Spirited display can't quite get rewards.
The U's have been beaten 2-1 at Rochdale, as a spirited U's display didn't quite get the rewards it deserved. A first half goal from Bennett was added to by Ian Henderson early in the second half, before Porter made it 2-1 from the spot.
Despite creating opportunities through the game and forcing two or three fine stops from home keeper Jones, the U's couldn't find an equaliser and were left to rue two defensive lapses that cost them the two goals.
Tony Humes made two changes to his starting line-up, bringing back captain David Fox and Ipswich loanee Elliott Hewitt.
George Moncur and Macauley Bonne dropped to the bench, with Humes reverting to the 4-2-3-1 formation that had served him so well away from home this season.
The game started with both sides looking to be positive and trying to get the ball forward as quickly as they could.
It was the home side that got the first opening, and they capitalised clinically with Bennett opening the scoring.
A ball into the box was half cleared to former U’s defender Michael Rose, who put it back in and Bennett pounced when the bouncing ball wasn’t dealt with and flicked past Sam Walker to make it 1-0.
The U’s reacted positively to the early setback, and Sammie Szmodcis was on the end of the first three chances the U’s created.
He shot wide with his first effort after a run through the home midfield, a second shot from the youngster went straight at Jones and then a deflection prevented another shot testing Jones.
From the resultant corner, Rochdale borke and Alex Wynter had to be alert to block Bunney and concede a corner.
It was cleared for another and from this set piece, the other former U’s star Ian Henderson headed wide at the near post.
Halfway through the half, Szmodics almost equalised, as a speculative volley from nothing forced Jones into a great save away to his left.
Massey then hooked a sharp shot over his own shoulder from Elliott Hewitt’s long throw but Jones made a more comfortable save to preserve his side’s lead.
End to end action in the thirty seventh minute saw Walker save a Rose free kick before the U’s broke and squandered the best chance of the half.
Hewitt cleverly dummied, allowing Massey to made ground the right and his cross found Chris Porter on the edge of the six yard box.
Porter was unable to keep his header down though and the ball flew over the crossbar to safety.
The half finished with Szmodics having another couple of efforts, one blocked by Cannon.
At the start of the second half, the U’s were on the front foot but it was the hosts with the first effort, as Allen’s effort was saved by Walker.
The U’s keeper was beaten nine minutes into the half though, as Henderson shot home from the tightest of angles.
A long diagonal ball caught Briggs out and Henderson cleverly chested past the U’s full back before scoring to make it 2-0.
Szmodics continued to get forward at every opportunity but his volley flew well over the crossbar on fifty seven minutes.
The home side had a glorious chance to extend their lead a minute later, but Bunney horribly miskicked with just Walker to beat from ten yards out.
Just after the hour, the U’s were back in the game when Massey took the ball past Rose, only to be tripped before he could shoot.
Chris Porter stepped up and smashed his spot kick past Jones to make it 2-1.
A Briggs throw found Massey just inside the box three minutes later, but his volley flew over .
Walker had to tip an Allen shot wide but it was the U’s who were having the best of the possession and territorial advantage.
Fox rifled a long range effort goalwards that was well saved and then sub Macauley Bonne was also denied by the home keeper.
Unfortunately, the U’s couldn’t find a second goal to save a point and were left to rue the defensive mistakes that led to the two goals.