The Bridge On The River Cam

Match Preview – Cambridge United v Stevenage (18 Jan 2020): The Bridge on the River Cam

Now stuck deeper in the brown stuff and hoping a trip up to Cambridge can give us a straw to clutch. It’s a hard knock life, innit? Let’s face it – the Us won’t be hangin’ around in trying to make things even worse for us than they are already. Bottom of the league table? Sure – that’s old news now. Three points adrift? Well, that’s a new development – yeah. But come on then Cambridge. Whatcha got? Bring it on. We’re more than ready for it.

Especially if it’s three points.


Cambridge United v Stevenage: The Preview…

Cambridge United – who are they?

We came within seven minutes of claiming our first win of the current season last time we met the Us. The fact that game was nearly two months into term should’ve started ringing alarm bells. And the fact that we didn’t hold out for the win likewise. It does mean, though, it’s nearly four years since we last beat ’em; February 2016 so long ago now. Our draw at the end of September was the first time we’d scored against them in six matches too.

Brace yourselves.

Our Record vs Cambridge United: P 25 — W 9 — D 5 — L 11 — F 33 — A 31 — Pts 25
Last time out: Stevenage 1-1 Cambridge United, 28 September 2019

How are Cambridge United doing so far this season?

Oh, to be sitting 16th in the table and in a position to lose five of your last six matches. It hasn’t been a great time in recent weeks for the Us; a 1-0 victory at home to Morecambe breaking up the run of defeats. But it’s more wins than we’ve managed in nearly twice as many outings, so who are we to chirp. And please don’t mistake us for doing so. We only point out the facts. It just so happens that it hasn’t been a happy new year for ’em.

You can even make a point that we’ve taken more points in 2020 than the Us. There’s no trophy for that, however. And you can’t blame for the Us looking at us as their way out of their rut. As we’re keen on letting in late goals, we may as well tell you that our hosts will oblige; 37% of their goals this term (11) have come in the final 15. That goes up to nearly three-quarters (73%) for goals in the second half. Don’t be fooled if we go in all square.

Tell us something we don’t know about Cambridge United

If you think we’re having a duff season, don’t worry – it doesn’t come close to the rubbish the Us once endured. After making to the lofty heights of Division Two in 1978 (just eight years after becoming a Football League club), the 1983-4 campaign was one very much to forget. Their run of 31 league games without a win set a new League record. Of course, it gives us no consolation now. And that record was broken by Derby County in 2008. So…

What are the bookies’ odds for this game?

The market knows. For a Us team that really hasn’t had too much joy of late, a best price of 49/50 (Marathon) doesn’t look good for us. The bookies price us accordingly; you’ll find us as as far out as 10/3 (multiple) if you look hard enough. Think we’re in for another goalless draw? 15/2 (Bet365) gives you decent returns – but we’d expect one goal to go in at some point. How does 9/5 (Will Hill) on the draw at 75 minutes sound, though?

Don’t forget – be responsible. And when the fun stops, stop.

Which Cambridge United player should we watch out for?

He’s not the guv’nor of those quirky own-label, no-phone pubs dotted around the land, but he is the Us top goalscorer so far this term; Sam Smith joined on loan from Reading and has made a fair impression. Eight goals in 33 outings might not seem like a lot overall, but give us a Boro’ player who’s scored that many. No? Didn’t think so. With no goals since before Christmas, however, Smith will no doubt be desperate to end the drought. As are we ours.

Who is our ref for this match?

Ross Joyce. Well, this lad comes with bad news and irrelevant news. The bad news is that we’ve never won on his watch; five games producing just two points. The irrelevant news is those draws came from our two most recent times with him. On paper, it should be a “D” to make it three Ls and three Ds. But good luck with that coming off. Joyce is yet to go a single game without brandishing a card this season; 97 yellows and three reds from 21 outings.

Our Record: P 5 — W 0 — D 2 — L 3 — F 5 — A 8
Last time out: Notts County 3-3 Stevenage, 15 September 2018

And, finally, what do you reckon?

If we could name some of the places we’d rather not go when things aren’t going our way, Cambridge would be one of ’em. It’s a long time since we’ve got the better of them and it’s unlikely to change here. And we still haven’t won on the road this season either. Mind you, should there ever be a place to change that…

Cambridge United v Stevenage scorecast: 2-0


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