy and Harvey Knibbs were drafted back to the attack.
Aiming to start ferociously, the hosts carved out the first opportunity five minutes in when Freddie Ladapo latched onto a through ball before cannoning at the near post which Dimitar Mitov was on hand to gather prior to the flag being raised.
In terms of United’s opening, Sam Smith had been the integral spearhead in the lone role. On 17, a mistake allowed Okedina to scamper into a central area – although he took time in pulling the trigger, when he did it lashed just over Christian Walton’s crossbar.
The physical start to proceedings had its chances dished up on the side, with Bonner’s men conjuring up their best attempt on the 27th minute when Brophy drilled a killer pass to Smith on the outskirts of the box, whose shot rose at the wrong time as it landed just wide. While the U’s attacks were limited, they had the energy about them and posed problems.
Quickfire attempts from the Tractor Boys on the half an hour mark saw handful Ladapo power a header just wide of Mitov’s left stick before another sweet Wes Burns delivery was picked out by Leif Davis, who turned a downward header past the other post.
From here, United rolled their sleeves up and remained resolute as their counterparts were continuously roared on. Undoubtedly the chance of the game landed on 40 when another pinpoint delivery from Burns fell to Chaplin at the back post who buried against the side netting.
Although the hosts had the possession, they couldn’t make it count in the first period. That was testament to the visitors’ grit to clear their lines and, to their credit, their industrial play on the break.
Following the interval, the men in amber remained committed, with Mitov assuringly collecting every cross which floated towards the box. The flurry of moments in the final third for Town remained, who looked the likeliest to break deadlock.
However, this dissolved slightly on the hour mark, with the U’s starting to enjoy a little more freedom to roam with their pace looking the likeliest attribute to generate an opportunity.
The Tractor Boys broke through on 71' when John-Jules latched onto Marcus Harness’ cross, adding venom from a matter of yards to thunder past a helpless Mitov.
Purring, the hosts killed the U’s off two minutes later when fellow substitute Edwards beat his man and whipped in a cross which travelled all the way in – undoing the travellers’ strong application.
Any hope of a dramatic fightback was diminished on 86 when a loose ball dropped to Edwards on the edge of the area who prodded into the bottom corner and complete the evening’s action.
Adamant to fight back, the U’s now hit the road again on Saturday (8th October) as they travel to the south west to take on newcomers Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium - be sure to grab your tickets and roar the boys on.
Ipswich Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Burns (Edwards, 66), Ball (Evans, 66), Morsy, Davis (Vincent-Young, 82), Chaplin (John-Jules, 66), Harness, Ladapo (Jackson, 78)
Subs Not Used: Hladky, Keogh
Goalscorers: John-Jules (72), Edwards (74, 86)
Cambridge United: Mitov, Okedina, Jones, Taylor, Williams, Digby, O’Neil (Lankester, 78), Knibbs, May, Brophy, Smith (Okenabirhie, 82)
Subs Not Used: Mannion, Ibsen Rossi, Janneh, Simper, Worman
Referee: Robert Lewis
Attendance: 26,414 (1,745 away fans)