Cambridge built on last week’s comfortable win against the University of Coventry with another mature measured performance which saw them run out 2-0 winners against the University of East Anglia at Clare College Sports Ground. Joe Young collected the Man of the Match award.
Number 12 Kosi Nwuba grabbed his first goal of this BUCS campaign with an emphatic finish into the bottom left corner just before half-time. Nick Gallagher’s strike was handled in the second half presenting captain Gallagher with the chance to score a penalty for the second game running. Fantastic work from Dan Ley created some big late chances but Nwuba and Adelio couldn’t convert meaning the score ended 2-0 on a day where it could have been many more.
In a high tempo game characterised by head coach Alan “Cockers” Cockram’s high relentless pressing style, the Light Blues proved to be just too good in a game that builds momentum ahead of the fiery clash with University of Oxford in the league next week.
Coach Cockram opted for a change in tactics playing Adelio at number 10 in a 4-2-3-1 formation that saw Paddy Mortimer come into the midfield and Ellis Birch move into defence.
The game started with UEA, coming in off the back of a run of three losses, kicking off and attacking west to east. Early phases saw most of the ball played in UEA’s half with the high press of Cambridge forcing early changes of possession.
A very cagey first half was punctuated by small openings as the Blues grew into the game. The midfield pivot of Tomas Nevrkla and Paddy Mortimer proved their worth in a tenacious display repeatedly winning the ball and looking to play the forwards in.
Adelio went close early on after a well worked corner routine before Gallagher forced a good save while both Nevrkla and Mortimer had good efforts also saved too. UEA didn’t trouble Cambridge’s defence. Nwuba also had a good left-foot shot saved after a lovely clipped ball from vice-captain Joe Young.
Just as UEA had enjoyed a little spell of possession as half-time was approaching, a big goal kick form goalkeeper Tim Wallace found its way over the UEA defence allowing Nwuba to latch on slotting home to see the home team go in at half time 1-0; a good half.
Nwuba was at it again early in the second-half after another great ball down the left hand side beating his man before seeing his shot go just wide of the right post. The intensity of the Cambridge press led to more opportunities and UEA began to tire.
Adelio played through Gallagher before his left-footed strike was handled by the UEA defender leading to the referee giving, with no hesitation, what was a clear penalty. Nwuba the designated penalty-taker in recent times, famous for his unblemished penalty record and keen to get his second, ran to grab the ball however, it was Gallagher for the second week in a row who stepped up and coolly slotted home, just like last week, to the keeper’s right.
Dan Ley and Angus Buttar replaced Iliya Stoev and Paddy Mortimer breathing new life into Cambridge’s game. Nwuba was to have his opportunity to get his second late on after a superb run from Ley however his tame effort from 8 yards out was saved by the UEA keeper. Ley moments later once more put it on a plate for Adelio who couldn’t sort his feet out and put it wide in what looked a sure goal.
Centrebacks Stefan Thomason and Ellis Birch put in a commanding defensive play. A very late left-footed shot flew just wide Wallace’s goal as UEA attempted to mount a late comeback but it wasn’t to be as Cambridge ruled he day. The only blemish, perhaps, being the yellow card and injury to Mortimer who required treatment for a hamstring injury. CUAFC fans will hope it is not too serious as his midfield endeavour will be needed next week.
Speaking to the press after the game, Allan Cockram praised the “work rate” of his side explaining how “UEA couldn’t match our intensity. We need to put our chances away in future but when you play quickly and with the right relentless mentality, it is not a surprise the result has followed”
All-in-all the Blues will be happy at their display and they look in great shape ahead of next week’s old rivalry is renewed as Oxford visit. This will take place again at Clare College Sports ground kicking off at 14:00.
Lineups: Wallace, Landell-Mills, Birch, Thomson, Young, Mortimer, Nevkrla, Gallagher (C), Adelio, Stoev, Nwuba
Substitutions: Buttar, Ley, Ernest