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Match Reports

U's turn it around to snatch victory at Morecambe

24 September 2022

Cambridge United earned a well-deserved three points on the road as they came back from behind to beat Morecambe at the Mazuma Stadium…

After falling behind in the first half to Jensen Weir’s goal, United didn’t allow their heads to drop at any point in the contest and got their rewards with Lankester’s leveller and Knibbs’ late winner.

Mark Bonner made four changes from the U’s last league outing as Jack Lankester, Zeno Ibsen Rossi, Adam May and Joe Ironside joined the starting XI in place of Harvey Knibbs, Jubril Okedina, Liam O'Neil and Shilow Tracey.

Despite starting the game in the ascendency and with the home side pinned back, it was the Shrimps who took an early lead through former U’s loanee Jensen Weir. With United caught short at the back, Weir took the ball past lone covering defender Brophy before firing into the bottom corner of the near-post.

Not disheartened by the set-back, Cambridge continued to probe for goal and Smith had two good sights of goal within the space of a minute around the 20 minute mark, as the forward latched onto a Digby cross but shot straight at the goalkeeper, before taking aim from 20 yards but was again denied by Ripley.

All the territory was in the Morecambe third and ten minutes later, United finally made it count after a patient attacking with, through Lankester’s expert first-time finish to turn Dunk’s pass into the back of the net.

The boys in blue pushed for a go-ahead goal throughout the remaining quarter of an hour before the half, without creating any real chances of note.

Buoyed by the leveller, Bonner’s side continued to play with confidence when the teams returned from the break, but a couple of dangerous moments flashed across the face of goal within the first five minutes of the half as Morecambe reminded the U’s of their own threats.

Williams was the first United man to have a sight of goal in the second half, as Ironside’s dirty work up against the Morecambe backline saw the ball spill out to the right-back but despite hitting it hard and clean, Ripley was able to get down and make the stop.

Smith saw a golden opportunity to put the U’s ahead moments later, as he did brilliantly to take down May’s pass, heading it past the on-rushing Ripley before firing it into the side netting from the narrowest of angles.

The chances kept on coming but Morecambe were proving resilient opponents. Adam May saw a deflected effort fly just wide of the post on the hour mark before Lankester jinxed in and out of defenders before seeing the ball taken away from him just as he was about to take aim at goal.

Looking for a fresh spark, Bonner turned to the bench and brought on Tracey and Knibbs to replace Brophy and Lankester and with 10 minutes remaining, there were huge appeals for a United penalty as Ripley appeared to handle the ball outside of his area, but the referee waved away all protests as the game entered the closing stages.

Gibson got the home fans on their feet shortly after, as he let off a powerful strike from distance which sailed over the bar before making a dangerous run through the U’s defence before being denied by Mitov.

Then, with just a few minutes remaining, the substitutes made the difference as Tracey burst past his man towards the by-line, before cutting the ball back towards the penalty spot for Knibbs to rifle the ball past Ripley.

It was a comfortable end to proceedings as United managed the game well to pick up their first three points on the road this season

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