Match Report

 

Fri 24 Jun 16

The U's have won 4-2 at Stevenage to finish the year just two points behind the play-off spots.

In a first half they dominated, Brennan Dickenson and Kurtis Guthrie scored but Stevenage got one back through Kennedy.

It was 2-2 just after half time, when Godden scored, but late goals from Chris Porter and Tarique Fosu won it for the U's.

The first half started with both sides wanting to move the ball quickly, but some careless passing prevented any early chances.

A half chance came the U’s way on seven minutes, but George Elokobi could only head over after Guthrie had headed back into the danger area from a corner.

Sam Walker had to be on his toes five minutes later, getting down to his right sharply to save a smart shot from Godden.

The U’s scored with their next chance, with Brennan Dickenson popping up with a header from ten yards out.

Owen Garvan whipped a perfect ball into the area from a corner, and the U’s wing back was first to in and guided it past former U’s keeper Jamie Jones.

And three minutes later, it was 2-0.

Denny Johnstone put in Guthrie and it looked like he was fouled by a defender as he got into the box.

Guthrie kept his feet but was then upended by Jones and the referee pointed to the spot, with Guthrie himself sending Jones the wrong way from the spot kick.

That second goal certainly boosted the U’s and they could well have been further ahead in the following twenty minutes.

Jones twice denied them, saving from Guthrie and Brindley in quick succession just after the half hour mark, before watching in relief as Johnstone’s shot whistled wide.

At the other end, Frankie Kent had to make a goal saving tackle, making up for his mistake letting in Godden on thirty nine minutes.

A minute later, the home side scored when a corner was whipped in and Kennedy looked like he got a flicked header into the far corner.

The half time whistle went with the U’s still a goal ahead, but it could have been more but for the intervention of Jones in the home goal.

At the start of the second half, the U’s almost regained their two goal cushion but Chris Porter was denied by a good save from Jones.

Porter had come on as a half time substitute, with Johnstone suffering from a hamstring injury that prevented him coming out after the break.

Six minutes into the half, the home side levelled things up, with Ben Kennedy flicking home from a left wing free kick.

The U’s heads didn’t drop though, and Jones in the home goal twice prevented his side going behind.

First he denied Tom Lapslie with a low save, before diving left to stop a Tom Eastman volley as the U’s pressed forward.

As the second half progressed, Stevenage tried to push forward but they only tested Walker with long range efforts that he dealt with fairly comfortably.

Guthrie shot well over the crossbar before John McGreal made his second substitution on seventy five minutes, bringing on Tarique Fosu for Drey Wright.

Five minutes later, Jones once again denied the U’s a goal, making a save from Porter, who was extremely influential for the visitors.

Jones couldn’t stop Porter scoring a minute later, when he was in the right place at the right time to make it 3-2.

Fosu had a shot blocked at the edge of the box, Brindley repeated the feat before the ball fell to him for a second attempt.

The second effort was flying well wide of the target but Porter stuck out a foot to divert it into the bottom corner past a helpless Jones.

The confidence in the U’s side was high at this stage and on eighty eight minutes, Eastman showed great skill and poise in a run forward, but he too was denied by Jones in the home goal.

With the game into the three minutes of injury time, the U’s put the icing on the cake with a fourth goal, and a second for a U’s substitute.

Porter chased a long clearance down the left, held play up perfectly and then passed inside to fellow sub Fosu.

Fosu sidestepped the last defender before rifling his left foot effort firmly past Jones to make it 4-2.

The final whistle went and the U’s finished the year on a high, taking sixteen points from a possible eighteen in the past six matches in League Two.

The New Year starts with two home fixtures, with Cheltenham and Carlisle visiting north Essex in the next week.

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