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Cambridge 0-2 Town
Cambridge 0-2 Town
Wednesday, 25th Jul 2012 21:37

Michael Chopra netted two goals at the Abbey Stadium for the second year running as Town beat Cambridge United 2-0. It was a much-improved display from the Blues with both goals coming in the second half.

New keeper Scott Loach started in goal with Aaron Cresswell at left-back, skipper Carlos Edwards at right-back and Luke Chambers and Damien Delaney at the centre of the defence.

In a midfield diamond, Massimo Luongo sat in front of the back four with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas behind strikers Jason Scotland and Michael Chopra with Andy Drury on the left and Ryan Stevenson on the right.

The first penalty area action of the game saw Cambridge keeper Jonathan Hedge spill a Cresswell cross from the left but fortunately for him not at the feet of a Town player.

The Blues started the game more brightly than the corresponding friendly a year ago when they were two goals down in the opening three minutes.

On 15 Town went close to opening the scoring when Scotland beat a defender down the right and cut the ball back to Chopra, whose shot was blocked by Blaine Hudson.

Five minutes later, Chopra curled a shot from the edge of the area which struck a defender.

On the half hour the impressive Luongo crossed for Chopra, home keeper Hedge grabbing the ball just ahead of the Blues striker.

In the 44th minute Tom Elliott escaped on the Town right and hit a shot which flew well past Scott Loach’s left post when he should either have hit the target or laid it across to the well-placed Adam Marriott in the centre.

Seconds before half-time, Emmanuel-Thomas cleverly won the ball midway inside the Cambridge half and sent Chopra through on goal. However, the striker slammed the ball at Hedge’s chest.

Despite the scores being level, the Blues had been much the better side with Loach a spectator aside from the Elliott shot towards the end of the half. Town, with new boy Luongo neat and tidy in the centre of midfield, had kept hold of the ball much better than they had in Holland and had created one or two opportunities.

The Blues began the second half on the front foot and in the 50th minute Drury crossed from the right and Delaney headed wide.

Two minutes later, Adriano Moke cut in from the Cambridge right but allowed the ball to run to Loach before he could cut it across the area.

Soon after, Emmanuel-Thomas made one of his trademark runs in from the right and hit a shot which Hedge held on to at the second attempt ahead of the sharp Scotland.

Chopra curled a shot to the home keeper with the Blues creating chances regularly and continuing to have most of the ball. On 58 Emmanuel-Thomas laid the ball back to Drury, whose shot was deflected wide.

Hudson did well to stop Chopra after Stevenson had played him in a minute later before Town switched Scotland for Lee Martin, back in action after his thigh injury.

After the change, the Blues took the corner short and Martin crossed to Chopra at the far post, the defender’s volley appearing to hit the keeper and then the post.

The Blues went in front in the 64th minute. Chopra, who scored twice in the corresponding friendly last season which ended 2-2, brought the ball in from the left, exchanged a one-two with Emmanuel-Thomas before beating the keeper with the ball catching Hudson on its way into the net.

Emmanuel-Thomas hammered a shot over moments after Byron Lawrence had replaced Stevenson.

Chopra made it his second brace at the Abbey Stadium in two years in the 81st minute when he ran on to an excellent Andy Drury pass, took the ball on the turn and deftly beat the keeper.

On 84 Drury shot powerfully wide, then double-goalscorer Chopra was replaced by Ainsley.

Two-goal hero Chopra continues to look sharp, while new loanee Luongo put in very promising display in central midfield, moving the ball around tidily and making the odd tackle. There was little sign that his first training session with his new team-mates had been on Tuesday.

Overall though, it was a much better team display than those in Holland – and in last year’s friendly against Cambridge - although against poorer opposition, with the Blues keeping hold of the ball far better and having the chances to have won more comfortably.

Cambridge United: Hedge, Jennings, Wellard, Elliott, Dunk, McAuley, Garner, Berry, Marriott, Moke, Hudson. Unused: Shaw, Norris, Jarvis, Eades, Brighton, Tait, Rodney, Willmott.

Town: Loach, Edwards, Cresswell, Chambers, Delaney, Luongo, Drury, Scotland (Martin 60), Emmanuel-Thomas, Chopra (Ainsley 85), Stevenson (Lawrence 69). Unused: Lee-Barrett, Hyam, Ainsley, Whight, Thorsteinsson. Ref: Alan Young. Att: 2184. (Town: 852).

