Home Results News Table Squad Statistics

Pilgrims 0-1 Cambridge United

LDV Vans Trophy

Manager Steve Evans used this LDV Vans Trophy first round match to give some of the fringe players in his squad a chance to produce a performance that would move them up the pecking order. He made eight changes to the side that started the match at Leyton Orient on Saturday. Ryan Clarke and David Staff made their first starts for the club this season, and first team regulars Andy Kirk, David Noble and Austin McCann had to sit it out on the subs' bench. The plan failed miserably though as Evans failed to emulate the achievement of former manager Neil Thompson in always making it through to the second round of this tournament. The first chance of the match was created by Danny Thomas, who picked out Lee Beevers from a free kick. Beevers was unlucky to see his header beat John Ruddy in the Cambridge goal, but bounce off the underside of the crossbar. Cambridge then began to dominate. Jermaine Easter found the side-netting with a long range effort, then Nathan Abbey had to deflect another shot from distance, this time from Dan Gleeson, behind for a corner. Next Dennis Oli managed to beat Boston's offside trap, but Ryan Clarke managed to get a foot in just in time to deflect his shot wide for a corner.

From the corner Gleeson headed straight at Abbey. Just at the end of the half Ruddy had a stroke of luck when his attempted clearance rebounded off the back of Thomas, but went wide of the goal. Soon after the start of the second half David Staff fired in a cross that needed to be tipped over by Ruddy. Cambridge took the lead on 66 minutes when EASTER fired the ball home from 12 yards out after Oli had broken through down the right wing. Boston applied pressure as they searched for an equaliser. A cross by Staff found Lee Thompson who turned an shot, but just over the bar. Then right at the death Ruddy has to react quickly to get behind a shot from Simon Rusk that picked up a deflection as it headed goalwards. After the match a disappointed Steve Evans said: "It was a poor performance. I gave a lot of people the chance to show me what they could do. But in the end some of them have slammed the door on themselves."

United team: Nathan Abbey, Lee Beevers, Ryan Clarke, Greg Strong, Matt Holland (Matt O'Halloran 59), Simon Rusk, Tom Bennett, Lee Thompson, Tam McManus, David Staff, Danny Thomas (Andy Kirk 74). Subs not used: David Noble, Austin McCann, Rob Norris.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox, 2004.