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Match Reports

Report: Cambridge United 1-1 Northampton Town

9 March 2024

Match Reports

Report: Cambridge United 1-1 Northampton Town

9 March 2024

The points were shared during Garry Monk’s first game in charge of Cambridge United as a 1-1 draw was played out with Northampton Town at the Cledara Abbey Stadium…

A well-worked move concluded by Elias Kachunga during the early proceedings handed the U’s the opener, but they were unable to kick on as the match progressed, with the visitors growing and eventually claiming a point apiece late on through Jon Guthrie’s header.

The former top-flight gaffer’s first task at the helm was to arrest the slide by cancelling out United’s four-game losing streak and in turn make ground from the relegation pack. In their way, a local Cobblers outfit who, prior to Tuesday’s heavy defeat – their first loss in five – had been in fine fettle and were on course for a top-half finish.

The new Head Coach’s first decision was to name two changes from the XI that fell to defeat at high-flying Bolton Wanderers a week earlier. Opting to tinker with formation, Jordan Cousins returned to the holding midfield role in the absence of George Thomas, whereas Lyle Taylor was restored following his three-match suspension as Sullay Kaikai dropped to the bench.

With a fresh chance to stake a claim, anticipation was in the air around the ground and there was a nice energy about United’s start – they were plugging away and looked committed in the tackle.

The opening opportunity fell to the way of the visitors on the 12th minute when Marc Leonard’s dangerous corner was matched by the head of full-back Patrick Brough, who clipped the near post.

A scintillating move was concluded with the opener for United just a few minutes later. Instinctive link-up play between Liam Bennett and Jack Lankester down the right resulted in the latter laying it back to a looming Elias Kachunga, who lashed home from just outside of the six-yard box.

Unable to latch on the momentum built, the tempo remained calm from here. Importantly, the U’s were in firm control with their set-plays a particular standout.

Continuing to restrict a usually potent Cobblers attack, full-back Harvey Lintott showcased great skill to beat his man down the flank on 40 and cross into the danger area towards Kieron Bowie, but Jack Stevens was on hand to dive and collect before the loanee could pounce.

It was almost the perfect end to a very pleasing first half when, during additional time, Taylor beat the offside trap and crossed towards strike partner Kachunga, who leathered a venomous volley from a matter of yards out which was inches wide of Louie Moulden’s left post.

Out of the traps the hungrier side, Northampton continued to chase the game and enjoyed a good spell heading into the hour mark. They almost forced an equaliser on the 58th minute after a patient move ended with Tyreece Simpson teeing up Ben Fox from 20 yards, who drilled towards the opposite post, but dragged it wide.

Jon Brady’s men grabbed their first shot on target of the afternoon on 65 when Bowie picked his spot from range with a curler which Stevens held assuringly.  

During this time, Monk had introduced Kaikai and Macauley Bonne to the fold to help extend the advantage, but for the time being it was all about protecting it with Northampton camping them back.

A sweet delivery down the left from Brough on 73 required an important sweep over the crossbar from Danny Andrew, before Louis Appere’s powerful header two minutes later was goal bound but again caught by Stevens. United needed to dig in from here to preserve the slender lead.

The Cobblers conjured up the equaliser ten minutes from time when Leonard’s pinpoint free-kick was met by Guthrie at the right moment, who got in front to head into the net to set up a tricky conclusion.

On the verge of nine additional minutes being revealed, a defensive mishap almost resulted in Appere delivering a deadly blow as he raced to a loose ball, but Stevens cradled it to deny.

Following that, neither side looked like garnering a late winner as the clock runned down, with United importantly adding another point towards their Sky Bet League One tally.

A short turnaround sees the U’s now divert their attention towards Tuesday night (12th March) as they make the trip to Sincil Bank to do battle with Lincoln City – be sure to back the boys.


Cambridge United: Stevens, L. Bennett, R. Bennett, Morrison, Andrew, Lankester (Kaikai, 61’), Digby, Cousins, Brophy, Kachunga (Bonne, 68’), Taylor

Subs Not Used: Mannion, Ibsen Rossi, May, Gibbons, Njoku

Goalscorers: Kachunga (16’)

Bookings: Digby


Northampton Town: Moulden, Lintott (Dyche, 84’), Guthrie, Moore, Brough, Fox (McWilliams, 68’), Sowerby (Hondermarck, 84’), Hoskins (Springett, 68’), Leonard, Simpson (Appere, 63’), Bowie

Subs Not Used: Dadge, Monthe

Goalscorers: Guthrie (82’)



Referee: Declan Bourne

Attendance: 6942 (1089 away fans)

Man of the Match: Kachunga

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