The lowdown on Cambridge United’s season so far

Jordan Slew, during his loan spell with Boro

Jordan Slew, during his loan spell with Boro - Credit: Archant

This season has been a ‘learning curve’ for Cambridge United, according to boss Richard Money.

Here, journalist Michael Vaughton, who writes about the club, gives his view on the U’s.

1. Overall the season has been an excellent one for the U’s. Having spent nine years out of the Football League, they have acquitted themselves well in League Two and are on course to stay up.

They have also enjoyed their time in the FA Cup spotlight thanks to two matches against Manchester United, along with banking more than a £1million from the cup run.

2. The obvious high was holding Manchester United to a goalless draw at the R Costings Abbey Stadium and earning a big-money replay. Although they ended up being beaten 3-0 in the replay, things might have been different had Tom Elliott’s first-minute strike gone in rather than hitting the post.

The opening-day win over Plymouth, when their longest-serving player Josh Coulson got the only goal, was also a really good moment as they made the perfect start to life back in the Football League.

As for the lows, getting thrashed 6-2 at home by Portsmouth last month was an afternoon to forget.

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3. United’s form has been a bit patchy since the sides last met over the Christmas period. The thing that has held them back this season has been their inability to string many wins together in a decent run, but, as Richard Money has rightly said on more than one occasion, it is a big learning curve for the vast majority of his players and very few of the defenders had previous experience of League football.

4. [Former Boro loanee] Jordan Slew has settled in nicely and he was excellent in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury. He also netted in the 2-0 victory at Morecambe.

He would probably have liked to have scored a few more and he has had some decent chances, but his hold-up play has been good, he works hard and he has been a good outlet for the midfield and defence.

5. It is a little tricky to pick out a key player in an attacking sense at the moment as goals are shared around, but Ryan Donaldson’s creativity always makes him one to watch if he is on top of his game.

Goalkeeper Chris Dunn has also been making some excellent saves recently and played a key role in the U’s drawing 1-1 at Shrewsbury.

Michael Vaughton is a sports reporter for the Cambridge Evening News.