Match Report

 

Sat 27 Apr 13

The U’s are staying up, thanks to a final day win at Carlisle United on what was a memorable afternoon.

Second half goals from Gavin Massey and Tom  Eastman secured safety, with Scunthorpe’s result against Swindon becoming meaningless thanks to the U’s win.

The first half at Brunton Park went by without too much goalmouth action, with a Noble curler at one end and a penalty appeal at the other being the stand out moments.

News at half time from Scunthorpe was that Swindon were holding the hosts goalless so the U’s were hanging onto their League One status with forty five minutes of the season remaining.

Things got better for the U’s twenty minutes into the second period, as Gavin Massey scored a vital opener on sixty five minutes.

At that stage, it was still goalless at Glanford Park so the U’s position outside the relegation zone was strengthening.

With ten minutes to go, Tom Eastman calmed the nerves further as he headed home a looping David Wright cross to make it 2-0.

The 364 U’s fans who made the long trip north were in great voice throughout and they cheered the team off at the final whistle as League One status was maintained 

Dunne made two changes to his starting eleven, bringing in David Wright and Marcus Bean. 

Andy Bond and Freddie Sears made way and both had to be satisfied with places on the U's bench.

The U’s started on the front foot, with the first effort coming inside forty seconds as Jabo Ibehre’s volley went wide.

He was given the opportunity by a head down by Billy Clifford, who was playing the furthest forward of three central midfield players.

On three minutes, the Chelsea loanee created a chance for himself as his long run forward ended with Gillespie saving down by his post.

Brian Wilson then hit a free kick from distance wide of the target before the home side got their first sight of goal.

A ball into the penalty area caught John White wrong side of an opponent but the U’s defender recovered to make a vital block.

He was in the action again on nineteen minutes, as he flicked a header clear from a dangerous cross into the U’s box.

As the first half reached its halfway stage, Noble picked up the ball thirty yards out and was unlucky to see his curler narrowly clear the crossbar.

Gavin Massey reacted quickest as the ball dropped in the home area on thirty minutes, but his shot lacked any power and Gillespie collected.

With nine minutes remaining in the first half, the U’s had a valid penalty claim, as a Clifford cross was blocked by the outstretched arm f a defender. 

Unfortunately, the referee pointed for a corner and Carlisle cleared the resultant set piece.

The home side finished the half better than they started it, with half chances falling to them on a couple of occasions.

The closest they came was when a free kick was never properly cleared by the U’s and the ball eventually fell to Noble, who shot wide of the post.

After three minutes of added time, the referee blew the half time whistle and the U’s were halfway through the job in hand. 

The second half started quietly, with neither side troubling the opposition keeper, and Greg Abbott made the first change when he bought on Manset for Thirlwell.

That came on fifty two minutes and two minutes later, the first meaningful attack of the half came from the U’s.

David Wright won possession in midfield and the U’s broke through Ibehre and Marcus Bean, whose cross had to be headed away for a corner.

Wright was at in again on the hour, as he made a clever run forward to get onto White’s equally clever pass, and his cross once again had to be cleared for a corner.

On sixty five minutes, the U’s took a vital lead, with Massey’s effort somehow spinning past the home keeper.

Porter caused the initial problems on the right, his shot was blocked before Clifford crashed a shot against the crossbar.

Massey reacted first and his effort span into the bottom corner to make it 1-0 to the U’s.

Joe Dunne made his first substitution of the day on sixty nine minutes, bringing on Bradley Garmston for a limping George Porter.

Ten minutes later, Tom Eastman made things easier, as he headed home at the far post to make it 2-0.

Garmston had flicked the ball back to Wright, who looped his cross to the far post where Eastman was waiting to score past the out of position Gillespie.

Seconds later, Clifford made way for John-Joe O’Toole, as the U’s looked to consolidate the midfield.

Another midfield change came on eighty seven minutes, as Kem Izzet replaced Marcus Bean.

The U’s safely saw out the remaining minutes and League One safety was assured on a nailbiting final day, with Scunthorpe’s result meaningless with the three points for Joe Dunne’s side. 

The U's are staying up - and now the plans will begin for next season!

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