REPORT: Boro earn a point in Cambridge stalemate
Boro were made to settle for a point as they battled their way through a brutal game of football at the Cambs Glass Stadium.
Chances were sparse, stoppages were frequent and we lost Tom Pett in the first half, stretchered off after a nasty collision to the knee.
There were two changes from Saturday’s win against Portsmouth. Fit again, Connor Ogivlie back in for Kgosi Ntlhe whilst Kaylen Hinds made his first Stevenage start, replacing the injured Jobi McAnuff.
The game started as it was to go on, with plenty of endeavour but little quality. Cambridge were the team applying most of the pressure, looking to test the centre backs early and often by bombarding the box with crosses from wide. Wilkinson, King and Lee amongst others all having to be on high alert in order to deal with the challenge.
The game took a sad turn on around the half hour mark as Tom Pett was forced off the pitch on a stretcher. A heavy challenge from Wharton left both Pett and Godden on the deck but it was the former who came off worse with what looked like an injury to the knee.
Stevenage struggled to get their game going during the first half but remained competitive and hard working. If they weren’t going to win it before the break, they certainly weren’t going to lose it.
Cambridge’s brightest player of the half, Luke Berry, had their best two chances. First up he could only fire over the bar after connecting to another good delivery and then into added time, he broke clear of the Stevenage defence but could only smash wide of the side netting.
With just a minute or so left before the break, Kaylen Hinds provided Boro’s best bit of attacking play as he took the ball past two men and into the area but his ball across the 6 yard box was cut out by a Cambridge defender.
Boro got off to a better start in the second half, Kaylen Hinds again taking the ball past his man out wide and although he delivered a decent ball across the six yard box, it was cleared by the United defenders.
There was another injury worry only a few minutes later as Connor Ogilvie and Fraser Franks clashed heads. Thankfully both were fine to continue after a bit of treatment and patching up of Connor’s forehead.
George Maris could have put the home side ahead on 56 minutes but smashed over from inside the area, fitting for a game which had a lack of quality in the final third.
There was plenty of graft and effort on show but both sides were cancelling each other out somewhat.
Having come on just a minute earlier, it didn’t take long for United to look for their main man, Barry Corr. From a free-kick, Berry clipping the ball up towards the striker but he could only head into the ground and wide.
Opportunities continued to be few and far between but Matt Godden had the golden chance on 70 minutes. After winning the ball high up the pitch, Hinds poked the ball between the two Cambridge centre halves for Godden to race onto and having opened the goal up after cutting inside, the striker could only fire just wide of the upright.
As the game wore on, Boro began to apply more pressure. Michael Tonge forced Norris into a good save from a direct free-kick and Charlie Lee smashed over through a congested penalty area but a winner never really seemed likely.
So in the end it was a well earned point in difficult conditions as Stevenage maintained their position of fourth in the table.
Cambridge: Norris, Halliday, Legge, Wharton, Carroll, Mingioa (Dunk 69'), Taylor, Lewis (McGurk 62'), Maris, Berry, Williamson (Corr 62').
Subs not used: Roberts, Gregory, McDonagh, O'Neil.
Stevenage: Day, Franks, Wilkinson, King, Ogilvie, Pett (Tonge 31'), Schumacher, Lee, Hinds, McQuoid (Kennedy 70'), Godden.
Subs not used: Preston, Gorman, McKee, Ntlhe, Loft.
Next up is another local derby as Barnet visit the Lamex one week today.