Match Report

 

Tue 02 Feb 10


A dramatic conclusion to the game saw the U's come from behind against Carlisle and pick up a crucial three points.

After a poor first half display, the U's turned it around in the second period with a substitution midway through the half as Kayode Odejayi was introduced into the fold.

Whilst the home fans had shown their frustration at the withdrawal of Steven Gillespie, it was the two remaining front men Clive Platt and Odejayi, who grabbed the crucial goals.

The U's therefore sent Carlisle to defeat for the first tine in nine midweek away days and carried on their phenomenal form in front of their own support.

The U's made two changes to the side defeated by Leeds as Steven Gillespie came in for the injured Kevin Lisbie and David Prutton started on the right hand side in place of Phil Ifil.

After Graham Kavanagh had curled a free kick just wide, the U's were left rueing a pass just overhit through to John-Joe O'Toole into the area.

On a heavy pitch, Wordsworth was within inches of breaking the deadlock as he brought down a ball played over the full back into the box and struck his effort only just over the crossbar.

And whilst there wasn't the biggest of crowds in the stadium, the fans that were there were prepared to get right behind their side in a crucial home fixture.

The U's were next to go close on fifteen minutes as Izzet picked out a superb pass to slot the ball through to Wordsworth and his poked shot was well held by Collin.

The home side were having the territorial advantage, and Wordsworth was at the heart of a lot of the U's good early work, driving forward from midfield and trying to get Gillespie in behind the defence.

But it was the Cumbrians who took the lead from a set piece on 24 minutes. A corner was thrown to the far post and Harte buried a header low past Williams into the back of the net for only the second goal that the U's have conceded from a corner this season.

The U's struggled for an immediate riposte, but Gillespie's bursting run just after the half hour mark saw him strike in a low shot that was deflected behind for a corner, rustling the side netting on its way.

It was to be a rare foray forwards for the U's in the first half, although they did manage to get in and around the Carlisle box as the opening period came to a close.

They were nearly caught just before half time as Duffy slipped away from the U's defence, but Williams did well to turn his shot behind as he rushed off his line.

Then, as the injury time for the first half was announced, Gillespie got to the byline and the Carlisle defence intervened just in time as O'Toole burst into the six yard area.

The U's went into the half with some frustrated fans in the stands, but the home support got back behind their players as the second half got underway.

White was the first man to have a sight of the opposition goal as Collin punched a cross away under pressure from Platt, but his effort went well over the bar.

Gillespie then went to ground as he chased down a ball into the penalty area, but he was probably the man bringing his opponent down, rather than the other way around.

The U's were unable to build up a head of steam though, and it was the Cumbrians getting sights of goal as the second half reached the hour mark.

The U's made their first change just before the hour mark, as Gillespie was replaced by Odejayi for the final thirty minutes of the game.

And the home side were level not long after the front man's introduction.

O'Toole escaped down the right hand side and sent over a peach of a cross, which found Platt rushing in at the far post to bury a header into the back of the net.

With the celebrations only just dying out, the home side almost went in front. Wordsworth was presented with a free kick on the edge of the box and his effort cannoned back off the crossbar and away to safety.

Sensing the U's were on the front foot, manager Boothroyd made his second change by introducing Henderson.

The substitute hadn't touched the ball by the time that Wordsworth was almost slotted in by Platt, but the U's were certainly in the ascendancy at this point.

And then, not long after Wordsworth's strike of the bar, Odejayi got away from the Carlisle defence and, from a narrow angle, smacked the post with a fierce shot.

U's summer transfer target Offiong was introduced by the visitors with twenty minutes remaining, with Kavanagh making way.

The home side's efforts to build up a head of steam were being stymied by the referee, who twice pulled back Odejayi for a foul when it looked like the U's man had merely used his physical presence.

And whilst the U's were in the ascendancy, they were kept on their toes by the visitors, who shot from distance, with Williams tipping one around the post as it skipped up off the pitch.

The visitors just couldn't cope with Odejayi's pace and power, but Offiong escaped the U's offside trap and just looked like he was about to pull the trigger when White's lungbursting run saved the day.

The big forward was pulled back again just as injury time got underway and manager Boothroyd's frustrations boiled over at the linesman who made the late, late call on his striker.

Duffy sent a shot just wide of the post not long afterwards, but the U's got their noses in front.

The ball was not fully cleared by the visitors, and as Henderson hooked it back into the area, substitute Odejayi was on hand to divert the ball past the keeper and into the net.

And it was the last action of a dramatic conclusion to the game, as Odejayi's substition made all the difference.

    Data provided by Press Association

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