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Match Reports

Report: Barnsley 0-2 Cambridge United

29 March 2024

Match Reports

Report: Barnsley 0-2 Cambridge United

29 March 2024

Cambridge United returned to winning ways at Oakwell on Good Friday as Garry Monk’s men put aside their recent troubles to pull off a stirring upset and reignite the team’s season…

An early own goal from the hosts set United on their way, before Ahadme came off the bench to double the U’s advantage in the closing stages of the content. The result is the first victory under Garry Monk and means United continue to control their destiny in the fight for League One survival.

Garry Monk named three changes from the team that fell to defeat at Reading last time out, as Mamadou Jobe came in for his full league debut in place of the injured Michael Morrison, whilst Will Mannion and Sullay Kaikai replaced Jack Stevens and Elias Kachunga, respectively.

The U’s Head Coach also opted for a change of shape, as United lined up with five across the back for the first time under Monk – Jobe, R. Bennett and Andrew the three centre-backs with Gibbons and L.Bennett as wing backs.

Although United got off to a composed start to proceedings – keeping the ball well and limited the home side to very little in the final third, it was Barnsley who had the first big chance of the game, a well worked move ended with Cadden firing wide from 10 yards out.

Three minutes later though, the U’s took the lead through the more bizarre circumstances, as Barnsley defender De Gevigney tried to pass the ball back to his goalkeeper, Roberts, but inadvertently found the net. A moment of fortune but one that United have been crying out for in recent times.

It looked like United had doubled their lead on 32 minutes, as Ryan Bennett headed home from inside a congested six-yard box, only to see the referee half proceedings for a foul against the U’s. The disallowed goal came just moments before a well saved free-kick from Danny Andrew – a potentially pivotal period of play.

The moment almost came back to bite the men in Amber and Black just minutes later, as McAtee somehow hit the woodwork from just a few yards out.

Barnsley’s pressure continued to grow as the half approached, and Mannion proved his worth with a fine stop to deny Phillips on the 45th minute.

There would be one more chance for Monk’s men to extend their lead, as Brophy lead a counter-attack up the pitch, resulting in Kaikai getting off a deflected shot that flew just wide of the post.

Just two minutes into the second half, Taylor had a golden opportunity to get on the scoresheet, as he was slipped through on goal by Gibbons, but Barnsley defended the chance well and closed the striker down quickly, which lead to a difficult shot on the stretch which was easily gathered by Roberts.

It would be Taylor’s last action of the game however, as he was forced off with injury soon after, allowing Ahadme to enter the action on 52 minutes.

With the home crowd growing all the more frustrated, United seemed to thrive on playing spoiler as they aimed to pull off a big upset away at promotion contenders. Half chances for the home side came and went, but the U’s continued to work hard, harry and play when they could.

United stayed patient, knowing that more chances would come their way, but when it did with 25 minutes to go, Kaikai blazed over the bar after Brophy lofted the ball over the defender for him to run onto.

The second goal came soon after though, as Ahadme played the role of super sub to perfection, powering home a superb header off Andews’ brilliant delivery.

After the final whistle blew, the United supporters gave the players and staff a rousing reception as they left the pitch, which was reciprocated back to the fans, with both knowing that they would need each other if the Club are to achieve their goals from these last seven games of the season.

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