Match Report

 

Sat 14 Sep 13

The U's picked up a vital away point on Saturday with a battling display against a lively Bradford side.

Twice, City hot shot Nahki Wells had found the back of the net, but his strikes were sandwiched between two U's goals in just four minutes. 

City had won all of their home games prior to the U's visit to Yorkshire, so it is likely to be a very good point against a side who can expect to be play-off contenders this season. 

The U's showed good battling spirit and will be pleased to get their points total ticking over again. 

The U’s made three changes for the match at the Coral Windows Stadium, with the two midweek loan signings making their debuts.

Luke Garbutt slotted in at left back, with Jeffrey Monakana higher up the pitch on the left wing. Magnus Okuonghae was the U’s third change as he returned from his suspension. 

City started the game brightly, with Thompson seeing plenty of the ball early on. One dangerous cross needed a timely intervention from Okuonghae to see it away.

Indeed, it was all about the home side in the first five minutes, before the U’s had their first sight of goal on eight minutes.

Eastmond found some space to slide in a delicious pass for Drey Wright, who jinked and turned before having a shot deflected behind.

It was the start of some better stuff for the U’s, but they found themselves behind to the prolific Wells after fourteen minutes. He had appeared to spurn the chance at first, but regained his footing to spin on a sixpence and slot home.

The U’s had an immediate chance for a riposte as Wilson got the ball into a dangerous area, but his cross was lifted over the bar by Ibehre.

Garbutt went into the book seventeen minutes into his debut as a ball out to the left saw him in a foot race with Thompson. The winger nicked it away and the U’s man caught his opponent, seeing yellow for his troubles.

The home team were clearly full of confidence, but the U’s stood strong after falling behind and Eastmond was starting to find some space in the middle of the park.

And the former Arsenal man was integral to the U’s leveller on 27 minutes. 

Walker collected the ball from a corner and distributed the ball quickly out to Eastmond. He brought it down well and then fed the ball to Monakana on the right.

He drove at his full back, went left, then right, then fired home into the top corner for a brilliant equaliser.

They then got their noses in front just four minutes later. Ibehre was slid through and, having covered the remaining ground to the area, he kept his calm to slot home.

It was a dramatic turnaround and the U’s went on to finish the half strongly, with Eastmond and Gilbey growing into the match.

The Bantams, as would be expected, started the second half all guns blazing, with Okuonghae going into the book for a foul on Wells on the edge of the box.

And they got themselves level seven minutes into the second half. A cross came in from the left and Wells glanced a header that dropped into the far top corner with Walker helpless for his ninth goal of the season.

Doyle went into the book for a foul fifteen minutes into the second half, before David Wright followed him in after catching his man in another chase for a loose ball in midfield.

Chances were at a relative premium for the U’s, who were persisting with their patient passing style. Wilson fired over from the edge of the box when he was played in after good work by Gilbey on 66 minutes.

The U’s made their first change midway through the second half, with Massey making his return from injury to replace Drey Wright.

Doyle was the next to go close, lifting a chance over the bar when set up in a central position after more dangerous play down the flanks.

The U’s then made their second change, introducing Sears for the goalscoring debutant Monakana.

Hanson tested Walker next, his towering header from a corner going just wide of the post, before Massey went even closer for the U’s, hitting the post with a curling effort. 

The clock was running down as Pappoe was introduced for his U's debut, but his time on the pitch was a short one as he saw red for catching Yeates by the byline with a challenge that looked like he may have won the ball, but the referee thought otherwise. 

Between his introduction and departure, Wells again went close as he tried to dink Walker from close range, the keeper tipping over with a fine save. 

It was not to prove important as the U's saw out the remaining time to pick up a vital away point.

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