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Match Reports

Report: Cambridge United 0-1 Peterborough United

24 February 2024

Match Reports

Report: Cambridge United 0-1 Peterborough United

24 February 2024

Cambridge United were unable to claim any points from the Cambridgeshire Derby as they were edged out 0-1 by Peterborough United at the Cledara Abbey Stadium…

The U’s remained resolute to deal with a lively attack throughout the encounter, but a curler from Ephron Mason-Clark early in the second half proved to be the difference as the hosts succumbed to back-to-back defeats in the third tier.

Under the tutelage of Barry Corr, United approached the heavily-anticipated encounter with three defeats from four, so eyed up getting one over their rivals by securing an instant return to winning ways. As for Posh, they had a trip to Wembley to look forward to following their EFL Trophy exploits, but in the bread and butter had lost four on the bounce.

In response to the slender defeat to Bolton Wanderers, the Interim Head Coach opted to name three changes to the XI as James Gibbons, George Thomas and Jack Lankester all returned to the fold.

A deafening atmosphere awaited the sets of players as they walked out, with both sets of fans pumped up and ready to attack from the first whistle.

The opening chance arrived on the 3rd minute when Kwame Poku wriggled his way towards the penalty area before firing a drilled attempt that was handled firmly by Jack Stevens.

Lively with the press, a weak back pass presented Joel Randall with the chance to intercept and tee up an unmarked Malik Mothersille across the face of goal, but Stevens was there to dive and importantly prevent.

In spite of the chances, the U’s early application had been good. Winning the physical battle, pressuring from the front and restricting wherever possible, there was little complaints.

Their first opportunity fell on the 24th minute when Sullay Kaikai jinked his way down the right and crossed into Lankester who, with his back to goal, managed to flick it on target from close range but it was claimed by Jed Steer.

The tide was starting to turn in Posh’s favour half an hour in, with their crosses into the mixer causing havoc at every attempt. Nonetheless, the U’s had cleared their lines at every attempt.

On 34, the visitors almost broke deadlock when Poku nicked possession and played Mothersille into space, who as soon as he pulled the trigger was closed down by Ryan Bennett’s crucial block, which put the forward off as he side-footed wide of the post from a tight position.

A few minutes later, they went even closer after turning on the gas in the final third in the flick of a switch, with Randall advancing and pulling back for Archie Collins, who unleashed a curler which clipped the roof of the crossbar.

After seeing off a flurry of scares, it was United’s turn to probe. A quick free-kick on 42 resulted in R. Bennett’s flicked header falling invitingly to Lankester from 20 yards, who unleashed with venom but it was prevented to Steer’s dive to his left.

A matter of seconds later, the U’s had the ball in the back of the net after Lankester’s powerful header floated over a sea of blue and towards Elias Kachunga who tapped home, only to be immediately cancelled out by the offside flag.

It proved to be the last action of a satisfying first period for the hosts, who had dug in and certainly not shied away.

First blood was drawn on the 54th minute in frustrating circumstances after Mason-Clark picked out a cross deep down the left, which caught the U’s out and was left by everyone as it creeped into the bottom corner.

In response, United gained more freedom to attack as Posh looked to keep things tight. With time running out, they needed to gamble and bring more men forward whenever they countered.

On 72, Posh had some excellent chances to put the game to bed as substitute Hector Kyprianou rattled against the crossbar after being fed by Mason-Clark, before Poku’s shot from the right was blocked by R. Bennett before it could hit the net.

Ten minutes from time, James Brophy performed a dribble and cut it to Lankester, who was clever and instinctive in dummying it to fall for Danny Andrew from 20 yards who cannoned it across the floor but it went agonisingly wide of the post.

Keeping his side in the contest, Stevens was on hand to deny Poku after the winger got on the end of a deep cross with an acrobatic attempt on the outskirts of the six-yard box.

Despite having six additional minutes, Corr’s men were unable to muster that killer moment when it mattered as they were forced into back-to-back defeats.

Up next, the U’s will look to bounce back as they travel to the Lamex Stadium on Tuesday evening (27th February) for the rearranged fixture against Stevenage – be sure to back the boys.

 

Cambridge United: Stevens, Gibbons (L. Bennett, 62’), R. Bennett (Okedina, 86’), Morrison, Andrew, Cousins (May, 75’), Thomas, Kaikai, Lankester, Brophy (Njoku, 86’), Kachunga (Bonne, 75’)

Subs Not Used: Mannion, Digby

Goalscorers:

Bookings: Lankester, Morrison, R. Bennett, Andrew

 

Peterborough United: Steer, Katongo, Knight, Edwards, Burrows, Fuchs (Kyprianou, 60’), Collins, Poku, Randall, Mason-Clark (Clarke-Harris, 85’), Mothersille (Jones, 59’)

Subs Not Used: Bilokapic, Crichlow, De Havilland, Olakigbe

Goalscorers: Mason-Clark (54’)

Bookings: Knight, Katongo

 

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 7710 (1473 away fans)

Man of the Match: Lankester


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