Paul Mullin pounces to give Cambridge United a point at Tranmere Rovers in Sky Bet League Two
Paul Mullin pounced to give Cambridge United a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw at fellow promotion-chasers Tranmere Rovers in Sky Bet League Two.
Former U’s midfielder Paul Lewis had given Tranmere the lead in the 14th minute, but Mullin grabbed an equaliser in the second half, converting a rebound after his penalty had been saved by Tranmere keeper Joe Murphy.
United settled into the game far quicker, without posing a threat to Murphy’s goal so it was against the run of play when Tranmere took the lead, but it was a slick move.
Kaiyne Woolery picked up possession on their left and strode forward before playing in to Danny Lloyd in the area, and his first time pass into the path of Lewis was smartly poked into the net first time.
Having made such a promising start, the goal put United onto the back foot as the hosts enjoyed the run of the play for the rest of the half.
That said, Liam O’Neil’s shot on the turn from Hiram Boateng’s header back into the area had to be saved down low by Murphy.
After the resulting corner, Greg Taylor’s attempted cross skimmed the top of the bar and went out of play.
Tranmere almost doubled their lead in the 27th minute when Liam Feeney’s 25-yard curling free kick hit the bar and bounced down, with Jubril Okedina clearing the rebound to safety.
There was another opportunity for Tranmere in the 36th minute when a ball over the top of the U’s defence reached Lloyd in the area, but he shot across goal from an angle.
United got back into a better rhythm at the start of the second half, and the equaliser came in the 57th minute.
Kyle Knoyle clipped a cross to the back post where Joe Ironside attempted to head it back across goal, and the on-rushing Luke Hannant was brought down in the box.
Referee Martin Coy took his time before pointing to the spot, leading to many protestations from the Tranmere players.
Mullin stepped up to take the penalty, but Murphy was equal to it, saving low to his left. However, no Tranmere players were following in quick enough, and Mullin was able to tuck away the rebound.
United did not create any more clear-cut chances, but they did not look under any particular pressure either.
Okedina made an important interception to block a low ball across goal, and U’s keeper Callum Burton comfortably held on to a 25-yard effort from Otis Khan.
Manny Monthe had an effort smothered at close range by Burton, but it was no more than a half chance.
It means that United now have a seven-point breathing space in the automatic promotion places, with just six matches of the season remaining.