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How are they doing?

Cambridge Utd come to Nailsworth on 3rd December.  The U’s arrive on a fragile run of form.  Cambridge won 4 and drew 1 of their first 7 games of the season and were rolling well.  But their next 11 games have seen 9 defeats, 1 draw and 2 wins.  This has seen Cambridge drop to 20th place in League 1 (6 points ahead of Rovers).  The last league outing for the U’s saw them lose at home 1-0 to Accrington in a relegation 6-pointer.  Cambridge had gone over 11 hours without a goal at home before they managed an 81st minute equaliser in the FA Cup last weekend.

Like Rovers, Cambridge came through the 1st round of the FA Cup against non-league opposition, in their case Curzon Ashton.  Curzon will feel themselves unlucky – they held the U’s to a 0-0 draw at home, followed by another 0-0 draw in Cambridge.  After extra time, Cambridge went through 4-2 on penalties.  However, the visit of League 2 Grimsby on Saturday in the 2nd round put an end to the U’s FA Cup run as they lost 2-1, conceding to a 90th minute Grimsby breakaway goal.

Head to head

The head-to-head record in the EFL between the 2 sides makes good reading for Rovers with 5 wins and 2 defeats for FGR.  The 2 sides haven’t met since the 20/21 season.  Cambridge were promoted automatically that season as runners-up.  They finished in a comfortable 14th place last season – their first season back in League 1.

Some Rovers fans may remember a painful day in September 2009 in the National League when Cambridge equalled their best ever result – 7-0 at home to FGR!

The Manager

Cambridge born and bred, Mark Bonner, is the U’s manager.  He was appointed in 2020 after a spell as assistant manager and this has been his only managerial appointment.  Bonner oversaw the U’s promotion back into League 1 in 2021 which resulted in the club offering him a new 3-year deal.

Mark Bonner tells Cambridge United fans to relish the look of Sky Bet League Two table

Mark Bonner, the Cambridge manager.

Who to watch

Cambridge have lined up as a 4-2-3-1 in recent games with Joe Ironside the usual frontman.  Ironside has 4 goals to his name this season in the league.  Fellow striker Sam Smith (number 10) also has 4 goals this season but tends to come off the bench lately.  Watch out for Harvey Knibbs (number 26) who sits behind the striker(s).  Knibbs has also scored 4 goals for the U’s this season.  Ironside, Smith & Knibbs are the U’s joint top scorers.

Left sided defender/midfielder, Harrison Dunk (number 11) is now in his 12th season at Cambridge and has played for them in 3 different divisions.

The Cambridge defence is a bit leaky, with 30 goals conceded this season.  But with Rovers having conceded 38, we can maybe expect goals in the game.

Honest endeavour of all-action Joe Ironside is an instant ...

Striker Joe Ironside (number 9) is a traditional centre forward who’s good in the air and with his back to goal.

The Club

Founded in 1912 as Abbey Utd, they only became Cambridge Utd in the 1950’s.  They play at the Abbey Stadium, just east of Cambridge.  They first won promotion into the EFL in 1970.  After this they have yo-yoed a bit – 2 spells in the 2nd tier, then a decade in the National League after they went into administration in 2005.  Most of their time in the EFL has been spent in the 4th tier.  They won promotion in 2021, so this is their 2nd season back in the 3rd tier.

The club’s most famous former managers have included Ron Atkinson (from 1974-78) who went on to manage Manchester Utd.  Perhaps their most famous former player is Dion Dublin, who played for the club between 1988 and 1992 before Alex Ferguson signed him for £1m for Manchester Utd (it was something of a surprise purchase after Utd had missed out on signing Alan Shearer).  Dion is a club director at Cambridge but will probably now be better known for his football punditry or for presenting ‘Homes under the Hammer’.

Cambridge’s Abbey Stadium has a capacity of just over 8,000.

Cambridge United | No Standing

Cambridge’s mascot is Marvin the Moose – it’s a bit of a mystery why!

Dion Dublin BBC, Bio, Age, Family, Height, Wife, Career, Baby, Net Worth

Dion Dublin – club director and former U’s player.

Atkinson, Ron.jpg

Ron Atkinson – probably the U’s most famous former manager.