Cambridge United won 3-1 at St Albans City in the first friendly of the summer that supporters could attend…
Goals from Harrison Dunk, Brandon Njoku and Saikou Janneh did the job for United, who continued their pre-season preparations with another strong performance.
The big news coming out of the squad ahead of kick-off was the fact that Michael Morrison was named Club Captain – taking over from the departed Greg Taylor - and he led the starting XI of Stevens, Bennett, Digby, Morrison, Bennett, Brophy, Thomas, Okenabirhie, Lankester, Dunk and Ahadme in St Albans.
The U’s looked sharp from the off, dictating play and applying pressure to the Saints defence during the early goings and it took only 13 minutes for United to open the scoring – Harrison Dunk picking up from his goalscoring heroics at the end of last season, heading in from Thomas’ corner.
United’s dominance began to wane as the half went on and warning signs were there when Trialist A forced Stevens into his first save of the game on 30 minutes, with a decent low strike from the outside of the box.
The same trialist drew St Albans level just five minutes later, as he snuck in at the back-post to turn in his teammates cross which caught the U’s out.
Eager to get back ahead, the lively Lankester saw his second sight of goal of the game denied by a committed defensive block and some patient play by the U’s was nearly rewarded on the stroke of half-time, when Bennett was released down the right, but his cut-back was well defended to send the teams into the break all square.
During the interval the heavens opened and Clarence Park was subject to an almighty downpour which continued when the teams got back underway.
The starting XI only played for a further 15 minutes before wholesale changes were made, as Holden, Sandiford, Scales, Okedina, Janneh, Njoku, Simper, Yearn, Trialist, Caskey-Evans and Hoddle came on for the final half an hour.
United’s youngsters performed admirably against their more experienced opposition and came the width of the crossbar away from taking the lead when Sandiford’s cross/shot caught out the goalkeeper and came off the woodwork.
The U’s trialist tested the St Albans stopper with a powerful effort on 75 minutes as the chances began to pile up. Soon after, Brandon Njoku fired home with a well-struck right footed shot to retake the lead and then Janneh cleaned up from a few yards out after Yearn’s effort from the edge of the box was parried into his path.
The game finished 3-1 and it was another good days work for Mark Bonner’s squad, with Ipswich Town next up back at the Abbey in a week's time.