Cambridge United suffer defeat to Wycombe Wanderers
U's outside hopes of play-off place brought to an end on final day of the season
Cambridge United’s hopes of completing a final day push for the Sky Bet League Two play-offs were ended with a 1-0 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers.
But on the last day of the season, even a victory for the U’s would not have made a difference as Blackpool and Carlisle United both won to secure their places in the top seven.
It was an agricultural approach from Wycombe at the start of the game, bombarding and testing the United defence with long ball after long ball, and it almost had an immediate effect.
Leon Legge’s header was seized on by Scott Kashket, who lifted the ball over the onrushing Will Norris, but having done the hard part, he managed to place his shot wide of an open goal.
There was little respite for United as every time they lost possession, they could immediately anticipate a hoist forward, however, as the half wore on they dealt with the second ball better and better.
It was Wycombe though that went closest again to breaking the deadlock.
An error from Scott Wharton was again capitalised on by Kashket, but this time he tried to place his shot in the bottom corner, but Norris was more than equal to it.
When United got the ball on the deck, they posed a threat with their movement, however, they were just unable to get a clear sight on Jamal Blackman’s goal, apart from when Michael Harriman almost put through his own net after good work by George Maris.
The hosts made a lively start to the second half with Sido Jombati and Adebayo Akinfenwa heading wide and Sam Saunders seeing an effort pushed out by an unsighted Norris.
United were growing into the half, with Gerry McDonagh testing Blackman inside the area and they were looking like they may have some joy down the left through substitute Harrison Dunk.
But from a corner in the 63rd minute, Akinfenwa headed back across goal at the back post and an unmarked Kashket at the front post headed home.
The game became more open in the closing stages as United searched for an equaliser.
And the closest they came was a fierce shot just outside the six-yard box that was pushed away by the strong hands of Blackman.
It looked like the U’s had got the equaliser when Brad Halliday’s low cross from the right was met with a shot by Legge, but somehow Michael Harriman got back to brilliantly clear off the line.
However, Blackpool’s 3-1 win over Leyton Orient and Carlisle United’s 3-2 success at Exeter City meant the status quo was maintained in the play-off places.
Wycombe Wanderers: Blackman, Harriman, Jombati, Pierre, Jacobson, Bean, Bloomfield, Saunders, Weston, Akinfenwa, Kashket.
Substitutes: O’Nien (Bloomfield, 63), Cowan-Hall (Weston, 76), Thompson (Kashket, 89). Not used: Stewart, Thompson, Hayes, Southwell, Gape.
Cambridge United: Norris, Halliday, Wharton, Legge, Taylor, Mingoia, Dunne, Maris, Elito, Berry, McDonagh.
Substitutes: Dunk (Maris, 54), Williamson (Dunne, 64), Carroll (Wharton, 75). Not used: Gregory, Roberts, O’Neil, Newton.
Referee: Mark Heywood.
Bookings: Wycombe – Bean (foul, 69), Jombati (foul, 84), Cowan-Hall (foul, 90+4); United – Halliday (foul, 13), Taylor (dissent, 79).