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BROTHERBLUE1974 added 21:40 - Jul 25
Things are looking up then. 2 goals against Cambridge, look out Championship the Town are going up.

suffolkpunchdrunk added 21:42 - Jul 25
A win at last! Well done boys!

PeekFreans added 21:43 - Jul 25
All sounds good

pitseablue added 21:44 - Jul 25
Can't read to much into pre season games but......on and off the pitch it seems things are building slowly but surely !!!

Bleedingblue added 21:47 - Jul 25
Better than this time last season in the same fixture. Come on Jewell, give us some more transfer news in the after match press conference!

Michael11 added 21:49 - Jul 25
Probably poor opposition but can only be positive that chops is finding the net and gaining fitness and confidence!!

Gazelle added 21:50 - Jul 25
Clean sheet is what i like.

BROTHERBLUE1974 added 21:50 - Jul 25
Things are looking up then. 2 goals against Cambridge, look out Championship the Town are going up.

BROTHERBLUE1974 added 21:50 - Jul 25
Things are looking up then. 2 goals against Cambridge, look out Championship the Town are going up.

TractorBoy666 added 21:51 - Jul 25
Watching what was going on in the game on bet 365, we had 126 attacks! Haha not bad all.

Well done Chops, keep it up!!

Flip added 21:58 - Jul 25
fitness and sharpness is what counts in pre-season and Chops is finding the net which builds confidence no matter the opposition this is his season COYB

RobTheMonk added 21:58 - Jul 25

Is the Bristol Rovers game our first competitive game?

RetroBlue added 21:59 - Jul 25
...and any post match comment by Jewell regarding Cresswell ?

Keaneish added 21:59 - Jul 25
Interesting we never changed the back four given all the speculation.

TractorBeezer added 22:02 - Jul 25
Sounds like a reasonable run out. This is what I like to see:

Two-goal hero Chopra continues to look sharp, while new loanee Luongo put in very promising display in central midfield, moving the ball around tidily and making the odd tackle. There was little sign that his first training session with his new team-mates had been on Tuesday.

BYRNE_16 added 22:03 - Jul 25
Yes you man....

Mark added 22:17 - Jul 25
Two goals for Chopra, a clean sheet for Loach and a promising debut for Luongo...I'll take that.

Loach, Cresswell, Delaney, Chambers, Edwards...that could well be our first choice defence come the start of the season, with Smith not being here for the pre-season games and assuming Villa don't buy Cresswell!

DerehamBlue added 22:18 - Jul 25
Oh well, now got to wait till tomorrow for the after-match press conference, but good to hear on a good all-round exercise.

bluearmy4life added 22:40 - Jul 25
Not a bad starting 11 either. Well done Chops keep those goals coming!!

Daleyitfc added 22:50 - Jul 25
Hyam the next one to get the boot then : probably before the season starts for real. Jewell is simply the latest manager to have tunnel vision where players are concerned, and nothing will change that. He's just a moron.

CraigForrestGateau added 22:51 - Jul 25
Been told by an insider that the squad is the fittest its looked for years, esp chopra who apparently is looking like he's stepped up several gears and can't do anything wrong training wise, and JET app too.

Hope its true. COYB.

bluey360 added 22:57 - Jul 25
A source tonight has told me G.Friend has turned down middlesborough n Notts Forest n is signing for us: I'd rather this b a good addition 2 the squad rather than Cresswell replacement I hope Aaron stays 3.5m is alot for a player we signing for under £500,000 last summer if Villa offer 6m then I can't see us turning that down unfortunately players come players leave interesting end of the week, with news about Davies who got left out by Derby tonight does that mean he is coming n Heskey aswell either way I support Ipswich tonight next week n 20 years time

afrodids added 23:14 - Jul 25
sounds like a good run out for the boys and plenty of positives glad to here the young spurs lad had a good game and chops bang on form. with a few more additions to the squad this season looks promising. tbh 1st time in years i've been this excited about a coming season. It would be a shame to lose cressy however Leeds( a bigger club) look likely to lose snodgrass to the scum for less than villa appear to be offering so all in all 3.5 mil is good business altho I'd rather he stay and lambert 0121! bluey360 I hope ur sources are good fella. get behind the boys can't wait for west ham on the 4th. COYB onwards and upwards

ChrisMakin2012 added 23:26 - Jul 25
bye bye Cresswell hello Friend (you heard it here first)

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 23:37 - Jul 25
daleyitfc - so u have managed to turn a story about a good pre-season win , with an impressive display by the player keeping Hyam out of the side, into a dig at PJ.
Well i guess if anyone is qualified to judge who is a moron, its you.

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