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Cambridge United 1-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 29th Aug 2020 14:49

Former Blue Paul Digby’s second-half goal saw Cambridge United to a 1-0 victory over Town in their final pre-season friendly at the Abbey Stadium. Digby tapped home a rebound in the 56th minute after Paul Mullin had hit the post.

Striker Oli Hawkins made his first appearance in a Town shirt, the former Portsmouth frontman having been training on his own prior to joining the Blues just under a fortnight ago.

New keeper David Cornell was in goal with Janoi Donacien at right-back, youngster Tommy Smith on the left and Luke Woolfenden and James Wilson, making his first appearance of pre-season after a calf injury, the centre-halves.

In midfield, Emyr Huws was joined by Brett McGavin and Jon Nolan with Jack Lankester and Alan Judge on the right and left respectively either side of Hawkins up front.

Striker James Norwood was on the bench having not previously been involved in any of the Blues’ friendlies. Armando Dobra, Idris El Mizouni and Corrie Ndaba were also among the subs.

Kane Vincent-Young, who has been suffering with a minor thigh problem, Cole Skuse, who would have started but for a minor niggle, Kayden Jackson and Myles Kenlock (thigh) were all absent having not featured against West Ham in midweek. Former Blue Digby started for Cambridge in their midfield.

Skuse, Vincent-Young, Kenlock, Jackson, skipper Luke Chambers, Teddy Bishop, Stephen Ward, Freddie Sears, Aaron Drinan, Flynn Downes, Andre Dozzell, Toto Nsiala and Gwion Edwards, who picked up a groin problem against West Ham all watched from the stands.

Following a minute’s applause for Carol Looker, a long-time supporter and volunteer at Cambridge, the game got under way in steady rain and a breeze.

On six Hawkins made his height count as the Blues defended a number of corners in the sixth minute. From the third, Harry Darling headed over.

Three minutes later, Donacien blocked a Luke Hannant strike and the Blues were forced to defend another corner.

Town played themselves into bother in the 11th minute, Woolfenden’s ball to Smith following a throw-in falling short and Paul Mullin seizing on it, however, the U’s were unable to make anything of the opportunity.

The home side were having the better of the opening spell and but on 16 Huws saw a strike blocked. Four minutes later, Darling headed wide from another Cambridge corner.

The Blues were seeing more of the ball but without spending much time in the Cambridge final third. On 27, U’s skipper Greg Taylor reached a free-kick which had been sent in from the left but couldn’t divert it towards goal from a tight angle.

Cambridge had their best chance of the half in the 32nd minute following a long spell of Town possession which had ultimately gone nowhere. After the ball was lost, the home side broke quickly and Harvey Knibbs hit low across the face from the right but just in front of the sliding Liam O’Neil.

Town continued to see most of the ball but without creating an openng, while Cambridge didn’t threaten again until the 43rd minute when Knibbs saw a shot blocked.

A minute later, Nolan found Lankester in the area on the left. The academy product tried to trick his way into space to shoot but was eventually crowded out.

Moments later, the whistle ended a half in which the home side had been on top for the most part and had the best of the chances.

The Blues had struggled to get a foothold in the game with Cambridge having looked the more dangerous team in the early stages, winning a number of corners.

Town gradually started to get on top, passing the ball around at length at times but without creating anything until Lankester’s opportunity just before the break.

Cambridge keeper Dimi Mitov’s only involvement had been catching a couple of crosses in from the right.

The Blues had looked to use Hawkins’s aerial presence to get the ball forward quickly on one or two occasions but without too much success.

Town swapped Donacien and Hawkins for Ndaba and Norwood at the break. The young Irishman joined Woolfenden at the centre of the defence with Wilson going to right-back, while the striker took up his usual role up front.

With rain still falling steadily, the Blues began the half more brightly, playing the game further up the field.

On 50, Lankester sent in a corner from the right and Norwood met it with a stooping header which cannoned off the outside of Mitov’s left post.

The Blues had been the better side since the break but in the 56th minute they went behind.

Former Canary Wes Hoolahan cleared a Lankester corner from the right and Mullin broke quickly pacing past Smith, hardly the first time during pre-season Town have been caught on the counter-attack.

