Loughborough 0 – 0 Cambridge
The Blues opened their season in solid form as they battled out a tough 0-0 draw away at Loughborough.
The home side are fancied to be one of the strongest outfits in the Midlands 1A division, and Cambridge entered the tie well aware of the dangers that they posed.
The pattern of play was established early on, with Loughborough dominating possession without every really threatening the Blues compact back line, marshalled by Henry Makings and Oscar Melbourne.
The ever energetic Henry Alexander was at the forefront of most of Cambridge’s early forays forward, first teeing up Ollie Lerway as he shot wide, and then testing the goalkeeper from the edge of the box.
Goalkeeper John Harrison was called into action for the first time after 20 minutes, pulling off a vital one on one stop as Loughborough’s lanky striker bore down on goal.
Loughborough threatened to take control of the game midway through the first half as they squeezed Cambridge into uncomfortable positions deep in their own half.
And it was only for Henry Makings that they didn’t take the lead, as he pulled off a spectacular saving challenge to prevent Loughborough’s lurking attackers from sneaking in behind him.
The Blues reasserted their grip on the tie as half time loomed, with Ben Bolderson’s tricky footwork and Rufus Saunders’ clever movement linking to dangerous effect down the left hand side.
The second half found George Herring and Stefan Wolf battling hard from central midfield once more, and Wolf’s wicked set piece delivery continued to test the Loughborough defence.
However, the home side spurned their biggest opportunity of the match with half an hour remaining as their striker rounded Harrison, only to blaze wildly over from a tight angle.
From then on, led by the composed assurance of captain Congdon, the Blues didnt look overly troubled.
In fact, as the game entered its final throes, it was the away side who looked more capable of nicking a late winner on the break.
Indeed, with the very final kick of the ball, substitute Joe Ellis surged into the box and curled a fierce shot which stung the palms of the Loughborough goalkeeper. No late drama, then, but a creditable point from which to build upon.
Team: Harrison, Congdon, The General Melbourne, Makings, Gregory (Campsie, 26), Lerway, Herring, Wolf, Bolderson, Saunders (Ellis, 65), Alexander.