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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: Abbey Stadium next up for the Blues

We take a look ahead to the weekend game

27 February 2020

It's another trip down the A1 for the Blues this coming weekend as they head to Cambridge for their latest League Two fixture.

Mark BonnerThe Abbeymen parted company with Colin Calderwood at the end of January, after a run of five defeats in six games that month, and caretaker boss Mark Bonner immediately set about tightening things up at the back as he looked to put the brakes on what had been a dramatic plunge down the table.

And things couldn't have been more different as he took his team on a surge of four wins from four, a run which included two clean sheets and two impressive away victories.

Last Saturday brought another shut-out, with a battling 0-0 away dray at Home Park, and Cambridge head into Saturday looking for a result which will leave them unbeaten for the month of February.

Reading loanee Sam Smith remains as the club's top scorer so far this season, with eight to his name, and he is closely followed by Harvey Knibbs who has seven on his tally.

The February haul of 13 points has catapulted the club into the upper reaches of mid-table and the division's form team will be looking to do what they can to continue that momentum come the weekend.

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Chris Beech

Chris BeechSpeaking ahead of the game, Chris Beech said: "They're a team on the up. They drew 0-0 at Plymouth on Saturday and that's an excellent result for them.

"I read the interviews their manager gives and they’re talking about a back-to-basics type of football that they’re playing. Of course their lads are buying into it at the moment and they’ve had an upsurge in form.

"It’s going to be a real tough challenge but one I want to go to with good options, and I then want to put our plan in place and look to commit to it. I know I repeat this but there’s nothing more I want to do than win football matches.

"I know everybody says similar things, it’s what we want in this business whether we coach, manage, play, commentate, media, whatever it is.

"It’s what I want and I want that for the lads. I feel as though their efforts deserve extra plaudits, but they have to make sure they get the wins to back that up.

"Cambridge is a tough place to go to but we go there feeling confident. We're showing resilience and effort and energy, and if we keep that going I have no doubt the winning results will come."

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Did You Know?

+ The club were originally known as Abbey United, before changing their name to Cambridge United upon turning professional in 1949.

Abbey Stadium

+ In 1984/85 equalled the record for the most defeats in a season - 33 - which was then surpassed by Derby County in 2008.

+ Cambridge have experimented with shirts of full amber in the past, but have always reverted to the traditional black and amber designs.

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Head to Head

The clubs have met a total of 30 times in all competitions and honours couldn’t be more even if they tried. Nine wins to the Blues, eight wins to Cambridge and 14 draws … which way will it go this weekend?

  Carlisle wins Draws Cambridge wins
League 9 14 8
Total 9 14 8

The last coming together of these two sides was in November 2019 when the teams battled out a 0-0 draw here at Brunton Park.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

Prior to that the teams met in March 2019 when United had to recover from conceding a very early goal. Jamie Devitt and Nathan Thomas put the Blues ahead before the break, but Jabo Ibehre came back to haunt us when he netted the equaliser in the second half.

We were at the Abbey in September 2018 for our first meeting with the U's that season, and the teams had some baking hot weather to contend with on what was a lovely late summer's afternoon. A good opening spell from the home side brought a goal for Jevani Brown, but United were back on terms just before the break when Richie Bennett looped a header into the back of the net. The Cumbrians had the better of the second half and they took the points when Ashley Nadesan bagged from close range.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

The 2017/18 season saw United edge in front courtesy of a neat finish from Reggie Lambe, when the sides met at the Abbey in August 17, but Medy Elito levelled from the spot just six minutes later. Carlisle kept going and Tom Parkes scored his first goal for the club, accompanied by a celebratory dab, to earn the visitors all three points.

Watch the highlights of that game here:

Cambridge came to Brunton Park in March 2018 to put things right but the deadlock in a tight game was broken by Richie Bennett when he scored from close range following a cut back from Mark Ellis just after the break. However, the celebrations had barely subsided when George Maris scored the point making equaliser just over 120 seconds later.

Watch the highlights of that game here:

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Man in the middle:

BreakspearThe referee for this game is Mr Charles Breakspear. He has taken charge of 28 games so far this showing 123 yellow cards and 12 reds.

He was last in charge for one of our games when we went to Vale Park in January 2019. Rick Miller was sent off just before half time for the home side, and United made sure the advantage counted as Connor Simpson bagged a late winner. Hallam Hope and Tom Parkes were booked for the Blues. 

Before that he was our referee in January 2018 when we travelled to Stevenage for what turned out to be a closely fought affair. No goals were scored on the day, and Richie Bennett had his name taken for a rash challenge late in the game.

He was also our man in the middle for the Colchester away game in October 2017, earlier that same season. A Jamie Devitt goal just after half time was enough to seal the three points for the Blues. Danny Grainger and James Brown went in the book that afternoon.

Referee - Charles Breakspear
Assistant Referee 1 - Paul Yates
Assistant Referee 2 - David Hunt
Fourth Official - Garry Maskell

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Ticket information:

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