The former Morecambe man looked to have taken it too wide and his shot from the left hit the far post but ex-Blue Digby was on hand to slam in the rebound from six yards.

Dobra replaced McGavin on 64 with Judge moving into the centre with Cambridge coming thick and fast. Five minutes later, Idris El Mizouni, who was on loan with the U’s last season, replaced Nolan.

Town were seeing a lot of the ball but without going anywhere until Norwood was almost found by a ball through the middle, however Mitov was able to claim.

At the other end, Ndaba did well to take the ball off Andrew Dallas’s foot as the sub prepared to shoot when in space on the right of the area.

In the 74th minute Town switched keeper Cornell for Tomas Holy and Ben Folami for Lankester.

There was a scare for the Blues on 80 when Dickens hit a deflected shot across the face of the Town goal. From the resultant corner, Folami played the ball forward for Judge, who tried to catch Mitov off his line from halfway but shot well wide.

Town were showing little sign of being able to grab an equaliser with the League Two side pinning them back in their half of the field and appearing more likely to add a second.

On 85 El Mizouni shot wildly over, then Kyle Knoyle shot similarly too high for the home side.

Judge hit a shot from distance straight at Mitrov, which the keeper gathered at the second attempt as Norwood chased in after the loose ball. Just before the end, Wilson cleared a low Joe Ironside shot off the line.

Cambridge deserved their victory with the Blues only ever coming close to scoring via Norwood’s header against the post.

Having begun the second half brightly, they faded after conceding the goal. They subsequently had spells in control but without threatening, but also found themselves pegged back in their half for periods by a Cambridge side which made plenty of second-half substitutions.

Overall, a disappointing afternoon for the Blues, who would have been looking for a morale-boosting victory over League Two opposition ahead of next Saturday’s season opener against Bristol Rovers in the Carabao Cup at Portman Road.

Cambridge: Mitov, Knoyle, Iredale (Dunk 62), Digby (Simper 73), Taylor (c), Darling (Digby 73), Hannant (Neal 81), O’Neil (Trialist 62), Mullin (Dallas 66), Hoolahan (Knowles 62), Knibbs (Ironside 66). Subs: Trialist, Bennett.

Town: Cornell (Holy 74), Donacien (Ndaba 46), Woolfenden, Wilson, Smith, Huws, McGavin (Dobra 64), Nolan (El Mizouni 69), Lankester (Folami 74), Hawkins (Norwood 46), Judge. Referee: Alan Dale.

Photo: Matchday Images

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Counagoal added 14:55 - Aug 29
Realistically not a good result, but I would have thought only a few of these will be in our starting XI come the start of the season. Was feeling very optimistic for promotion but that is slowly dwindling along with my faith in Lambert.

Cloddyseedbed added 14:56 - Aug 29
Listened to the commentary and I'm, disappointed, but not surprised. A huge squad who the manager seems to be getting all players match fit and playing them anywhere just so they all get a little time. Sound familiar? Nothings changed from last year. Nothing learnt. This stage in the build up you need to be reckoning on building momentum and understanding ready for the start. Lambert does not know his best team, if he does the best players will be out injured. Sound familiar? This manager will not have a job come Christmas and the good start we were lucky enough to enjoy will not be forthcoming this season. Norwich by comparison are playing well and all teams doing well. Bitter pill to swallow!!

afcfee added 14:58 - Aug 29
Need a decent striker ASAP Norwood is a dosser

Esseeja added 14:59 - Aug 29
Is this the depression I should feel or the acceptance that I am willing to take, or is it neither and it's just reminiscence of the 6-0 against Charlton.

Nthsuffolkblue added 14:59 - Aug 29
Wasn't that ref in Robin Hood?

dirtydingusmagee added 15:02 - Aug 29
predictably nothing has changed , predictably we didnt deserve anything, I fear those chomping at the bit to get the season started will soon be wishing it hadnt .

Bluearmy_81 added 15:06 - Aug 29
Ffs Town fans stand up for your club and demand Evans out!! He's turned us into a joke club. Silence is complicity. Be proper fans and stand up for your club for the love of God!!

