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Cambridge United 2-2 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 16th Oct 2021 17:01

Joe Ironside scored an 88th-minute leveller as Cambridge United came from two goals behind to draw 2-2 with the Blues at the Abbey Stadium. Town looked to be coasting to victory after Sone Aluko had netted on 10 and 36, his first Blues goals, but James Brophy pulled one back for the U’s before half-time and the home side completed a deserved comeback when Ironside headed home two minutes from the end.

Aluko and former Cambridge loanee Idris El Mizouni came into the Town team for Wes Burns, who dropped to the bench alongside Bersant Celina, who was back from international duty having missed last week’s 2-1 home win against Shrewsbury, and Lee Evans, who had presumably picked up a knock.

Aluko started on the right wing with Tunisian international El Mizouni in central midfield alongside skipper Sam Morsy. Town were otherwise unchanged from the team which beat the Shrews.

Cambridge were captained by former Blue Paul Digby but Jack Lankester missed out having picked up a knock in training.

One-time Town trialist Shilow Tracey and Wes Hoolahan returned to the Cambridge XI with Liam O'Neil the other player to drop out.

The Blues started brightly and in only the second minute Macauley Bonne was sent away down the left by Morsy. The striker’s angle was too tight to hit a shot so he cut back to Conor Chaplin, who blazed his effort well over.

Less than a minute later, the former Barnsley man curled another shot not too far wide after good work on the right from Aluko.

Cambridge attacked for the first time on five, George Williams hitting a strike which Matt Penney blocked.

Aluko had looked Town’s main danger in the early stages and in the 10th minute Nigerian international put the Blues in front with his first goal for the club.

Cameron Burgess headed clear and Aluko nipped in to take the bouncing ball away from the hesitant Conor Masterson before deftly lobbing home keeper Dimitar Mitov from the edge of the box.

Four minutes later, Town threatened again, Penney crossing low from the left but Mitov reached it ahead of Bonne.

On 22 Penney crossed from the left again and Chaplin turned a shot well wide when he will feel he should have done better.

Town continued to control the game, often looking to get it forward very quickly. Just before the half hour, Aluko crossed from the right to Bonne at the near post but Mitov saved the striker’s header.

On 31 Morsy shot wide following a Town break after a Cambridge attack had broken down.

Two minutes later, Mitov slipped when trying to cut inside Chaplin when miles out of his area. His poor clearance fell to Aluko well inside his own half but this time the ex-Reading man’s attempt at goal skewed well away from the target.

The Blues pressure continued, Chaplin making a clever run into space down the right before crossing low for Bonne, who tried to work space before hitting a shot which deflected out for a corner.

And from the resultant 36th-minute flag-kick, Town doubled their lead with Aluko again the man finding the target.

The corner came over from the right, George Edmundson’s header hit the post and the ball landed at the feet of Aluko, who slotted home off keeper Mitov from a few feet.

A minute later, Chaplin was booked for kicking the ball away after the referee had already blown his whistle, which seemed a harsh yellow card.

It had been all Town but in the 40th minute the home side pulled a goal back out of nothing.

As so often having scored this season, the Blues were guilty of switching off and Tracey found Brophy in the area on the left in loads of space from where he struck a shot which beat Vaclav Hladky, a spectator up to that point, hit the underside of the bar and crossed the line.

Aluko went looking for his third of the afternoon, hitting a shot from a tight angle on the right of the area which was deflected behind and moments before the whistle, Burgess headed away a Cambridge corner.

Town had been completely dominant and looked to be coasting to victory at 2-0 up via Aluko’s two goals. The first was a great finish reminiscent of Finidi George’s goal against Sunderland in the 2001/02 Premier League season, while the second was a predatory finish from close range.

From there, the Blues ought to have seen the half out but again allowed the opposition to get back into the game with a poor goal at a time when Cambridge were looking a well-beaten side.

Cambridge created the first chance of the second half in the 50th minute and it was a decent one.

Ironside chasing a Lloyd Jones ball down the right channel and got in behind Burgess before hitting a shot which the advancing Hladky did well to stop with his legs.

