We welcome Cambridge United to The innocent New Lawn for this clash of 3rd place against 7th in League 2. The U’s sit 4 points behind Rovers with a game in hand. Cambridge were one of the divisions early pace-setters but they’ve stumbled a little recently with just one win in their last six games. Their last league outings were a 1-0 defeat to Mansfield and a 2-1 defeat to Oldham – their first home losses this season. But a home win against Gillingham on 8th Dec in the EFL Trophy may have restored their spirits a little.
Coming into the game, Cambridge have the meanest defence in the league, with only 13 goals conceded in their 15 matches (only Newport and Salford can match this). They have scored 27 goals of their own in the same games – a total beaten only by Exeter City and Cheltenham. Key to their early season form have been the goals of striker Paul Mullin (No 10). Mullin was nominated as League 2’s Player of the Month in September and then won the award in October and is clearly a man in form. Fellow striker Joe Ironside (No20) has supported Mullin – between them they have netted 21 times so far in all competitions.
Cambridge’s biggest ever league wins have been 7-0 victories, which they have achieved 3 times. FGR fans may remember our own 7-0 loss to Cambridge in September 2009 when the teams were in the National League. Better memories will be the January 2018 clash when 2 goals from Doidge, 2 from Grubb and 1 from Campbell saw Rovers victorious in a 5-2 thriller, having twice come from behind.
Since they first came into the Football League in 1970, Cambridge have had 25 managers, including names like Ron Atkinson, Gary Johnson and Roy McFarland. Current boss, Mark Bonner, was appointed caretaker manager last season after the dismissal of Colin Calderwood. After a successful end to last season, Bonner’s caretaker role was made permanent this season and he immediately won League 2 Manager of the Month in September.