Home   Sport   Article

Subscribe Now

Cambridge United lose winning home record during Sky Bet League One defeat to 10-man Barnsley





Cambridge United saw their winning start to the new Sky Bet League One season at the Abbey Stadium ended by a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Barnsley yesterday afternoon.

The U’s created some good chances throughout the 90 minutes but it was a lesson in clinical finishing from the Tykes, who were reduced to 10 men when they were only a goal to the good.

Devante Cole – son of former Manchester United and England striker Andrew – broke the deadlock in the 24th minute with a low finish before Barnsley’s Liam Kitching was handed his marching orders for a second bookable offence midway through the second half.

Cambridge United striker Sam Smith in action during the 3-0 defeat to Barnsley on September 17. Picture: Simon Lankester
Cambridge United striker Sam Smith in action during the 3-0 defeat to Barnsley on September 17. Picture: Simon Lankester

However, United were unable to make the most of their numerical advantage and it was one of their former players – Robbie Cundy – who doubled the away team’s lead in the 76th minute, with the scoring completed in stoppage time by substitute James Norwood.

Reflecting on the performance, United head coach Mark Bonner told the club’s YouTube channel: “I thought we started the game well and I thought we were really unfortunate to be behind at half-time.

“We were decent in the first half against a team that make it very difficult for you to create chances – we created some excellent ones.

Cambridge United winger James Brophy in action during the 3-0 defeat to Barnsley on September 17. Picture: Simon Lankester
Cambridge United winger James Brophy in action during the 3-0 defeat to Barnsley on September 17. Picture: Simon Lankester

“We shouldn’t really go in without scoring, we had some good moments we needed to turn in our favour because when you play the top teams you don’t get loads and loads of those chances so you have to make the most of them – we didn’t.

“However, you’re still bang in the game at 1-0. The goal is a bit fortunate, the spin on the ball diverts it into the place you didn’t want that puts them one on one. We finished the half strongly and reacted well to the goal.

“We started the second half brilliantly, had some really good intent but the momentum of the game massively got shifted by the injury to their goalkeeper. That took that little sting out of it for us.

“Then the red card happens and we make a couple of changes to go 4-4-2 and try and chase the game.

Cambridge United full-back Harrison Dunk in action during the 3-0 defeat to Barnsley on September 17. Picture: Simon Lankester
Cambridge United full-back Harrison Dunk in action during the 3-0 defeat to Barnsley on September 17. Picture: Simon Lankester

“It’s a really easy second goal for them and once you go to 2-0 it’s a more difficult game but I’ve just said to the players there’s still 25-30 minutes left in the game and we didn’t play like we believed we could get back into the game in that period.

“The third goal is a horrible goal. Once Norwood came on he caused us big problems and we just lost our way as the game went on.

“We have to respond better than that when the game goes behind us, but for 50 minutes you don’t expect it to end up looking like that, particularly when they have one sent off.

“But we said that at Portsmouth a few weeks ago – 60 minutes excellent and then the game run away from us. We have to learn that because when you play the best teams, it’s very difficult to get results when you don’t stick in it when it gets a little bit tough.

“That’s what we’ve built our team off in the past so we need to revisit that and make sure we’ve got the grit and the resilience and the work ethic to stick in games when they get difficult.”

Bonner also felt the way the game panned out highlighted the work that needs to be done to make United one of the division’s leading sides.

“There’s no-one in the ground that doesn’t get annoyed – the players get annoyed, we all get annoyed,” he added.

“But anger is a waste of time if you don’t do anything with it, it’s pointless being angry. Everyone is emotional, everyone in the stands can get emotional but that’s not my job. My job is to work out why and how and teach the players and help them get back on track to deal with those situations better because we usually are and we have been.

“But when you play the best sides it’s tough. We’re not at that level yet, we’re not at the level of those teams. We absolutely shouldn’t expect to be by the way, we’re going to have to graft to compete against the best teams and anyone in the ground that thinks we are at that level, that’s a reminder.

“The best teams are the best teams for a reason and we’ve got to work towards being one of those.

“Nine games in – four wins, four defeats and a draw. Decent enough start but there’s certainly lots of games and moments in games where we know we can do better and we want to be better than that.

“Hopefully we learn the lessons from the game but we don’t go away just seeing it as a learning lesson, we go away super frustrated the game turned into a game it didn’t look like being.”

United will look to bounce back on Tuesday when they travel to lower-league Northampton Town in the Papa John’s Trophy.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More