Two minutes later, Morsy brought the ball in from the Town left but scraped his shot wide.

Town began to take control again and Bonne and Aluko got in one another’s way after Chaplin crossed low from the left having been played in by Fraser.

Just after the hour mark Aluko turned a low ball back from the right to El Mizouni but the Paris-born midfielder’s shot was blocked.

The Blues spent a spell playing keep-ball in the Cambridge half. Chaplin was just unable to get enough on a Penney cross from the left, then in the 64th minute Edmundson turned an El Mizouni ball in from the right weakly to Mitov.

Town swapped Aluko, who was warmly applauded off by the Blues’ travelling support, for Burns in the 69th minute.

The Blues’ performance drifted again as the game moved into its final 20 minutes and on 74 Brophy crossed from the left and Williams headed into the side-netting at the far post. As Hladky prepared to take the goal-kick, Town swapped Chaplin, who had put in another lively display, for Celina.

Cambridge should have levelled in the 81st minute after a dreadful mix-up between Hladky and Edmundson. The keeper appeared to call and came to punch but Edmundson either didn’t hear the Czech or ignored him and headed weakly to Brophy beyond the far post from where, fortunately for the Blues, the winger looped his volleyed effort well over. On 83, Town swapped Fraser for Kyle Edwards.

What should have been a game which was over before half-time was coming to a nervy end with the home side pushing for an equaliser in the closing minutes and Town showing little going forward. And in the 88th minute the second Cambridge goal came.

Jones’s looping header sent a left-sided corner back across the box and Ironside nodded home from close range.

Having levelled the home side were on the front foot going into four minutes of added-on time but neither side were able to create a serious chance and the home fans cheered the final whistle having secured a draw which looked hugely unlikely after the Blues had gone into a 2-0 lead.

But this Town side has shown on too many occasions this season that they can wilt in games and that was once again the case.

Having conceded the goal just before half-time, the U’s were given something to cling on to in the second half and after the Blues were unable to add to their lead while on top, the home side put Town under pressure in the latter stages and should have scored even prior to Ironside’s goal.

A disappointing afternoon for the 2,513 travelling Blues who made the trip to the Abbey Stadium - where Town are still to win a league game - after it had started with such promise.

The result sees Town drop to 15th ahead of Tuesday’s trip to manager Paul Cook’s former club Portsmouth.

Cambridge: Mitov, Williams, Iredale, Digby, Jones, Brophy (Knibbs 85), Ironside, Hoolahan, Tracey (Smith 77), Masterson. Unused: McKenzie-Lyle, Dunk, Okedina, Weir, Worman.

Town: Hladky, Donacien, Edmundson, Burgess, Penney, Morsy (c), El Mizouni, Aluko (Burns 69), Fraser (Edwards 83), Chaplin (Celina 75), Bonne. Unused: Holy, Harper, Jackson, Nsiala. Referee: Leigh Doughty (Lancashire). 7,944 (Town: 2,513).

Photo: Pagepix

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therein61 added 17:02 - Oct 16
2 more valuable points given away no excuses.

confederateblue added 17:03 - Oct 16
Great away point in the local Derby. Remember, we’re still gelling m, if we had have gelled by now we could have even got a derby win!

Anyone who doesn’t think we’re nailed on for a mid table finish this year needs to give their heads a wobble.

Uppa Towen!

Tufty added 17:04 - Oct 16
Three point outside the relegation zone - just saying

Northstandveteran added 17:04 - Oct 16
Currently sporting my,

"Not in the least bit surprised" face.

How disappointingly predictable.

Still, at least it can't get any worse.......

TimmyH added 17:05 - Oct 16
Very poor not to win this game, 36 minutes in 2-0 up and cruising and within minutes they get a goal back from's happening too often in games this season.

We won't be going anywhere this season until we sort out the shaky defence and goalkeeper position.

tractorboybig added 17:06 - Oct 16
embarrassing, but the norm for a clueless manager...still we await his bull£""t response

Pezzer added 17:06 - Oct 16
This team seems to be lacking real character when the going gets tough.

barrystedmunds added 17:06 - Oct 16
It just is not happening!! We are a mediocre team in a mediocre league with a mediocre manager and how its going we’ll be here for quite some time.

