Match Report


Mon 05 Apr 10

Lady Luck abandoned the U's on Easter Monday as, despite a spirited display, they fell to a narrow defeat against Millwall.

The U's fought, battled and chased throughout the ninety minutes against the Lions and, although the winless run continued, it had been some time since Aidy Boothroyd's men had played that well.

Whilst the U's had plenty of chances of their own, it was an unfortunate own goal that separated the two sides by the time the final whistle was blown.

The performance offers hope going into the remaining weeks of the season, but the U's know that points need to be the order of the day sooner rather than later.

The U's made two changes in the side to take on the Lions, with Vincent and Tierney coming into the side. As with the U's last home game, they had an appeal for a penalty, this time in the first minute rather than the last as the U's players around the ball appealed for handball. Backed by a vocal home crowd, the U's started brightly, with Wordsworth in the thick of the action down the left. The visitors had their first chance on five minutes as a ball came in from the right and Schofield's flicked effort didn't really have enough on it to trouble Williams. But the U's were on the front foot, and had a great chance on eight minutes as persistence from Prutton saw the ball scrambled into the six yard area, but neither Platt or Lisbie could convert in a crowded space. They then had two set pieces around the box, the second of which Vincent headed into the arms of the keeper, before Izzet had a shot blocked on the edge of the area. They had their second appeal for a penalty on fourteen minutes as Lisbie wrestled with his man on the byline and, with an arm around his neck, appeared to be pulled to the ground. And they came within inches of taking the lead on seventeen minutes. Persistence down the left saw the ball come into the middle of the box and a brave attempt by Vincent flashed just wide of the upright. Whilst the U's were well on top, the visitors had the best chance of the half on 23 minutes. Harris cut in from the left and curled an effort towards the top corner, that Williams turned away with a superb stop. And the Lions were growing into the match. They too had claims for handball as Tierney charged down a Harris shot in a melee in the area, but the referee waved away claims once again. On the half hour mark, the U's went close again. Patient play down the left saw the ball thrust into the far post and Wordsworth's header drifted just the wrong side of the post. Three minutes later and superb defending by White denied the visitors. Morison got the ball down the right with a touch of good fortune and swung in a cross that looked destined for Harris' head before the U's man intervened. Ward and Lisbie went in the book ten minutes before half time, as the two players came together following a foul on the U's man. From the resultant free kick, Lisbie then played a key role in setting up the next home chance. At the byline, he dropped the ball in towards Vincent who, on the stretch and under pressure, helped the ball over the bar from close range. The Lions then had an equally good chance at the other end. Queudrue lost his footing just inside the box and presented Harris with a glorious opportunity. He tried to curl it into the far corner, but Williams pulled off another brilliant save to turn the ball away from danger. However, the keeper could do nothing when the Lions' Morison stepped inside Queudrue down the right and smashed in a shot that crept just inside the far post to give the visitors the lead. The U's sought an instant riposte and Platt sent over a dangerous cross that was cleared by Robinson under pressure from Vincent. The half finished with the Lions one up, but the U's resumed from where they had left off when the second period got underway. And they got their rewards after a terrible rick by visiting keeper Forde. Under pressure from Lisbie and his own man Robinson, he spilt the ball and the U's striker, taking time to gain his composure, managed to slide the ball home into the empty net. The Lions responded well to being pegged back, and from a set piece, Morison headed wide when well placed at the back post. The U's had to make a change eight minutes after the restart, as Queudrue limped off injured to be replaced by Danny Batth. The game settled after that, as both sides worked out their next move, but a dangerous cross from Vincent saw Robinson head over under pressure. From the resultant corner, Lisbie rose highest at the far post and was disappointed to see the ball go wide. The visitors made a change enforced by injury, as goalscorer Morison was replaced by Batt for the final fifteen minutes of the game. Vincent also made way, as Henderson came on for the remainder of the game to add fresh legs down the right hand side. Prutton curled a free kick over the bar midway through the half, and the U's were snapping into tackles as they sought that second goal. Schofield was the next to go close though, manoeuvring past Tierney and firing a shot just beyond the angle of crossbar and post. The Lions introduced loanee Obika for the last twenty minutes of the game, coming on for Hackett, who had a quiet game down the left. The visitors came close twice not long after his introduction as, from a corner, Williams saved and Batth blocked two efforts in quick succession. Wordsworth went into the book after having too much to say to official D'Urso, with the visiting support now in favour of the referee to whom they had directed much of the anger during the game. And those supporters were in delirium as an own goal put them back in front with thirteen minutes to go. A Batt cross was whipped across the area and as Batth stuck his head out, it diverted the ball over Williams and into the smallest of gaps in the top corner. The defender was in the right place to clear another Batt cross not long afterward and Henderson could then consider himself unlucky not to have had a clearer shot on an effort two minutes later. Lisbie then went close with a header after great work by White down the right hand side, but the time was running out for the U's to get something from the game. Obika sprung the U's offside trap with four minutes to go, but Williams was quick off his line to ensure that he could block the striker's low shot.

A minute later, Wordsworth swung a free kick right the way across goal, which eluded all on its path and clipped the far post on its way through.

Five minutes of additional time were given by the fourth official, giving the U's hope as they sought something from the game.

But the Lions saw the remaining time away without too much incident to capture another three points.

For the U's, they will be left to rue their misfortune in the match, as their display deserved so much more.

U's: Williams, White, Okuonghae, Queudrue (Batth), Tierney, Prutton, Wordsworth, Izzet, Vincent (Henderson), Platt, Lisbie
    Data provided by Press Association

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