It was an afternoon of frustration for the U's on Saturday as in-form Tranmere Rovers took all three points in the latest home game.
The U's started the game brightly, with some good forward play, but found themselves repelled by a resilient Rovers back line.
And that was to become the story of the afternoon, as Tranmere kept the U's at bay before taking the win with goals either side of half time.
James Norwood added to his growing reputation with a clinical finish in the first half, before ex-U's man David Perkins took it further away from the home side 50 seconds after the restart.
The U’s had the first sight of goal, as Vincent-Young was tripped 25 yards from goal, and Senior bent his free kick just over the bar.
It was a decent start to the game by the U’s, with Eisa having a driven cross turned away, before Jackson then cut it back for Szmodics, whose first time shot went just wide.
It took until the 21st minute for Rovers to show their teeth, and Banks swung in a dangerous cross that was just beyond the outstretched boot of Norwood at the far post.
But the country’s top scorer was not going to be denied two minutes later as he was sent away behind the U’s defence and clipped his shot over the onrushing Barnes to open the scoring.
The U’s tried for an immediate riposte, but Kent flashed his header over the bar from an Eisa free kick.
And Jackson went even closer six minutes later, as he fizzed in an effort from distance that whipped just past Davies’ crossbar.
Eisa and Szmodics were combining well and first Szmodics had an effort blocked, before Eisa’s shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Davies.
The U’s trailed at the break, and found themselves further behind fifty seconds after the restart. Jenning’s effort was fended away at full stretch by Barnes, but Perkins ran onto it to smash home into the roof of the net.
The U’s tried to get back into the game, with Szmodics having a couple of efforts from distance, but Rovers were holding firm at this point in proceedings.
Rovers had a chance to extend their lead on 64 minutes when Caprice got in down the right, but Prosser did well to block.
The U’s made their first change twenty minutes into the second half, with Norris replacing Lapslie, with the home side hunting a way back into the game.
They came agonisingly close to pulling one back when Eisa’s free kick was turned onto the post by Davies. It went across the goalline before being hooked clear.
Kent went into the book with fifteen minutes to go, before Dickenson was introduced in place of Mandron for the last ten.
Norwood went hunting for another goal not long afterwards, with his free kick collected at the second time of asking by Barnes.
The U's were unable to find a way through the organised visitors' ranks, and it was an afternoon of frustration as they slipped to ninth on the back of that defeat.