BlueandTruesince82 added 15:06 - Aug 29
I imagine Lambert is really pleased with how we played though so its all good.

Lambert out

BlueandTruesince82 added 15:06 - Aug 29
I imagine Lambert is really pleased with how we played though so its all good.

Lambert out

Len_Brennan added 15:09 - Aug 29
"The Blues were seeing more of the ball but without spending much time in the Cambridge final third" and "Town were seeing a lot of the ball but without going anywhere" are the 2 most concerning sentences in that report for me. I don't want to be looking at another season of match stats with 70% v 30% possession in our favour, but shots on goal stats of 4 v 13 against.

ringwoodblue added 15:12 - Aug 29
Beaten by a team that finished 16th in Lg2 last season, how depressing. Manager and players should be embarrassed and ashamed.

midastouch added 15:13 - Aug 29
Preseason isn't only about building fitness and match sharpness, it's also about building team confidence. As such, I don't really see how a poor result like this helps.

Bergholt_Blue added 15:14 - Aug 29
Oh I'm so excited for the season to start *sigh*

martin587 added 15:15 - Aug 29
It was only a kick about to get everybody match fit but what worries me is the fact we are not creating any chances.Next Saturday hopefully we will see a settled team and only then will we see what PL is made of.So I’m not unduly worried at the moment but only time will tell.

algarvefan added 15:16 - Aug 29
I'm just wondering what Lambert has achieved since coming to the club, when he arrived we could play 'pretty football' at times but with no end product, goals were always extremely hard to come by, has anything changed?

Lambert seems a nice guy but it's not enough to be a nice person, Sir Bobby was a nice guy but his teams would have died for him, this current lot on occasions cannot be arsed. We need someone with burning ambition who can manage and has good tactical knowledge, a man manager. The trouble is with no real budget nobody wants to take over what has now become a poisoned chalice!!!

Still lets hope once the season starts we can do better. The jury is out for me.

Mark added 15:18 - Aug 29
Losing to a strike from Paul Digby? You couldn't make it up.

chepstowblue added 15:19 - Aug 29
Only a friendly....yes! But I'd expect us to lose 1-0 to this quality of opposition if it were EFL trophy, League cup, FA cup or league encounter. These are the sort of performances and results that I've become accustomed to, and I don't bat an eyelid or see it as any sort of surprise anymore. Apart from a big stadium and a handful of talented youngsters there is nothing to set us apart from the other 47 clubs in the lower leagues.

ArnieM added 15:19 - Aug 29
Not looking good is it !

Icantbelieveyousaidt added 15:25 - Aug 29
Bluearmy_81 - You continually ask questions of those of us with differing views than your own. My I suggest that until you show respect for others, calm yourself down, stop name calling and using childlike behaviour, you are unlikely to get an answer to your question. You continually come across as a playground bully, devoid of any manners, commonsense and factually very incorrect.
Oh and 29th July 2017 we lost 6 - 1 at Charlton in a friendly. Then, as now panic set in among supporters. We had a good start to that season and finished above our Norfolk friends by the seasons end. Keep the faith and Bluearmy_81, try being a more tolerant, polite and understanding human being - it works every time...

dirtydingusmagee added 15:27 - Aug 29
We are going to get ripped to pieces this season ,no opposition team will be worried about playing us ,and rightly so Mid table finish will be tall ask .

Skip73 added 15:28 - Aug 29
Embarrassing, a relegation battle beckons.

arc added 15:35 - Aug 29
"Skuse, Vincent-Young, Kenlock, Jackson, skipper Luke Chambers, Teddy Bishop, Stephen Ward, Freddie Sears, Aaron Drinan, Flynn Downes, Andre Dozzell, Toto Nsiala and Gwion Edwards, who picked up a groin problem against West Ham all watched from the stands." Wow, that's quite a groin problem—it's felled 13 men! ;-)

Skip73 added 15:39 - Aug 29
Lambert Out!!

Nobbysnuts added 15:40 - Aug 29
Paul Digby???? Is it panto season already...... can this year get any worse..... unfortunately I think it will..... its going to be a long painful winter.💀

jonnysuave added 15:43 - Aug 29
So, nailed on starters for the coming season seem to be...



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