BromleyBloo added 17:07 - Oct 16

Gave it away………again!?! Aluko and Edmundson good, but Mick Mills suggests the defence - strong on the right with Ed and Don, but weaker on the right with Burgess and Pennie. Also subs all attacking when may be we needed to stand strong and close out the game??? Also dodgy keeper performance from Hlad by the sounds of things???

Keep working, but time to be catching up, not missing chances like this…………..!


blueboy1981 added 17:07 - Oct 16
Whatever is wrong with this lot ???
Just cannot defend a lead - 0-2 up should have been a dead cert’ 3 Points … !!!
NO excuses please from anyone - a few ‘with a pair’ needed in that Team, sooner rather than later.

RobITFC added 17:07 - Oct 16
PATHETITC - Serious questions have to be asked about players mentality, once again we dominate the 1st half get ourselves in the lead and just throw it away and don't seem to have any fight or passion!!

Orraman added 17:07 - Oct 16
Desperately defending a one goal lead against constant Cambridge pressure and what does clueless Cook do? Put on a flair player like Edwards!!! Surely the correct move was to bring on Toto Nsiala to add steel and height to the defence to see it out. Cook you have not got a clue. Do us all a favour and go for we are obviously getting nowhere under your idiotic management. The league is settling down now and we are struggling to keep our heads above water at the wrong end

bluesince76 added 17:08 - Oct 16
Cook out he's not good enough to take this club where we need to be no more excuses has been here longer then any other manager was given considering results.

Northstandveteran added 17:08 - Oct 16
Oh wait a minute.......

Sudbury in the cup draw tomorrow?

A nice deflating local derby defeat to another non league team would probably suck any remaining positive blood from my system.

planetblue_2011 added 17:09 - Oct 16
Just not good enough the whole club needs to sort it self out!!
The players don’t have the fight like other teams in league 1 & I was saying this with the players from last season. We have a totally different team & it’s still the same with these players.
Not gonna waist my breathe anymore….

Westy added 17:09 - Oct 16
Ahhhhh. Why do I think to concede a late goal and through away two points was almost inevitable. What a missed chance to go up to 11th and only 3 points from the play-offs.

ButchersBrokenNose added 17:09 - Oct 16
The first half was some of the best football we have played all season. But, once they got their goal, you knew it was going to be a nervy second half. Until we learn some resilience and discipline, we won't get anywhere above mid-table this season and deservedly so.

Another two points thrown away. Very poor.

mightyhorse added 17:10 - Oct 16
A draw with Cambridge. Let that sink in. No more excuses, no more hoping it will get better. Cook has to go now. Enough is enough. 2-0 up and drew FFS. Get Cook out now.

matthewwylds added 17:10 - Oct 16

GatesofDelirium added 17:11 - Oct 16
Utterly predictable final 20 minutes. The opposition know that our defensive weakness is high balls in the box. Cambridge had 7 players in the penalty box for the corner when they equalized. Apart from Donacien, Burgess and Edmondson who is going to win the aerial ball? With a one goal lead away from home, bring on Piggott and Nsiala with 20 minutes to go - the game by-passed Edwards and Celina when they cam on. We have to shore up the defence before the siege.
Impressive first half but all that good work seems wasted when we can't defend route one football.

backwaywhen added 17:11 - Oct 16
Very soft underbelly against battling teams …. It’s a mindset unfortunately.

DifferentGravy added 17:12 - Oct 16
Totally agree with Mick Mills. When you are under intense pressure you have to win the battle first and turn the tide. Making changes by putting on extra attacking players who are not going to track back, be physical or win balls in the air...... just invited Cambridge on and it was a matter of time. Hdlacky really needs some serious coaching on balls into the box. Some bright moments first half but such a shame to come away with only a point.

JCBLUE added 17:13 - Oct 16
That’s simply not good enough

DaGremloid added 17:13 - Oct 16
You know where the door is, Mr Cook. Please use it.

midastouch added 17:13 - Oct 16
We came, we scored, we surrendered! :-(

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