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Match Reports

REDS THRASH CAMBRIDGE UNITED

3 October 2023

Match Reports

REDS THRASH CAMBRIDGE UNITED

3 October 2023

A brace of goals in either half saw Barnsley back to winning ways on Tuesday night at Abbey Stadium.

Goals from Nicky Cadden, Maël de Gevigney, Max Watters and Jon Russell saw the Reds romp to victory in Sky Bet League One this evening.

This latest win saw Neill Collins' side move up to 4th in the table.

Our Head Coach had restored Cadden, Watters and Russell to the starting lineup for this one, and boy, did those decisions pay dividends.

After a very bright start from the Reds, penning their hosts in and knocking the ball around with real vigour, the breakthrough arrived, and in some style.

It was just the seventh minute of the contest, and after some neat and tidy interplay across the pitch, Corey O'Keeffe picked the ball up 40 yards from goal and to the right. He spotted an unchecked Cadden run at the far post and the Scotsman, recalled to the starting lineup made no mistake after controlling the high ball initially, he lashed home the finish, low and hard into the far corner on that trusty left boot. 

Some more enterprising passing play saw Callum Styles and Devante Cole link up nicely as the Reds looked to add a second goal, with the latter laying the ball off to strike partner, Watters on the edge of the box but the forward's drilled effort was blocked by a defender just in front of goal. 

The home side should really have levelled the game up with their first foray into Reds territory after 20 minutes. After winning the ball on halfway, James Brophy drove forward, released Jack Lankester on the edge of the Barnsley box and his bending effort was superbly parried away to his left by Liam Roberts, only for John Kymani-Gordon to pick up the pieces but his follow-up was also stopped by Roberts near post, before Gassan Ahadme tried his luck after another rebound but again, the Reds stopper repelled the strike. 

We punished the U's soon afterwards, doubling our lead. 

An inswinging Cadden corner kick from the right was met at the near post by a U's defender, but simultaneously cannoned off Maël de Gevigney whose connection saw the ball drop into the opposite corner to give the Reds a two-goal advantage with just 10 minutes remaining in the opening stanza.

They all count. A first Reds goal for the Frenchman who had another fine game at the heart of the Barnsley defence.

Ahadme tricked his way into the box just before the interval and tried to beat Roberts at his near post but the on-loan 'keeper was again equal to the threat, with a one-handed save thwarting Cambridge's lively frontman.

HALF TIME: Cambridge United 0-2 Barnsley

Upon the restart, the U's - with a word in their ears from boss, Mark Bonner, no doubt - came out of the traps looking to strike back quickly.

Within a couple of minutes there were calls for a penalty when a Gordon cross hit Cadden's arm. The defender knew little about it, and referee Thomas Parsons waved away the hosts' protests.

10 minutes later and Cambridge won the ball in their own half when Cole looked to have been pushed. This allowed former Barnsley academy graduate Paul Digby to drive forward unopposed and his slide-rule pass into the box was inch-perfect for Brophy whose low strike was again saved by Roberts. 

Just five minutes later and Collins' men put the game to bed. 

A Styles through-ball, 30 yards from goal was ideal for Watters to race onto and the striker hit a low shot first time, some 14 yards out and the effort flew under the onrushing Will Mannion in the U's goal to make it 3-0 with half-an-hour still to play.

It could have been four soon after but Mannion did excellently to turn a Herbie Kane shot wide as the midfielder struck towards the bottom corner from just outside the United box. 

There were a glut of substitutions from both sides which killed the game's momentum somewhat before one of those introductions, of a Reds persuasion helped Barnsley put the icing on the cake. 

Back involved after his latest injury, Josh Benson cut the ball back across the edge of the U's box, straight into the path of Russell whose finish, low and hard into the bottom right corner typified this Reds performance. 

There was still time for another two subs in Sam Cosgrove and John McAtee to work a final opportunity, with the former freeing the on-loan Luton man in on goal, but the forward's effort from just inside the 16-yard-box was blocked well by the legs of Mannion. 

A fourth win from five away fixtures. Emphatic in nature. The ideal response from Barnsley after the disappointment of the weekend. 

FULL TIME: Cambridge United 0-4 Barnsley

Roberts, O'Keeffe (Cotter), Williams, de Gevigney, McCart (Shepherd), Cadden, Kane, Russell, Styles (J.Benson), Cole (Cosgrove), Watters (McAtee).

Unused: Killip (GK), Dodgson.


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