The Cambridge team lost following a late goal by the visiting teamJames Lee

The Light Blues made up for a first half firmly under the cosh with a commanding second half display, which saw them in the ascendancy on Wednesday, looking by far the most likely of the two teams to take home all three points, let alone one.

However, a lapse in concentration from defender Stefan Thomson saw a back pass headed short, and keeper Tim Wallace left with no choice but to rush out and watch the ball lofted over him and into the net.

The first half began with Oxford kicking off and straight out the blocks, threatening the home side immediately with a charge down the left flank and a subsequent shot launched just over the bar. They spent the rest of the first half firmly on top, harrying the Cambridge defence with regularity and forcing their hosts into frequent panicky defensive decisions.

Oxford directed most of their attacking play down the right flank in this period and had multiple goal-scoring opportunities as a result. It was not long before the Dark Blues forced an opening, with one of many first half corners finding its way to a melee of players before ending up on the crossbar. The subsequent rebound found an Oxford foot on the volley, to put the visitors ahead after 18 minutes.

Oxford’s goalkeeper maintained good distribution throughout, and a loose Cambridge defence presented plenty of holes to direct action through. In one of these moments, the Oxford attack skilfully lurched through the offside trap for a one-on-one with the keeper. Wallace, however, showed quick reactions to get out and parry the resultant shot.

A free kick in the 32nd minute saw captain Nick Gallagher feed the ball to striker Kosi Nwuba, who was able to shake off the Oxford defence. Although the resultant shot packed a punch, it was ultimately too central and too easy for the keeper to deal with.

From here, Cambridge grew into the game, and played out the rest of the first half with a defensive composure which had been distinctly lacking. They were able to make it to the break with a deficit of just one goal.

The second half marked a dramatic and immediate improvement by the hosts, who had clearly not allowed their heads to dip. Greater possession play allowed Cambridge to get men forward in a way not possible in the first half, and the chances came thick and fast as a result.

The Light Blues then subbed in Ethan Radus, who added a creative flare previously lacking. Just a few minutes after coming on the winger, Radus made a silky run down the right flank before cutting inside to release a determined shot at the goal, only to see a resolute Oxford defence block and clear.


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Radus was to get his dividend, however. A quality effort from Patrick Mortimer saw a lovely curling shot from 30 yards dip goal-bound, but it was blocked by a full-stretch save from the Oxford keeper. The resulting corner drew the move of the match: swung in from the left, it seemingly missed its intended target, only to be found on the edge of the area by Radus, who, in a moment of sheer brilliance, swung a left boot at it on the volley and sent it spiralling into the top right corner to level the score to 1-1 in the 77th minute.

Seeking to build on this, wave after wave of attack went towards an increasingly frustrated Oxford defence. However, in what should have been a routine pass, Thomson attempted to head the ball back to an onrushing Wallace, only for it to fall way too short and into the path of a marauding Oxford forward, who calmly lifted the ball over the keeper and into an empty net, making it 2-1 at 84 minutes. Late flurries came to nothing and the referee blew for the Dark Blues to take the encounter 2-1.

Cambridge next face Derby away on 27/11, whilst Oxford head to Reading on 20/11.

Full match footage is available here.

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