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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Exiles head to the Abbey Stadium to take on Cambridge United

15 December 2017

The Exiles head to Cambridge for the second meeting between the two sides in just 13 days following the match in the Emirates FA Cup at Rodney Parade. The home side will be looking to avenge that defeat while County head on their travels looking for a first win in Cambridge since 23rd February 1985.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this League 2 fixture.

 

Last six league fixtures

 

Despite conceding last weekend, Cambridge United have still kept the joint highest number of clean-sheets in League 2 this season, as the U’s and Coventry City have kept 10 thus far.

Three of those shutouts have come during their previous six league matches, in which time the side have amassed six points, following one win, three draws and two defeats.

Two goalless draws start that run. The first came at Grimsby Town, while Accrington were also held at the Abbey Stadium.

In their next game, however, The U’s suffered somewhat of a humbling at Luton Town. The Hatters scored a few contenders for goal of the season during the game at Kenilworth Road, eventually winning 7-0.

Another goalless draw followed just four days later, this time at Cheltenham Town, before they scored for the first time in five League 2 matches in a 1-0 victory over Stevenage. Uche Ikpeazu scored with two minutes to go to settle the contest.

In their most recent game, the U’s remained in 13th place in the League 2 table after a 2-0 defeat at Port Vale. Christian Montano scored a double for the Valiants to ensure that Cambridge United have only scored one goal from their last six league outings.

 

Team-News

 

Cambridge have a couple of concerns ahead of our visit through both injury and suspension.

Striker Uche Ikpeazu will definitely miss the game after being sent off for two bookable offences at Port Vale last weekend, the second time already this season he has missed a game through suspension.

His attack-partner Jabo Ibehre is a doubt for the game at the Abbey Stadium after being forced to withdraw in the same game through an unspecified injury. The pair have scored 13 goals between them already this campaign.

Midfielder Gary Deegan remains side-lined with a broken foot, an injury that he remarkably played with for three games before the problem was finally diagnosed.

And fellow midfielder David Amoo is also expected to be unavailable. The 23-year old picked up an injury during the Emirates FA Cup clash at Rodney Parade and is yet to return to full fitness.

Cambridge manager Shaun Derry made one change from our cup tie for the match at Port Vale, as Piero Mingoia replaced Jevani Brown.

 

Cambridge team vs Port Vale (4-4-2): Forde, Halliay, Legge, Taylor, Carroll, Mingoia (Maris 54’), O’Neil, Elito, Dunk (Brown 54’), Ikpeazu, Ibehre (Azeez 49’)

 

One to Watch – Jabo Ibehre

 

The 34-year old will be a constant threat to the County defence if he is fit to start.

He has five goals already this campaign for the club he joined over the summer, three of which have come at home.

Ibehre scored the winner against Sutton United in the Emirates FA Cup, while also netting past Coventry City and Forest Green Rovers. He has also scored match-winners with his two away goals, both in 1-0 victories at Crewe and Crawley.

He joined the U’s over the summer having rejected a new contract from Carlisle United.

Ibehre spent two seasons in Cumbria and had his best success with the club. His tally of 17 goals in his debut season is his best goal scoring return for a campaign, while he found the net on 14 occasions last season, including against County in Carlisle’s 2-1 win.

He spent the longest time at one club with the first of his career as he joined Leyton Orient as a youth player. Over eight seasons in the first-team, Ibehre made more than 200 appearances and scored 41 goals.

Walsall then came calling for a season, before the offer to join Roberto Di Matteo at MK Dons was too good an opportunity to turn down.

His first season didn’t quite get off the ground like he would have liked, but he found his way back into the side following loan spells at Southend and Stockport.

A loan and subsequent permanent transfer to Colchester then came in 2012. But after two good seasons, Ibehre fell out of favour at the club and had more loan spells with Oldham and Barnsley before the move to Carlisle.

All this means Ibehre has scored 129 competitive goals during his career from over 600 appearances.

Interestingly, the striker has never won a trophy during his 17-year career, although did win the Colchester United player of the year award in 2013.

 

Stadium – Abbey Stadium

Supporters of Cambridge United rejoiced earlier this month with the news that the name of their stadium would be reverting back to the Abbey Stadium.

The news came after key club sponsor Cambs Glass, who originally owned the naming rights of the ground, allowed the club to embrace its heritage and moved its sponsorship into other aspects of the club.

It has been home to Cambridge United since 1932, and has a current capacity of 8,127 although a record for the stadium came in 1970 as 12,000 fans saw the friendly with Chelsea.

Away fans will be housed in the Marston’s Smooth South Stand behind one of the goals. It is an all seater stand and will be able to accommodate up to 1,500 away supporters.

