In a season where the headlines have been dominated by the cash flow of Fleetwood Town and the circus which has become Kettering Town, one of the sides that have slipped under the radar with a somewhat low-key campaign are Cambridge United. In fact, I only recall hearing of them twice since August – first, when Tamworth completed a superb, unexpected victory at the Abbey Stadium at the end of January and secondly just two weeks ago when U’s boss Jez George personally paid for the admission of 80 supporters who made the long trip North to watch their side defeat Barrow 3-1.
As low-key as this season has been for the U’s, who recently announced plans to move to a brand new, all purpose stadium on the outskirts of the City, you can’t argue that it hasn’t been successful. At Present, Jez George’s side lie 11th in the table after seeing a late play-off surge falter and with this season already a marked improvement on last season’s 17th place, Cambridge United supporters will be hopeful of seeing their club push on next season as The U’s bid to make a return to the Football League for the first time since 2005.
Two names on the Cambridge United team sheet which will be familiar to Tamworth supporters are those of Michael Wylde and Tom Shaw – two players who were part of the side which sealed The Lamb’s promotion back to the Blue Square Premier in 2008/09. Wylde, who captained the club on a number of occasions, was named amongst the top 20 defenders in non-league football last season by the Non-League Paper despite Tamworth’s precarious position in the league and during his time at The Lamb became steadfast in the Tamworth defence, making 90 appearances and netting five times in his three years at the club. Shaw meanwhile made 76 appearances for Tamworth during his two-season spell, also earning an England C call up during this time. He is also Cambridge’s joint top scorer this season. We of course welcome both Michael and Tom back to The Lamb, although Michael will be unable to play through injury.
The last encounter between the sides, at Cambridge’s Abbey Stadium back in January, ended in a 1-0 victory for Tamworth when a long-range Liam McDonald strike was enough to separate the two sides. In their last league game, United defeated runaway league champions Fleetwood Town 2-0 at the Abbey Stadium with goals through Jack Eades and Rory McAuley, thus ending The Cods impressive 29-match unbeaten run.
Having gone fourteen matches since a win, Marcus Law and his players will be looking to end the season on a high.
Please keep checking for further updates, but Tamworth are expected to be without the services of Richard Tait as he recovers from a shoulder injury sustained against AFC Telford. There are no further updates on Sam Oji who was forced off injured during the second-half of The Lambs’ defeat to Stockport County, nor are there any further updates on MK Dons pair George Baldock and Charlie Collins or JP Marna. It also appears Keiron St.Aimie has been all but released.
It is reported Cambridge will be without the services of Michael Wylde, Josh Coulson, Kevin Roberts, Ashley Carew and Andy Pugh through injury, although Harrison Dunk may be fit enough to make the bench as he recovers from a spell on the sidelines.
Cambridge’s last six games have saw four victories coming against Lincoln (A), Kettering (H), Barrow (A) and that excellent win against Fleetwood Town (H). The other two fixtures ended with a 0-0 draw away to Hayes And Yeading and a 1-0 defeat at home to play-off hopefuls York City, who are of course managed by former Tamworth boss Gary Mills. Cambridge’s last six fixtures have therefore ended with a total of 13 points with The U’s scoring 8 goals and conceding just twice.
Tamworth on the other hand, four of our last six games have ended in defeat to Lincoln City (A), Bath City (H), AFC Telford (A) and Stockport (A) while there were draws against Grimsby Town (H) and Southport (H) In this time Tamworth amassed just 2 points, scoring 3 goals and conceding 11.
Last Match Line-ups
Tamworth (v Stockport County):
Hedge, Courtney, Francis, Oji (Nix), Barrow, Patterson (Healy), McDonald, Green, Gudger (Thomas), Taylor, Christie Subs: Nix, Healy, Thomas, Habergham, Grayson
Cambridge United (v Fleetwood Town):
Naisbitt, Thorpe, Jennings, McAuley, Hudson, Eades (Patrick), Hughes, Jarvis, Berry, Shaw, Gash. Subs:Marriott, Patrick, Corker, Brighton, Hurst.
Travelling To The Lamb?
Cambridge supporters travelling to The Lamb for Saturday’s game can find all they need to know by clicking the ‘Visiting The Lamb’ link which can be found at the top of this page. Whilst there you will find information on the away end, facilities, directions and nearby pubs.
Tamworth currently operate a match ‘category’ banding system, with this game being selected as a Category B fixture. Admission prices are £12 and £14 (adult terrace and seating respectively) and £7 and £9 (concessions). It’s also worth mentioning that this game kicks off at 1pm.
Live text services will as always be available via the BBC Sport website and the Sky Sports Score Centre.
Live radio coverage will be provided by BBC Radio Cambridge or by following this link:
Fancy a bet?
Blue Square Bet have the following odds available: Tamworth 7/4, Cambridge United 5/4 with a draw 9/4.
For other bookmakers prices, further details can be found by following this link to the Oddschecker website.
Cambridge United 3-3 Tamworth (20/10/2010)
Tamworth threw away a 3-0 lead as Cambridge netted three times in the space of 9 second-half minutes to take a share of the spoils at the Abbey Stadium. Tamworth stormed into a 2-0 half-time lead with goals from Danny Thomas and Kyle Perry, while Thomas netted a second goal of the game early in the second half to give Tamworth a commanding lead. Cambridge however were not to be written off and goals from Robbie Wilmott, Jordan Patrick and Adam Marriot completed an unlikely comeback, leaving Des Lyttle and his Tamworth troops shell shocked.
Atkins, Tait, Oakes, Wylde, Mitchell, Smith J, MacKenzie (Wilkinson 59), Perry (Bojang 80), Thomas, Bradley, Barrow
Subs: Marshall, Lake-Gaskin, Sheridan
Cambridge United line-up:
Naisbitt, Roberts, Jennings (Marriott 73), Coulson, Partridge, Russell, Wright, Willmott, McAuley, Gray, Stavrinou (Patrick 63)
Subs: Brown, Platt, Ives