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#U23 #PapaJohnsTrophy #MatchReport #Cambridge

Development Squad edged out by Cambridge

Cambridge United 1-0 Spurs U21s (Papa John's Trophy)

Tue 21 September 2021, 21:00|Tottenham Hotspur

Our Development Squad lost out to a fortuitous second-half goal from Sam Smith as Cambridge United claimed a slender victory in the Papa John's Trophy on Tuesday evening.

In a meeting of the top two sides in Southern Group H at the Abbey Stadium, a tight game was settled 18 minutes from time when Smith instinctively steered Jack Lankester's wayward attempt in off the far post from a central position in the box.

We had our chances as we sought to build on a thrilling 4-3 win at Stevenage on matchday one, but Dilan Markanday dragged wide in the first period while Nile John was denied an equaliser by goalkeeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle and Alfie Devine blasted into the side-netting with the clock ticking down.

Coach Wayne Burnett made one change to the side that drew 3-3 at Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League 2 on Friday with Marqes Muir coming back in at centre-half in place of Malachi Fagan-Walcott, while the hosts named our former defender Jubril Okedina in their starting XI in one of eight changes from their League One victory at Portsmouth at the weekend. After a poignant minute's applause in memory of Jimmy Greaves, the first half was an end-to-end affair, Cambridge starting strongly with Jack Lankester chipping the advancing Josh Oluwayemi and forcing Kallum Cesay to head behind for a corner as the ball drifted towards the empty net. We began to grow into the game after a few minutes and Harvey White seemed to catch McKenzie-Lyle out with a fierce shot from 20 yards that forced him to fumble around the outside of the post while Markanday's incisive run through the middle ended with Devine's shot from the right angle inside the area being blocked by the home goalkeeper.

Cambridge fashioned a couple of chances around the 25-minute mark, George Williams' low shot tipped around the near post by Oluwayemi and Harrison Dunk lifting an effort over the bar after Lloyd Jones' goal-bound header from a corner had hit his own team-mate Harvey Knibbs in the six-yard box. Our best chance of the first period arrived on 38 minutes when White pushed forward on the counter and fed Markanday but, after turning his marker inside-out, the attacker dragged his shot wide of the far post with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot. Devine had a couple of attempts in the closing moments of the first half while Adam May ran onto the ball but arrowed over from 20 yards at the other end.

The second half didn't yield any real chances for either side until the 64th minute when substitute Kai Yearn's shot was well held by Oluwayemi, while Jack Clarke was narrowly off-target for us 60 seconds later after one of a number of mesmerising runs by Markanday coming in off the right side.

Cambridge edged ahead on 72 minutes when a cross came over from the left flank, Lankester swung his left foot at it from the right-hand corner of the box and the ball appeared to be going wide, but Smith reacted quickest and diverted it in off the far post. John burst into the box for us five minutes later but was denied by a strong stop from McKenzie-Lyle at his near post, while Devine could only find the side-netting from a tight angle as he arrived onto Clarke's cross at the back post after more good work from Markanday and John with four minutes remaining.

'We're disappointed we didn't come away with something'

Coach Wayne Burnett said: "I thought at times we moved the ball around quite nicely, we created chances, got into key areas but didn't capitalise, so that was the disappointing thing. There was very little in the game and we're disappointed we didn't come away with something. We created chances which is a good thing, we know we can get into good areas but at times we need to capitalise better. On reflection of the game, I think we probably had more chances than the opposition and on another day the result might have been different."

Cambridge United 1-0 Spurs U21s (Papa John's Trophy)

Cambridge United: McKenzie-Lyle, Williams (Davies 63), Dunk (c), Weir, Jones (Iredale 77), Okedina, Worman, May (Yearn 63), Smith, Knibbs, Lankester. Substitutes (not used): Mannion, Brophy, O'Neil, Ironside.

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Matthew Craig, Cesay (Michael Craig 86), Lyons-Foster (c) (Santiago 69), Muir, Omole, John, White, Markanday, Devine, Clarke. Substitutes (not used): Lo-Tutala, Pedder, Paskotsi, Fagan-Walcott, Lavinier.

Match data

Goal: Cambridge United - Smith 72.

Yellow cards: Cambridge United - Lankester 44; Spurs - Oluwayemi 44.

Referee: Carl Boyeson.

Venue: Abbey Stadium, Cambridge.

Weather: Clear sky, light winds, 17 degrees.