“We would’ve taken a point at the start of the game!”
“They’re a decent side, and they were all over us.”
“It was always coming.”
These were all comments heard as leaving the ground yesterday – but for Cambridge United, you can’t help feel it was 2 points dropped against Wigan on Tuesday night. The game started as many expected, with Mark Bonner’s men pinned back by a slick, well-oiled Wigan side who were spraying the ball around and looking dangerous. The U’s were coping with the pressure well but it did feel like a matter of time before the inevitable Latics goal came.
They did indeed have the ball in the net through Will Keane early on, but that was ruled out for offside and seemed to give United the shake they needed. Mitov made a couple of important saves as the half went on but the highlight from the Bulgarian stopper came 10 minutes from half-time when the impressive Tom Pearce crossed for Callum Lang, who steered it towards the corner before Mitov stretched to palm it away.
The closer it came to half-time the more it felt like it would be a really good scoreline for Cambridge to take into the second half. George Williams tested Ben Amos with a stinging shot on the 41st minute before the unthinkable happened. Williams fired a long throw into the box which was only half-cleared to Brophy, who directed back to Big Joe (who else), who chested it down and volleyed past the helpless Amos. It was an absolute smash and grab for Cambridge in the first half and set the second half up very interestingly.
The teams came out for the second half, and most fans would be forgiven for expecting a backs-to-the-wall job from United, but it wasn’t so. It only took 8 minutes in fact, for the U’s to double their lead. Joe Ironside did well to bring down a high ball into the box, and it fell to Adam May who made no mistake from 15 yards out. May’s eye for goal has certainly helped United this season, and at 2-0 Cambridge knew that there was a chance for an upset at the Abbey.
As the half went on the game became cagey and Cambridge absorbed the Wigan pressure relatively well, until the 84th minute that is. Gavin Massey fed the ball to Will Keane, who fired a tidy finish into the bottom corner, to leave Cambridge hearts in mouths for the remaining 6 minutes. The United fans worries were realised on the 87th minute when a free kick from the right was whipped in and bounced into the path of Callum Lang who made no mistake.
It was an incredibly frustrating and avoidable goal for the U’s to concede and Wigan still threatened to compile Cambridge’s misery and turn the game on its head. United did show signs of pushing for a winner of their own but in the end the game finished 2-2, leaving the Cambridge fans feeling a little deflated and wondering what could have been. Next up we welcome another former Premier League side in Sunderland, which promises to be a huge day at the Abbey on Saturday.
Listen to the latest UTAS below or wherever you get your pods. Featuring a Sunderland preview.
Man of the Match: A pretty good all-round performance from United, and it could’ve been Dimi or Big Joe, but on the advice of a Wigan fan in the pub afterwards it goes to George Williams.
Special mention too, for Harrison Dunk, who made his 400th appearance for the U’s. What a man.
Lineup: Mitov, Williams, Masterson, Iredale, Dunk, Digby, Weir, Smith, May (Worman, 84), Brophy (Knibbs, 73), Ironside
Soundtrack of the match: Katy Perry – The One That Got Away