Cambridge v Tranmere

Cambridge v Tranmere
Posted by Ian
The Abbey Stadium
Saturday, February 16, 2019 - 03:00 PM
Until: Saturday, February 16, 2019 - 05:00 PM
(Adjusted for timezone: Europe/London)
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Ian

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Living dangerously in that first half, however we were much better in the second. We didn't pepper the goal with shots but we did have a decent amount of the ball and they all worked hard. Tricky game and it was a well won point. Let's hope we can build on that Tues because we need to be be picking up points every week.
 
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Interesting comments from Colin Calderwood, describing us as a well organised side with an identity and good players, and as good as anyone he has seen so far.
 
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Boz

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Interesting comments from Colin Calderwood, describing us as a well organised side with an identity and good players, and as good as anyone he has seen so far.
Makes a pleasant change after the garbage from the Stevenage manager last week.

Pringle taken off, was he having a quiet game or picked up a knock? Did Smith and Morris swap wings, or did Jonny play wide left? I presume Buxton for Caprice was an acceptance by Micky of the draw, bringing on a more defensive full back? How did Zoum perform on his return to the first team?
 
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Pringle taken off, was he having a quiet game or picked up a knock? Did Smith and Morris swap wings, or did Jonny play wide left? I presume Buxton for Caprice was an acceptance by Micky of the draw, bringing on a more defensive full back? How did Zoum perform on his return to the first team?
I will try and deal with all of those. ;)

This was a hard earned point against tenacious opposition. I thought we played the better football throughout the game, but we did not really get control of the match until the second half. In the first period a lot of our passing moves broke down due to Cambridge's constant harrying and chasing when we were in possession. We did get into good positions in the wide areas on several occasions, but struggled to get men into the box and create genuine chances, albeit Norwood was clean through on goal midway through the half but was denied by a brilliant last-ditch tackle by a defender. At the other end of the pitch, the hosts strong, pacy attackers were a constant nuisance and Cambridge generally looked the more dangerous of the two sides, with Scotty called upon to make a couple of good saves. All of that said, we generally defended well and stood up to the physical challenge.

After half time Cambridge fell off the pace a bit, our passing improved, and we began to dominate. We had several periods of concerted pressure but the final pass or finish was not quite there, the best chance again falling to Nors after a brilliant through ball by Perkins.

Individually, I thought Perkins and McCullough were excellent once again and had fantastic workrate. I was concerned about Zoum before kick off, but fortunately he was excellent defensively and I just hope today's performance was not a one off from him. It was not really a game that suited Ben Pringle: with the physicality and intensity of the match he was on the periphery at times, albeit he still showed some lovely touches on occasions. Jennings had a bit of a mare in the first half, but improved massively after half time. For men of the match, I could not really look beyond both centre halves and Scott Davies, all of whom had excellent games despite taking a physical battering at times. Smith played on the right hand side when he came on; I am unsure why Caprice was taken off, unless he had picked up a knock.

Cambridge were greatly improved on the side we played earlier in the season, and I think this was a good result. However, if we are serious about challenging for the play offs, we surely have to win our game in hand against a floundering Port Vale side on Tuesday.

Final word goes to the SWA, who turned up in incredible numbers again today (629).
 
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I forgot to say that Morris was excellent today, particularly with his willingness to track back, defend and take the ball in tight areas.
 

ADD

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Very good summary RLC above and yes Morris did a great job especially second half. All in all a second consecutive good display following on from a good display against Stevenage - new players seem well integrated now and will surely only get better. Perkins certainly belies his age and is full of energy. Davies had an excellent game all round but when he got injured first time that was as a result of once again a very poor first save of a long range effort - his achilles heel it seems. The only thing still missing is we need to develop better linkage between Jennings/ Nors and the midfield - yes we created a couple of good chances but with the amount of possession and the quality of our passing today we didn't get enough service to them.
Port Vale may well be a season defining game now as we surely need to win that to stand a chance of the playoffs. It is unlikely with Vale scrapping like mad as the gap between them and the bottom 2 closes to be pretty but a win will really set us up for the run in.
 
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think mullin ar daggers need to get some time . we need to score cant think nor will do it every time
 
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I agree with ADD that Norwood looks isolated at the moment, although Jennings got up in support of him more effectively in the second half. I think it is catch 22 for the manager. If we played Mullin up front we would have two conventional strikers to aim at and more of an obvious focus for attacks, albeit they have not really looked effective as a pairing. However, would you drop Jennings, who has been a key player for us for two or three years now ? It is a difficult decision to make.

As I have said above, a major gripe I had yesterday was the lack of bodies in the box at times. When you are playing with two wingers the midfield players, and the winger on the opposite side of the pitch to the ball, need to bust a gut to get into the box when the ball goes wide. On a number of occasions in the first half Pringle had the ball in a good position but had to check back inside as there was nobody to cross to in the eighteen yard box.
 
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