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Cambridge United continue poor run of Sky Bet League One form with defeat to Lincoln City at the Abbey Stadium





It is now one victory from 13 Sky Bet League One outings for Cambridge United after tonight’s 3-0 defeat to Lincoln City at the Abbey Stadium.

And while the gap to the relegation zone may have remained at four points due to results elsewhere in the country, the parallels to last season’s struggles are becoming clearer with each passing disappointing result.

This term may only be 19 games old, but right now it would appear that United are going to once again be embroiled in a fight to preserve their third tier status.

Cambridge United winger Sullay Kaikai. Picture: Simon Lankester
Cambridge United winger Sullay Kaikai. Picture: Simon Lankester

Having gone 108 days without scoring a first-half goal in a league fixture, Cambridge actually made a bright start and went close to ending the drought in the fourth minute when Liam Bennett drove into the box and fired a shot across the six-yard box that Lukas Bornhoft Jensen claimed at the second attempt.

And that – quite frankly – was as good as it got for the U’s before the break.

Lincoln opened the scoring in the 16th minute courtesy of Daniel Mandroiu, who kept his cool from the penalty spot to send Jack Stevens the wrong way after Dylan Duffy had been pulled back inside the box by Jordan Cousins.

Cambridge United goalkeeper Jack Stevens is beaten buy Dylan Duffy's effort. Picture: Simon Lankester
Cambridge United goalkeeper Jack Stevens is beaten buy Dylan Duffy's effort. Picture: Simon Lankester

The contest then drifted for a period with very little action to speak of, although it livened up in the 31st minute when Lincoln’s Ethan Hamilton was afforded the freedom of the Cambridge half before shooting straight at Stevens from 20 yards out.

However, while United’s number one made light work of that attempt, within 60 seconds he had been beaten for a second time. A left-wing corner was cleared as far as Duffy and from the edge of the box the wing-back drove a shot that squirmed underneath the ex-Oxford United shot stopper.

Duffy and Stevens renewed their duel a couple of minutes later when the Irishman cut inside from the left and fired a shot that required two firm hands to keep out.

The half-time whistle was met with a smattering of jeers from the Abbey faithful, yet after disappointing recent afternoons at Peterborough United and Northampton Town, there was more a sense of apathy lingering in the bitterly cold November air.

Cambridge United full-back Liam Bennett in action against Lincoln City on November 28, 2023. Picture: Ben Phillips
Cambridge United full-back Liam Bennett in action against Lincoln City on November 28, 2023. Picture: Ben Phillips

A reaction will have surely been demanded inside that Cambridge dressing room during the break but, if anything, the start of the second half was even more lacklustre than the previous 45 minutes.

Passes consistently failed to find their intended targets and Lincoln were sharper to every second ball. It meant that they enjoyed lengthy spells in Cambridge territory and they could have easily added to their tally had certain runs been better timed or if Jovon Makama had shown more composure when one-on-one with Michael Morrison in the 56th minute.

It was not until the 65th-minute introduction of Glenn McConnell – one of Cambridge’s FA Youth Cup history makers from the previous campaign – that the home support started to rally. Not everything that the 18-year-old attacker attempted came to fruition, but there was a purpose and an enthusiasm to his cameo from the bench that resonated with the fans – particularly those housed in the South Habbin Terrace, who the youngster geed up at one point after winning a throw-in.

Cambridge actually carved out a good opening for McConnell in the 77th minute via James Brophy’s cut back, but from the left hand side of the box he shot high and wide.

Fellow substitutes Jack Lankester and Adam May then both went on to be thwarted by Jensen in quick succession, but any hopes of a grandstand finish were extinguished five minutes from time when Hakeeb Adelakun’s corner from the left was turned in by Jack Vale.

Cambridge United: Stevens, L Bennett, Morrison, Okedina, Andrew (Lankester 75’), Thomas (May 75’), Cousins, Kaikai (McConnell 65’), Kachunga (Brophy 65’), Okenabirhie (Gordon 86’), Ahadme

Lincoln City: Jensen, Burroughs, Mitchell, Jackson, Eyoma (Shodipo 90’), Duffy (Brown 64’), Erhahon, Hamilton, Smith (Adelakun 46’), Mandroiu, Makama (Vale 75’)

Attendance: 5,103 (358 Lincoln)



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