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FACT FILE | CAMBRIDGE UNITED

A more in-depth look at today’s opponents

31 October 2020

NAME: Cambridge United

NICKNAME: United, The U’s

YEAR FOUNDED: 1912

MANAGER: Mark Bonner

LEAGUE POSITION: 2nd

A BRIEF HISTORY:

The club was founded in 1912 as Abbey United (named after the Abbey district of Cambridge in which they play); although a club called Cambridge United existed in Cambridge from 1909, it was not linked to the club that exists today. The club played in local amateur leagues, with some success, for many of its early years, moving from ground to ground around Cambridge before settling at the Abbey Stadium. In 1949 the club turned professional and changed its name to Cambridge United in 1951. 

Cambridge United's biggest successes came in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They won the Fourth Division playoffs under John Beck in 1990, beating Chesterfield 1–0 at Wembley. The following year United were crowned champions of the Third Division. Their key player of this era was high scoring centre forward Dion Dublin, who had joined the club on a free transfer from Norwich City in 1988. Dublin powered Cambridge to their best-ever league finish in 1992 - they finished 5th in the Second Division and qualified for the promotion playoffs.

On 22 July 2005 the club came out of administration with a deal being struck with HM Revenue and Customs at the eleventh hour, after the intervention of then sports minister Richard Caborn, and had no worries about starting the 2005–06 Conference National campaign. Rob Newman was unable to bring anything greater than a 12th-place finish in the 2005–06 Conference National final table.

Financial troubles remained, although with the burden of huge debts now lifted, and in December 2005 it was revealed that the club were in talks with their city neighbours Cambridge City F.C. about a possible merger. It was suggested by both parties that Cambridge, with a population of only 110,000, was not big enough to support two professional football clubs and a merger would be beneficial for both teams and guarantee the future of at least one team in the city. However, both sets of fans reacted badly to the news citing their club's individual identities as obstacles, with City fans particularly anxious that it would be a takeover by United rather than a merger.

In their first season back in the Football League, Cambridge United progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup, where they drew at home with Premier League team Manchester United. The match at the Abbey Stadium ended in a goalless draw, forcing a replay at Old Trafford, which Manchester United won 3–0. In the league, Cambridge finished 19th with 51 points. The following season started poorly, and Richard Money was sacked in November 2015,  to be replaced by Shaun Derry the same month. A six-match unbeaten run saw Derry win the League Two Manager of the Month award for December 2015, and the U's finished the league in 9th place with 68 points. They finished the 2016–17 season in 11th place, in a season that took in extended runs of both good and poor form. Derry was dismissed in February 2018 and was replaced on a permanent basis by his assistant, Joe Dunne, on the final day of 2017–18. Cambridge started 2018-19 poorly, and manager Dunne was dismissed after 20 games with the club in 21st place. Colin Calderwood was appointed as his replacement in December 2018. 

After a successful 2nd half of the 2018/2019 campaign finishing in 21st place on 47 points, 6 points above the relegation zone. He kept United in the league and was then offered a new contract after a positive start to the 2019/2020 campaign. However, after Three 4-0 defeats in the space of 1 month, he was sacked as head coach in January after a 0-4 home defeat to Salford City leaving the Club in 19th place.

Assistant Head coach Mark Bonner was given the temporary role as head coach and went onto win 4 of the final 7 games before the season was curtailed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This good form earned him the role as permanent Head Coach. Cambridge United currently sit second in Sky Bet League Two.

THE LAST LINEUP: 

Dimitar Mitov, Harrison Dunk, Robbie Cundy, Greg Taylor, Kyle Knoyle, Luke Hannant, Adam May, Hiram Boateng, Leon Davies, Paul Mullin, Joe Ironside

THE LAST SCORE: 

Walsall 0-2 Cambridge - Mullin, Ironside

KEY PLAYER: 

Paul Mullin - the striker has netted 11 times in 9 league appearances for the U’s this season so far. A man who certainly knows how to find the back of the net.

BETTING ODDS: 

Crawley - 8/5

Draw - 12/5

Cambridge United - 6/4


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