Report: Bristol Rovers 1-0 Cambridge United

17 Apr 2024
Bristol Rovers

Cambridge United fell to defeat at Bristol Rovers on Tuesday after a late Chris Martin goal separated the sides on a frustrating evening for the U’s…

Garry Monk named three changes from the side that drew against Charlton on Saturday, as James Brophy – who was making his 150th U’s appearance, Sullay Kaikai and Adam May came in for James Gibbons, Gassan Ahadme and Jordan Cousins.

It was Rovers who pushed the initiative during the early goings, without creating anything of note on Mannion’s goal. The first clear sighter came from an unlikely source – Paul Digby, whose free header from an Andrew corner was saved on the line, through a crowded area.

Mannion was called into action on 19 minutes though, as a slick Gas move led to Evans firing at goal towards the near-post, but the U’s stopper showed his quick reactions to stick out a leg and keep his goal clean.

The home side were keeping the pressure on United’s defence and they claimed for a penalty five minutes later, as Aguilera went down under the challenge of Jobe, but the referee waved away the home protests and told them to play on.

At the other end, United still posed a threat and were having particular joy from set-pieces. Bonne headed over from another Andrew delivery as both goals managed to stay un-breached.

Rovers’ second big penalty appeal would this time be awarded, as Digby was deemed to have fouled Sinclair who showed quick feet and class to burst into the box, but he was met by Mannion, who for the second time within the last few weeks, stepped up to make the stop.

The home side continued to apply pressure, but the U’s held strong to go into the break with the deadlock yet to be broken.

The second half started slowly, with both sides struggling to build up any momentum in the match, but on 56 minutes, another set-piece almost paid dividends for the U’s, as Andrew’s free-kick was flicked onto Jobe at the back-post, but he could only divert it onto the post from point-blank range.

Gassan Ahadme and Jack Lankester were soon called upon, replacing Macauley Bonne and Sullay Kaikai, who just before being substituted had one of United’s golden opportunities of the game, as he volleyed over the bar from the edge of the box.

With 15 minutes to go, it looked like the game was petering out towards a goalless draw, but Mannion was needed once more to deny former U, Jevani Brown at the near-post.

George Hoddle came on with 7 minutes to play to make his debut for the first team, but the evening ended sour for the U’s as Jevani Brown came back to haunt his former team, netting from point-blank range after Rovers got in-behind the U’s defence.

United now face a home clash with Derby County on Saturday, knowing that they still have plenty of work to do in-order to get over the line and achieve safety this season.

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