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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Cambridge United 2-2 Robins

30 April 2022

Match Reports

Report & highlights: Cambridge United 2-2 Robins

30 April 2022

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Ten-man Cheltenham Town salvaged a final point of a historic campaign at Cambridge United this afternoon.

They weren't at their best but their place in the club's records is assured after taking their tally for the season to 56 points and securing 15th position in the process.

Both of these sides have once again exceeded expectations and were guaranteed midtable finishes weeks ago, but they jostled here for the higher ground in League One.

Unlike 12 months ago, it was Cambridge that came out on top to take the bragging rights.

The achievements of the two clubs are one in the eye for football's plutocracy, proving that money is not the be all and end all in the game.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the first half was a low-key affair with little to write home about until Sam Smith opened the scoring, hitting the 20-goal milestone after 22 minutes.

Alfie May – who else? – responded immediately, levelling within a minute.

Smith added a sensational second early in the second half which looked to consign Michael Duff's men to defeat but May's late leveller, his 26th in all competitions this term, earned a share of the spoils.

It means the popular striker has now become the club's second highest goalscorer in the league, just one behind Julian Alsop's return of 39.

Duff was unhappy with the performance but pleased with the point afterwards.

"I thought we deserved the equaliser, based on the number of chances we created," he said.

"But they were better than us box to box. Alfie missed a sitter so I don't think we should go out after losing three in a row."


He made once change to his side, bringing in Charlie Raglan for Kion Etete who was unwell and missed out. Young striker Zac Guinan – son of Steve – was named on the bench for the first time in the league.

Former loanee Smith and May had early chances to open the scoring but their goals, separated by 60 seconds, injected some much needed life into the game.

First Smith beat Scott Flinders with a fine finish, finding the inside of the right post from 20 yards to notch his 20th of the season. At the other end, May rounded goalkeeper Will Mannion to calmly roll home his 25th in all competitions.

George Lloyd had a couple of sighters as the first period drew to a close, although Mannion was untested.

Smith doubled his account with the goal of the game, reminicest of his finish for Duff's men in Scunthorpe last term. He met Jack Ireldale's delivery form the left with the sweetest of vollies to give Flinders no chance.

Shilow Tracey and Harvey Knibbs could – and perhaps should – have each grabbed a goal but Scott Flinders and Will Boyle came to the rescue, denying certain goals.

Wright went close at the other end, rolling one tantalising wide from 18 yards. Then Lloyd smashed one wide while May fashioned a great chance, doing the hard work to cut inside Lloyd Jones, another former loanee, only to stab his effort wide.

Will Boyle was given his marching orders in the closing stages after picking up his second yellow after the break and that looked to be that, but May took advantage of some hesitation at the back and notching his 26th strike of his and the club's fantastic campaign.

CAMBRIDGE UNITED (4-5-1): Mannion; Bennett, Okedina, Jones, Iredale; Tracey (Ironside 76), O'Neil (May 62), Hoolahan (Yeam 88), Simper, Knibbs; Smith. Subs not used: Mitov (Gk), Brophy, Lankester, Worman.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Flinders; Raglan, Pollock, Boyle (c); Long (Brown 62), Wright, Bonds (Ramsey 68), Sercombe, Freestone (B Williams 68); May, Lloyd. Subs not used: Evans (Gk), Chapman, Hutchinson, Ramsey, Guinan.


ATTENDANCE: 5,880 (392 from Cheltenham)

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