Cambridge United undone by Gillingham in Sky Bet League One
Cambridge United suffered a 2-0 defeat to Gillingham in Sky Bet League One at the Abbey.
Goals in either half by Vadaine Oliver and Danny Lloyd did the damage to the U's on a night where they struggled to impose their game on the visitors.
There was an early scare for United in the third minute.
Rhys Bennett got up high to win a header under the challenge of keeper Dimi Mitov and full-back George Williams was forced to clear off the line.
George Williams was forced to clear off the line.
The best United had to offer in the first 20 minutes was a hurried attempt by Sam Smith from the edge of the area which went over the bar.
It got worse in the 26th minute as John Akinde won the flick on and Oliver capitalised on some hesistancy in the U's defence to beat Mitov with a flicked effort from an angle.
The goal came at a time when United were just starting to get on top, so they had to rebuild to go again.
They went close to drawing level in the 38th minute when Paul Digby's glancing flicked header from Shilow Tracey's cross had to be pushed out at full length by Gillingham keeper Jamie Cumming.
There was a bright start to the second half for the U's, and there was almost an equaliser just three minutes in.
A cross from the left by Jack Iredale was met with a looping header by Smith that was dipping underneath the bar before Cumming produced a brilliant fingertip save to turn it over for a corner.
United had strong claims for a penalty in the 54th minute.
James Brophy picked up a cleared corner in the box, and attempted to take on defender Rhys Bennett but went over under the challenge. The U's players were adamant they should have been awarded a penalty, but referee James Bell waved away the appeals.
There was a sucker punch for United on the hour.
Lloyd seized on a loose ball and charged into the area before unleashing an unstoppable drive past Mitov at the near post to make it 2-0.
It took time for United to have another attempt at goal, and that was in the 72nd minute when Smith fired wide from outside the area.
Play swung up the other end, and Alex MacDonald had a fierce strike kept out by Mitov.
Apart from a long-range effort from Conor Masterson that was easily held by Cumming and a late effort from Jack Lankester, there was little else of note for United and as the rain lashed down, it proved to be a real dampener on the hosts' hopes of adding a further victory to their collection.
They are next back in action away at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday (October 2).
Cambridge United: Mitov, Williams, Jones, Masterson, Iredale, Digby, O'Neil, Tracey, Brophy, Ironside.
Substitutes: Lankester (Brophy, 66), May (Digby, 77), Weir (Smith, 76). Not used: Dunk, McKenzie-Lyle, Okedina, Knibbs.
Gillingham: Cumming, Tutonda, Ehmer, MacDonald, Dempsey, McKenzie, Akinde, Adshead, Lloyd, Bennett, Oliver.
Substitutes: Kelman (Oliver, 63). Not used: Lee, Reeves, Chapman, Sithole, Akehurst.
Referee: James Bell.
Bookings: Gillingham - Tutonda (foul, 19), Ehmer (foul, 23).
Attendance: 4.109 (away 326).