153 Exiles fans made the trip last season, while 339 were there for the opening game of the 2015/16 campaign.

 

Previous meeting this season

Newport County AFC 2 – 0 Cambridge United

 

Sunday 3rd December 2017 (Rodney Parade)

The Exiles booked their place in the Emirates FA Cup Third-Round for just the second time in 32 years with a 2-0 victory over Cambridge United.

Captain Joss Labadie scored both of the goals for County at Rodney Parade, with the opener coming just 93 seconds into the game.

It came after Matty Dolan curled an inch-perfect free-kick right across the face of the Cambridge goal, with Labadie there at the right time to expertly guide a calm side footed finish into the top corner from all of four yards.

Ben White was forced to clear one off the line as Cambridge came in search of forcing a replay late-on, the eighth time the Brighton loanee has done that already this season, only for Labadie to provide a sucker-punch to the U’s with eight minutes to go.

And what a goal it was to book County’s place in the next round.

After a Cambridge long ball had gone astray, substitute Padraig Amond played a stunning splitting pass into his attacking partner Frank Nouble’s path.

And after resisting the temptation to play the ball early, Nouble skipped past the challenge on the right-hand side, before drilling the ball back to the penalty spot for Labadie to volley home past a helpless David Forde in the away goal.

 

Officials

 

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Butler

Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Aylott

Fourth Official: Keith Hill

Sarginson is currently embarking on his 10th season as a Football League referee having been promoted from the National League at the start of the 2008/09 campaign.

He has refereed 22 matches thus far this season, the last of which came on Tuesday 5th December as Lincoln City beat Accrington Stanley 3-2 in the CheckaTrade Trophy.

Sarginson produced six yellow cards during that fixture, taking his tally for the season to 71 yellow cards and five red cards from the 22 matches. Three of those dismissals actually came in the same match, as Yeovil beat Stevenage 3-0 at Huish Park.

That follows on from his record last season which reads as 121 yellow cards and seven red cards from 41 league and cup fixtures.

 

County Connection

 

Sarginson has officiated County on seven previous occasions in both League 2 and the Emirates FA Cup. He is not one of the luckiest omens for the Exiles, however, as County have only won one of those matches.

The first of those matches came way back on the 14th September 2013 as a penalty from Padraig Amond helped Morecambe to a 3-2 victory at Rodney Parade. Billy Jones scored on his debut and Robbie Willmott also found the net for County, as Harry Worley and Tom Naylor were both booked.

The next game refereed by Sarginson that season came in the 0-0 draw with Bury at Rodney Parade. This time four yellows cards were given out to the Exiles – Adam Chapman, Chris Zebroski, Aaron Holloway and Lee Minshull all cautioned.

In 2014/15, another two County games were officiated by Sarginson.

Goals from Chris Zebroski, Darren Jones and Lee Minshull lifted the Exiles to a 3-2 victory over Northampton Town in the first game, as Kevin Feely and Joe Pigott were both booked.

Sarginson first refereed County on the road against Luton Town on 8th November 2014 in the Emirates FA Cup. The Hatters secured a 4-2 victory in the First-Round clash, as Lee Minshull and Chris Zebroski were both shown yellow cards.

The 2015/16 season also saw Sarginson officiate two County matches.

Yan Klukowski and Scott Boden scored in the 2-2 draw at Accrington Stanley, as Jazzi Barnum-Bobb and Alex Rodman were cautioned.

Mark Byrne was the only player booked as County lost 1-0 to Northampton in the other game that season as the Cobblers all but sealed the League 2 title.

The final game officiated by Sarginson came last season – and it wasn’t without it’s drama.

The date was 4th February 2017 and a Janaai Gordon goal deep into injury time in-front of over 800 County fans rescued a point in the 1-1 draw with Cheltenham Town. Gordon was also booked in that fixture.

 

Other League 2 fixtures this weekend (All 3pm kick-offs unless stated)

Swindon Town vs Colchester United (Friday 7:45pm)

Barnet vs Morecambe

Carlisle United vs Port Vale

Coventry City vs Cheltenham Town

Crewe Alexandra vs Crawley Town

Exeter City vs Stevenage

Forest Green Rovers vs Luton Town

Lincoln City vs Accrington

Mansfield Town vs Yeovil Town

Notts County vs Grimsby Town

Wycombe Wanderers vs Chesterfield

 

Can’t make the match?

You can follow along on social media using @NCAFCLive on Twitter, or via the Club’s official Facebook and Instagram pages.

Don’t forget – if you reside outside of the UK, you can watch the game live by subscribing to County’s iFollow service. Commentary by Tim Thraves can also be found at the Match Centre from 2:45pm.


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