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U's show their stuff in Ipswich pre-season win

22 July 2023

Club News

U's show their stuff in Ipswich pre-season win

22 July 2023

Cambridge United bolstered their preparations for the 2023/24 season with a well-earned 2-1 victory over Ipswich Town at the Abbey Stadium...

Despite becoming undone within a matter of minutes through full-back Leif Davis, the U’s started to gain control over Kieran McKenna’s men and equalised through Saikou Janneh on the half an hour mark. Their efforts were rewarded in the last minute when skipper Michael Morrison volleyed home to secure the victory and conclude a positive workout.

Becoming familiar with a bedded group, Mark Bonner opted with just two changes to the side that dispatched St Albans City a week earlier – Jubril Okedina replaced Liam Bennett in the full-back positions with Fejiri Okenabirhie making way for Saikou Janneh.

A devastating start saw the Tractor Boys pounce early when Chelsea loanee Omari Hutchinson beat his man down the right and delivered a looping cross towards a lurking Leif Davis who pounced home from the edge of the penalty area.

Going through the motions, United’s defensive resolve continued to be tested, with livewire Hutchinson curling an attempt that landed inches wide of Jack Stevens’ right post on the 8th minute.

Moments after Jack Lankester drove through his old employers and won a free kick, Blues loanee Gassan Ahadme’s endeavour helped pick out Janneh who, from 15 yards, blasted a drilled shot wide of goal.

Growing by the minute, the hosts claimed an equaliser on the eve of the half an hour mark when Janneh latched onto the space down the left, cut inside and pulled the trigger – finding the fortune of deflecting off Cameron Burgess, dipping over Vaclav Hladky and landing in the net.

Purring, the Gambian was celebrating his brace for a brief second on 35 when he darted an excellent close-range header home from Okedina’s peach of a cross, but the linesman had his flag raised for offside.

All in all, United had concluded the half with a sense of control – a promising reaction and response from a shaky introduction.

Seconds after the interval, Ahadme tested Hladky with a header from a matter of yards, but the Czech international was on hand to catch. The striker had been a really useful focal point throughout, with his bursts of energy causing problems.

Two minutes later, Conor Chaplin’s killer through ball released Marcus Harness, who composed himself and struck, but couldn’t pass a determined Stevens who was brave and got down low.

On 51, a super combination of play resulted in Lankester racing forwards and picking out Janneh to his left, but the winger couldn’t keep it down as it rose over the crossbar.

Thriving in the number 10 role and enjoying the freedom to roam, Lankester sparked the next clear cut chance on the 65th minute by picking out Ahadme who was the last man, but he was unable to build up steam as the Town defence tracked back to make the tackle.

With quarter of an hour left, the U’s had made up to six substitutions altogether and looked to finish with a nice bit of authority whilst keeping their Championship opponents at bay.

They did just that by sparking jubilation in the dying embers when a scramble inside the penalty area resulted in Morrison stabbing home a half volley past Hladky in front of the Newmarket Road End to ramp up their pre-season momentum.

Next up, United take on League Two outfit Gillingham behind closed doors on Tuesday (25th July) in their penultimate friendly before the hard graft of the season gets underway.


Cambridge United: Stevens, Okedina (L. Bennett, 61), R. Bennett, Morrison, Dunk (Andrew, 61), Digby, Thomas (Simper, 72), Brophy (McConnell, 78), Lankester (Yearn, 78), Janneh (Okenabirhie, 61), Ahadme (Trialist, 78)

Subs Not Used: Holden, Sandiford, Hoddle

Goalscorers: Janneh (28’), Morrison (89’)



Ipswich Town: Hladky, Carr (H. Barbrook, 75), Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis (F. Barbrook, 86), Evans, Luongo (Ayinde, 56), Hutchinson (Morgan, 75), Chaplin, Harness, Ladapo

Subs Not Used: Hayes

Goalscorers: Davis (2’)

Bookings: Chaplin


Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 2936 (517 away fans)


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