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Match Reports

Report: Cheltenham Town 1-0 Cambridge United

21 October 2023

Match Reports

Report: Cheltenham Town 1-0 Cambridge United

21 October 2023

Cambridge United fell to a 1-0 defeat at Cheltenham Town as the hosts registered their first win of the season...

After falling behind early to an audacious and brilliant Liam Sercombe effort, United failed to get back into the game despite their best efforts throughout the afternoon.

Mark Bonner named two changes to the side that drew against Shrewsbury a week prior, as Gassan Ahadme and Adam May came into the starting XI in place of Jack Lankester and John-Kymani Gordon.

For the first time this season, the U’s lined-up with two strikers, as Ahadme and Okenabirhie were paired together at the top of the pitch.

Cheltenham made a bright start to the contest, forcing Stevens into making a good save at his near post from point blank range. Indeed, in only their second attack of the game, the home side went ahead as Liam Sercombe’s lofted finish from outside the box nestled into the top left corner. Far from an ideal start to the game for United as the Robins gained confidence and belief from their fast start.

After going a goal to the good, Cheltenham were happy to let the U’s have much of the ball, and on the 16th minute, the strike partnership linked up well with Okenabirhie in-behind the defence following an Ahadme flick on, but his left footed finish was scuffed the wrong side of the post.

The front two linked up again around the half hour mark, with Gassan winning a free kick following a good ball into him from Okenabirhie, and whilst the resulting free-kick found Morrison free at the back-post, he couldn’t direct his header goal-bound.

As we approached the half, Digby found Okenahibire out on the left side who beats his man going outside, before firing a left footed shot at goal, where Southwood was there to save and gather.

Cheltenham almost doubled their lead right before the break, as a ball in from the right was glanced across the face of goal and just past the post, leaving the U’s trailing 1-0 at the break.

A strong start to the second half saw the U’s put early pressure on the Robin’s defence, with the first chance coming in the form of an Ahadme header which was caught well by Southwood.

Cheltenham’s attacking threat was largely thwarted throughout the second period, with the onus on United to take the initiative.

Gordon, Kaikai, Cousins, Janneh, Kyman-Gordon and Lankester all entered the fray in the second half, but the U’s were unable to muster any real clear-cut opportunities to level the score.

Stevens did well to tip a Street header over the bar with 20 minutes to go, and whilst the U’s were clearly desperate to find a route back, nothing stuck in the remaining minutes as the frustration on the pitch grew.

A disappointing afternoon for United and the travelling supporters, who have to lift themselves ahead of two games at the Abbey next week, starting against Portsmouth on Tuesday.

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