Blues close pre-season with narrow loss
Town fell to a 1-0 defeat at Cambridge United in their final pre-season outing.
Former Town defender Paul Digby netted the winner for the U’s in the second half.
Oli Hawkins made his first start for the Club since his arrival earlier in the month and completed 45 minutes before being replaced by James Norwood who made his return to action following a reoccurring groin problem.
After a cagey opening, it was the hosts who created the first chance of the afternoon with the ball falling to Luke Hannant whose effort was blocked by Donacien.
Town were yet to carve out any kind of opening and the U’s came close again with Greg Taylor latching on to a deep free-kick from Hannant at the far post but the Cambridge skipper saw his effort trickle wide of the mark.
Cambridge came close again on 32 minutes through Harvey Knibbs who raced into the area before seeing his low drive flash just past the post.
On 42 minutes, Wes Hoolahan won the ball back from Tommy Smith and slipped in Knibbs but his effort was deflected behind for a corner.
Lankester was looking to be the catalyst for Blues, he twisted and turned inside the penalty area before seeing his right-footed effort blocked by Greg Taylor for a corner.
Paul Lambert made two changes at the break with James Norwood and Corrie Ndaba replacing Oli Hawkins and Janoi Donacien respectively.
Norwood was inches away from opening the scoring, darting to the near post and hitting the foot of the post with a header from a Lankester corner.
The hosts broke the deadlock on 56 minutes. Cambridge countered from a Town corner through Paul Mullin who raced down the left flank and took it to the byline before hitting the post but former Town player Digby was on hand to tap the rebound into an empty net.
Town and Cambridge both made a flurry of substitutions in the second half. Town huffed and puffed but found it difficult to break down the Cambridge back line. The hosts nearly doubled their lead through Tom Dickens who latched on to a through ball but Holy made a smart stop to deny.
Blues came close to an equaliser on 89 minutes with Judge testing Mitov from range, the U’s ‘keeper quickly gathering the ball from the on-rushing Norwood who was looking to pounce.
Town: Cornell (Holy 74), Donacien (Ndaba 45), Wilson, Woolfenden, Smith, Huws, McGavin (Dobra 64), Nolan (El Mizouni 69), Lankester (Folami 74), Hawkins (Norwood 45), Judge.
Cambridge: Mitov, Knoyle, Darling (Dickens 72), Taylor, Iredale (Dunk 63), Hoolahan (Knowles 63), Digby (Simper 72), O'Neil (Trialist B 63), Hannant (Neal 85), Mullin (Dallas 69), Knibbs (Ironside, 69)
Subs: Trialist A, Bennett.