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Match Reports

Report: Cambridge United 0-3 Lincoln City

28 November 2023

Match Reports

Report: Cambridge United 0-3 Lincoln City

28 November 2023

Cambridge United were dealt a 0-3 defeat by Lincoln City in their latest Sky Bet League One tie at the Abbey Stadium…

A bright start from the visiting Imps saw them draw first blood through Daniel Mandroiu’s penalty, before Dylan Duffy doubled the advantage shortly after the half an hour mark. The U’s were unable to muster a response to the setback and fell victim to a third late in the evening when substitute Jack Vale sealed the victory.

After suffering back-to-back league defeats for just the second time this campaign, the U’s were out to spark a response by stretching their positive home form of just one defeat from seven. In their way, an Imps side who sat on the outskirts of the play-offs despite claiming victory once from their previous six.

In response to the defeat at Northampton Town three days earlier, Mark Bonner freshened up his XI by naming five changes. Jubril Okedina earned his second league start of the campaign, with George Thomas, Elias Kachunga and Sullay Kaikai drafted into the midfield and Gassan Ahadme being introduced to the attacking ranks.

Obtaining the 4-2-3-1 formation, the new-look U’s attack started in the ascendency, with marauding full-back Liam Bennett driving down the right and pulling the trigger from an inviting position on the 3rd minute, which was claimed well by a diving Lukas Jensen.

City soon imposed themselves by crafting a well-worked opportunity a few minutes later when Jack Burroughs and Alistair Smith combined down the right, with the latter floating a precise ball to an unmarked Duffy from 12 yards, whose tame effort was blocked by Jack Stevens.

Deadlock was broken on the 15th minute when referee David Rock pointed to the spot after Duffy was tripped in the penalty area by Jordan Cousins, prompting Mandroui to send Stevens the wrong way and emphatically convert.

In response, United enjoyed their spells in possession and were moving the ball progressively, but not creating anything clear cut and at the same time leaving themselves exposed at the back, with Ethan Hamilton exploiting on the half an hour mark with a lung-busting run, before cutting inside and drilling a speculative effort towards Stevens.

The Imps gained their second of the evening in the following attack after a corner was cleared towards Duffy on the edge of the area, who fired an attempt which kindly deflected into the top corner.

Riding on a wave, Michael Skubala’s men poured forwards and cut open the U’s defence frequently, with a long-range attempt on the 34th minute, which drew a strong save from Stevens, being their last chance of a half where they had been in control.

As for the hosts, it had been far from ideal. They had been inventive in spells, but not in consistent fashion and without any real bite.

Although vying for a way back into the game, United needed to be patient with their build-up play. L. Bennett picked out a strong delivery on 62 with Ahadme ready to bounce near the 12 yard box, but Lincoln cleared their lines well.

The double substitution of wingers James Brophy and Glenn McConnell a couple of minutes later immediately gave the side more impetus and trickery, which was shortly followed by Adam May and Jack Lankester.

The first pairing combined well inside the area on the 77th minute, with the Academy graduate blasting over Jensen’s crossbar from an angle.

Plugging away, United created their best moment of the match on 82 when Brophy’s deep cross landed to a free Lankester, who from a matter of yards headed at Jensen. The ball was won back, where L. Bennett teed up May whose 20-yarder crucially deflected wide of the post.

The U’s were undone and it was game over on the 84th minute when Paudie O’Connor got a delicate flick on a corner, which kindly fell to Vale who was on hand to poke home and make sure of the points to consign Bonner’s men to a third straight defeat for the first time in 2023/24.

Attention now turns to Emirates FA Cup action here at CB5 on Saturday afternoon (2nd December) as the U’s look to dispatch Fleetwood Town and book their place in the Third Round – be sure to back the boys.


Cambridge United: Stevens, L. Bennett, Okedina, Morrison, Andrew (Lankester, 74’), Cousins, Thomas (May, 74’), Kachunga (Brophy, 64’), Okenabirhie (Gordon, 84’), Kaikai (McConnell, 64’), Ahadme

Subs Not Used: Mannion, R. Bennett


Bookings: Ahadme, Cousins


Lincoln City: Jensen, Mitchell, Jackson, Eyoma (Shodipo, 90+1’), Burroughs, Smith (Adelakun, 46’), Erhahon, Duffy (Brown, 63’), Hamilton, Mandroiu (O’Connor, 75’), Makama (Vale, 75’)

Subs Not Used: Wright, Okewoye

Goalscorers: Mandroiu (15’), Duffy (31’), Vale (84’)

Bookings: Vale, Mitchell


Referee: David Rock

Attendance: 5103 (358 away fans)


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