Conor Chaplin goal sees Cambridge United beaten by Portsmouth
U's suffer home defeat
Cambridge United were subjected to a smash-and-grab raid by Portsmouth at the Cambs Glass Stadium this afternoon.
The U’s were the dominant force, but their inability to test Pompey keeper David Forde proved costly in Sky Bet League Two.
And Portsmouth weathered more than 30 minutes with 10 men after Amine Linganzi was shown a straight red card to head back to the south coast with all three points thanks to Conor Chaplin’s first-half header.
United had been the superior team in the first half, but that final ball in the box was their main downfall.
Uche Ikpeazu was a willing runner for the U’s and was proving to be quite a handful for centre-back Christian Burgess, but any 50-50 calls in the tussles were going the way of the Pompey defender.
There was some neat and intricate build-up play, but rather than getting in behind the defence or dragging them out and into the channels, the crosses into the area were failing to trouble the visitors.
Max Clark had a shot from the edge of the box easily held by Ford, while Adam McGurk’s acrobatic effort from the edge of the area went wide.
And then, from a long hopeful ball into the box, Chaplin peeled off the shoulder of Leon Legge and got in front of Brad Halliday to send a looping header back across keeper Will Norris and into the back of the net.
The goal was Portsmouth’s first meaningful attempt, and minutes later, Kyle Bennett had a good chance from the edge of the box that Norris was more than equal to.
It was then United back on top for the rest of the half, but they had very little to show for their possession.
The U’s started the second half brightly, and when a cross was cleared to the edge of the area, Clark pulled his effort wide.
Another ball into the box created mayhem for Portsmouth, and Ben Williamson took his time for the ball to settle, but then his shot across goal from inside the six-yard box went narrowly wide.
United then received something of a boost as Linganzi was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Conor Newton as both players went in for a loose ball.
But they were not able to make the extra man tell as Portsmouth got men behind the ball to defend their lead.
United were throwing crosses into the box but that was playing into the hands of Burgess and Matt Clarke, who seemed at home with anything in the air.
And it ended with disappointment for the U’s.
Cambridge United: Norris, Halliday, Legge, Roberts, Taylor, Mingoia, Clark, Dunne, Dunk, McGurk, Ikpeazu.
Substitutes: Williamson (McGurk, 32), Newton (Clark, 58), Pigott (Halliday, 83). Not used: Gregory, Coulson, Long, Gosling, .
Portsmouth: Forde, Stevens, Clarke, Burgess, Baker, Doyle, Roberts, Chaplin, Bennett, Linganzi, Evans.
Substitutes: Rose (Bennett, 62), (Chaplin, 62), Davies (Roberts, 90+2). Not used: O’Brien, Smith, Lalkovic, Hunt Buxton.
Referee: Ross Joyce.
Bookings: Cambridge United – Dunne (dissent, 25), Halliday (foul, 80), Ikpeazu (foul, 85); Portsmouth – Stevens (unsporting behaviour, 77), Hunt (foul, 90+1), Roberts (unsporting behaviour, 90+2).
Red card: Portsmouth – Linganzi (reckless challenge, 61).