As far as ‘bridges go, we don’t mind so much the Ux, Staly or even Stour sorts. At least, we don’t tend to mind ’em more often than not. And we’re even partial to the ol’Tower one down in that London too. But Cam? Ooh, no; we’re not really so hot on that type of ‘bridge. After having City make mugs of us more than once, we then got lumbered with United. Now it’s a match that has a bit of a reputation that precedes it for some reason.
Sure, we squared up in the race for the Football League. That was then, though. It no longer feels like a box of fireworks waiting for the blue touch paper to be lit. Or is just that how we’ve come to terms with our past few encounters with the Amber Army? It’s almost like a console game you think would be good craic to have a play of every now and then. And then something shiny comes along and it’s forgotten again until the next time.
Cambridge United v Stevenage: The Lowdown
This is that next time. You’ve exhausted all that Christmas had to throw at you, and now you want something a little familiar – even if it might not be all that good or rewarding for you. Boro’ go to whatever their stadium is called at the moment in search of back-to-back wins again. We started 2019 in the best possible way (red cards not included), so how far into this New Year will we ride the metaphorical crest of the league wins wave?
P23 W9 D4 L10 F32 A28; last result: Stevenage 0-1 Cambridge United, 01/09/2018
Now, our recent record against Cambridge is starting to become a problem – if it isn’t one already. You’ll have to go back nearly three years (February 2016) for the last time we got the better of United. For us, it’s simply not OK. We’ve not even yet talked about how we’ve failed to score against them in more than 360 minutes of League Two football. Our head-to-head record is borked, and it needs fixing please. This weekend, preferably.
P12 W6 D2 L4 F16 A13; last result: Exeter City 2-1 Stevenage, 16/12/2017
We took a quick look at the man who’s down to ruin – sorry, run – this match. Then we had to do a double take, hoping we were still a bit sozzled from the New Year festivities and had read it wrong. Sadly, we hadn’t. We’re sorry to say that Trevor Kettle is that man. We have been on the wrong end of the result in the last two of ours he’s reffed (both away); it’s one win from the six that we’ve played on the road under his watchful eye.
This is (hopefully) one area in which we have a slight edge over United. We’re not going to tell you that it’s all sweet our end and that our recent run of form has been world-beating. It hasn’t. But at least it’s better than theirs; Cambridge picking up just five points from the last eight outings. Third bottom of the division with the joint worst attack and the second-worst defence, United are there for the taking. If only it were that simple…
Such a poor defensive record (47 goals in 26 games) means it’s no surprise that keeping clean sheets at home has been the exception and not the rule for Cambridge this season. This is a side with a big second half of the season ahead as we go into 2019. It got off to the worst possible start, though; MK Dons putting six past ’em on NYD. The trouble is that it’s not unheard of for sides badly out of knick to find their feet when we rock up.
Let’s hope our New Year’s Resolution is not to let that happen.
This is how it’s shaping up in the eyes of the team at kickoff.co.uk:
• MORE ABOUT ‘EM: Cambridge United club profile