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Match Reports

Report: Shrewsbury Town 1-2 Cambridge United

3 February 2024

Match Reports

Report: Shrewsbury Town 1-2 Cambridge United

3 February 2024

Cambridge United secured their first victory on the road in Sky Bet League One since August as they battled to a clinical 1-2 comeback success against Shrewsbury Town at the Croud Meadow…

A thrilling start to proceedings saw Daniel Udoh draw first blood, only for opposite marksman Lyle Taylor to immediately level matters by finishing off a well-crafted counter. The perfect introduction to the second half saw the January signing grab his brace with another clinical finish, giving his side the impetus to dig in, frustrate the ten-man Shrews and stretch their unbeaten run to four matches.

Ahead of the meeting in Shropshire, the U’s had accumulated decent momentum, with back-to-back clean sheets a foundation to build upon as they looked to rekindle their goalscoring form against a Salop side who, under the returning Paul Hurst, sat a point and place above in the table and had gained momentum after breaking a turgid losing run last time out.

In response to the goalless draw against Burton Albion a week earlier, Neil Harris named the solitary change to his starting XI as Jack Lankester replaced James Brophy. Fresh from penning loan deals until the end of the season just a few days earlier, James Gibbons and Macauley Bonne started from the bench, as did the returning George Thomas who appeared in the squad for the first time since New Year’s Day.

Getting underway in positive fashion, the visitors conjured up the first attempt of the afternoon within the opening minute after Sullay Kaikai and Elias Kachunga combined inside the box, resulting in the latter invitingly finding Danny Andrew whose ambitious attempt kept rising as it cleared the crossbar.

Following a short stoppage in play owing to Morgan Feeney’s head injury, the U’s remained assertive and tested the reflexes of Marko Marosi after Paul Digby floated a teasing delivery towards the back post where a leaping Michael Morrison headed firmly but was ultimately denied.

United’s run without conceding was terminated on the 11th minute after Jordan Shipley received the ball down the left and swung into the six-yard box, where a lurking Udoh was there to meet it first and cleverly poke home with a deft touch.

Refusing to back down, Harris’ men responded with a rapid equaliser in their next attack. A well-worked counter crafted by the industrious Lankester, the playmaker won the ball in the middle of the park and teed up a battling Kachunga, who returned the favour down the flanks – a burst of pace and a delicious ball was pinpoint for a lunging Taylor, with the striker making no mistake from close-range.

Despite lacking further clear-cut chances, the game remained open from here. The probing U’s looked more of an inventive and creative outfit, with Taylor losing a physical battle and pleading for a penalty after racing onto Lankester’s over-the-top ball, before Liam Bennett’s deep 31st minute cross deceived Marosi and almost trickled to danger.

Two minutes prior to additional time, Kaikai embarked on a mazy run down the left, which resulted in play being recycled down the other end, only for the ball to find its way back to the winger, who beat his man with a silky turn in the area before pulling the trigger from an angle, which was crucially intercepted by Mal Benning’s sliding block.

Out of the blocks firing after the break, the U’s secured the turnaround within a matter of seconds when Kachunga raced down the left and exquisitely cut back to an unmarked Taylor, who showed excellent prowess to strike into the corner and celebrate in front of the travelling faithful.

Looking to respond, a corner from Tom Bayliss just shy of the hour mark was met by defender Feeney, who with his back to goal did well to flick a header but it went wide of Jack Stevens’ woodwork.

On the 62nd minute, it was United’s turn to force a chance when Digby tested his luck from outside of the Salop box, but the enforcer dragged it wide of Marosi’s right post.

Shortly after injecting fresh legs into his side in Thomas and Brophy, the U’s were forced to dig deep and protect their advantage in the 69th minute after Bloxham had space to drive into the penalty area and pull the trigger, but the no-nonsense Morrison blocked and secured a corner, which resulted in a proper scramble where Stevens was on hand to smother.

Enjoying a bright spell, the men in amber could have killed the game on 77 when Kaikai cut back to fellow winger Brophy, whose first time shot on target looked destined to rattle into the net but a miraculous block by Chey Dunkley denied it.

Bonne came on for his debut with the game reaching its latter stages, as did Zeno Ibsen Rossi as a stubborn United looked to finish strong. Late into injury time, Bloxham picked up a quickfire set of cards, prompting a smoother pathway to three vital points on the road.

A quick turnaround sees the U’s play again on Tuesday evening (6th February) as promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers make the journey down to the Cledara Abbey – be sure to back the boys.


Shrewsbury Town: Marosi, Winchester, Feeney (O’Brien, 78’), Dunkley, Pierre, Benning, Perry (Hinchy, 67’), Bayliss, Bloxham, Shipley, Udoh

Subs Not Used: Burgoyne, Sraha, Bennett, Idowu, Bowman

Goalscorers: Udoh (11’)

Bookings: Bloxham (Red), Pierre


Cambridge United: Stevens, L. Bennett, R. Bennett, Morrison, Andrew, Digby, Cousins, Kaikai (Ibsen Rossi, 90+1’), Kachunga (Brophy, 66’), Lankester (Thomas, 66’), Taylor (Bonne, 84’)

Subs Not Used: Mannion, May, Gibbons

Goalscorers: Taylor (13’, 46’)

Bookings: Thomas, L. Bennett


Referee: Craig Hicks

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