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Cambridge United Women boss calls for supporters to cheer on U’s in bid to record semi-final victory over Barnsley

Manager Darren Marjoram is hoping that a big crowd packs into the Premier Plus Stadium to cheer his Cambridge United side on during this weekend’s semi-final.

The U’s will welcome Barnsley to their St Neots-based home on Sunday (25 February), with the winner advancing through to the final of the FA Women’s League Plate.

It is the furthest that United have ever gone in a national competition – and Marjoram is keen to see the run continue in front of as many supporters as possible.

Cambridge United Women will be in semi-final action this weekend. Picture: Ben Phillips
Cambridge United Women will be in semi-final action this weekend. Picture: Ben Phillips

He said: “This season when we’ve got people through the door and they’ve made a good noise with lots of singing, the players have said how much they noticed the support and the boost it gave them.

“You need fans in games, especially in the tough moments because there are always some of them. They can help to get you through those and also push you on when you’ve got the momentum.

“Barnsley have got a long way to travel and it would be great to surprise them a little bit with a big crowd.

Cambridge United manager Darren Marjoram. Picture: Ben Phillips
Cambridge United manager Darren Marjoram. Picture: Ben Phillips

“Hopefully the bigger the crowd the more it will inspire us to put in a good performance and the get the result.”

Equivalent-level Barnsley will be making the trip south having enjoyed a positive campaign so far. As well as reaching the last four of this tournament, they currently occupy the runner-up spot in the FA Women’s National League Division One North table and are three points behind league-leading Middlesbrough with two games in hand.

Marjoram added: “There’s a controlled buzz for the game and that’s among everybody – the players, the staff and the whole club.

“We’re going to have to be at our best to get the result we’re after because they’re having a really good season.

“I’m going to watch them play and we’ve got other bits of information on them as well, but a lot of it is down to what we do and how we implement our plans.”

But before United can switch their sole focus to Sunday, this evening (Wednesday) they will seek to put back-to-back Division One South East victories on the board when they play host to AFC Sudbury.

The visiting Yellows, who were promoted last term, have won only one of their 10 games and sit just one point above the relegation zone.

But having played out a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture back in September – as well as reflecting on their recent performances – Marjoram is taking nothing for granted.

“They’re a good side. They lost 4-2 against London Seaward and while that will not have been the result they wanted, they won the second half 2-0 after going four down,” he said.

“And against Chesham they were behind and ended up drawing 3-3, so this is a side that do not know when they’re beaten.

“It’s been a tough season for them at times but they’ve got a manager that knows what’s they’re doing. They’re a young and athletic side with plenty of potential.

“It will be a tough test and it’s down to us to try to impose ourselves on the game early on.

“Our focus has to be completely on the game and not on the weekend because Sudbury can hurt you if you’re not switched on.”

Having missed the last few games through injury, leading scorer Alysha Stojko-Down, who has found the back of the net on 12 occasions, recently returned to training and should be available for both matches.

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