Our final match in this season’s Leasing.com Trophy ended in a penalty shootout victory after we came from behind to draw at Abbey Stadium in regular time.
We went into the game knowing that we could not reach the knockout stages regardless of the result after a draw (and penalty shootout defeat) to Northampton Town and a narrow loss to Peterborough United.
We started strongly and could have been ahead twice in a matter of minutes when James Olayinka saw his fine effort saved before Dinos Mavropanos rose highest at a corner, but could only direct his header wide.
Nathan Tormey should have given us the lead when, after nice build-up play, he collected the ball in front of goal but saw his chip bounce wide of the post.
Arguably against the run of play, the hosts took the lead when Harvey Knibbs reacted quickly in the box to slam home the rebound after Matt Macey had made a good save.
Five minutes after the restart the hosts were down to 10 men when Liam O’Neil received a second yellow card for a cynical foul on Zech Medley.
Moments later, Tyreece John-Jules produced a fine turn in the box to lose his marker but saw his powerful effort clip off the top of the cross bar and go behind.
He made no mistake to pull us level shortly after, though when he cushioned a well-weighted cut back from Tobi Omole into the bottom corner from inside the box.
We almost took the lead immediately after when our forward snatched back possession, drove at goal but was denied by a fantastic save from Burton, who got down well to turn the ball behind.
Cambridge should have won the game in the closing stages when Knibbs stole possession on the halfway line and raced clear at goal, but instead of having a go himself, he tried to tee-up Reggie Lamb who had strayed into an offside position.
Despite Omole missing our opening spot kick, we still gained an extra point as Dan Jones and Harrison Dunk both skied their efforts for the hosts, while Sam Greenwood, Robbie Burton, Medley and Ben Cottrell made no mistake.
WHAT IT MEANS
We finished our Leasing.com Trophy campaign in third place in Group H on three points, although Cambridge still have a game in hand.
We will have to wait until next season for our next match in the competition as we were unable to qualify for the knockout stages.
By Sam Cox
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