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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 0-4 Cambridge

17 February 2024

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 0-4 Cambridge

17 February 2024

United fell to defeat following a strong second-half showing from Cambridge United.

Sullay Kaikai opened the scoring on 14 minutes, after cutting inside and lashing into the bottom corner.

The visitors’ second came shortly before 70 minutes and it was Lavelle who unfortunately turned the ball home.

Elias Kachunga nodded home their third, only minutes after they doubled their lead.

Before defender Ryan Bennett added number four, glancing a header into the opposite corner at the far post.

The first big chance of the contest fell to Jack Diamond following a lofted cross from the right by Jordan Gibson, but the attacker was unable to steer his header on target.

Strong claims for a penalty came moments later, Harrison Neal picked out Josh Vela from distance before the latter was bundled to the ground. Referee Scott Jackson deemed the challenge to ultimately be a fair one.

An extremely strong start from hosts continued with Gibson looking to forge an opening once again, this time finding the rising Luke Armstrong at the far post, whose header didn't trouble Jack Stevens in the Cambridge goal.

On 14 minutes, the U’s took the lead against the run of play, the ball found its way to Sullay Kaikai on the left before the wideman cut inside onto his right-foot and dispatched calmly into Harry Lewis’ far corner.

The visitors looked to double their lead shortly after as a whipped cross found Lyle Taylor in the middle, but despite the attacker having two swings at it, he was unable to find the back of the net.

Gibson, who had a massive impact in the early stages was on hand once again on 24 minutes. United’s number seven sent a delivery towards Vela, who nodded into the arms of the Cambridge ‘keeper.

Elias Kachunga went on a mazy run into the Carlisle area as we approached the half-hour mark, but Lewis was alert to the danger and made the required low stop.

Danny Andrew came close to extending Cambridge’s advantage following a free-kick from 30-yards. The defender’s ferocious effort flew just over our crossbar.

James Gibbons was the next player looking to add the visitors’ second of the day, but he also rifled his shot over.

Midway through the first-half the contest entered a lull as neither side could create a strong opening.

The next big chance fell just before the break. Armer sent forward a free-kick and the ball finally found its way to Gibson, whose powerful drive from outside the area was straight at Stevens.

The Blues had another shout for a penalty waved away in first-half stoppage time. Jack Ellis slipped a perfect ball into the path of Jon Mellish, who went to ground following a connection from the Cambridge shot-stopper, but nothing was given the way of the hosts.

Half-time: Carlisle United 0-1 Cambridge United

Carlisle started the second-half with another good opportunity, Gibson knocked a reverse ball into Mellish, but the latter was unable to fire at goal.

On 55 minutes, the game opened up with chances for both sides with the spell ending with Neal clearing the danger threatened by Lankester on the Cambridge right.

The U's looked certain to secure their second, if it wasn't for expert defending from Ben Barclay who made a last ditch challenge to prevent Taylor from pulling the trigger.

Taylor, who was prevented moments earlier, this time directed an attempt towards goal following a cross from Kaikai but Lewis collected.

On 62 minutes, United looked to up the tempo again as Armer drove a powerful low cross into the area forcing a corner, but ultimately nothing came from the set-piece.

Seven minutes later, the U’s extended their lead. Sullay Kaikai’s delivery flew beyond Lewis before hitting the head of Lavelle and landing in the back of the net.

Soon after, they had their third as Kachunga nodded home from close range following a Lyle Taylor cross.

On 78 minutes, Butterworth found Gibson on the right, whose low delivery was searching for the arriving Armstrong, but Stevens collected at his near post.

As we entered the final 10 minutes, Mellish prevented another, clearing the danger at the far post, before Armstrong was unable to tap in following a cross at the opposite end.

Ryan Bennett scored the visitors’ fourth on 83 minutes. A cross from the left was met by the centre-back, who found the bottom corner with a headed effort.

Macaulay Bonne found Adam May in stoppage time, who looked set to bag their fifth if it wasn't for a strong save from Harry Lewis.

Full-time: Carlisle United 0-4 Cambridge United



Carlisle United: N/A

Cambridge United: Kaikai, Lavelle (OG), Kachunga, R. Bennett



Carlisle United: Mellish, Butterworth

Cambridge United: Taylor


Carlisle United: Lewis, Ellis (64’ Dudik), Lavelle ©, Barclay, Armer, Neal, Mellish, Vela, Gibson, Diamond (64’ Butterworth), Armstrong

Unused subs: Breeze, Huntington, McCalmont, Charters, Grehan

Cambridge United: Stevens, Gibbons (84’ L. Bennett), R. Bennett, Morrison, Andrew, Digby, Thomas (74’ May), Kaikai, Kachunga (74’ Cousins), Lankester (68’ Brophy), Taylor (74’ Bonne)

Unused subs: Mannion, Rossi


Match officials

Referee: Scott Jackson

Assistant Referee 1: Jonathan Bickerdike

Assistant Referee 2: Richard Woodward

Fourth Official: Andrew Miller


Attendance: 6877 (442 away)

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