Cambridge United look to continue their improved Sky Bet League One form as they lock horns with Peterborough United in the latest installment of the Cambridgeshire derby on Saturday afternoon at the Weston Homes Stadium…
The U’s make the short journey eager to extend their unbeaten run to six games in all competitions, rise into the top half of the table and seal back-to-back league victories over the Posh, who are out to preserve their play-off berth by making an instant return to winning ways.
How to Watch
United will be roared on by a sold-out following of 1,613 for Saturday’s matchup, which gets underway at 12pm.
Should any returns be made available, they will be released on cufctickets.com. Keep up to date by having your notifications on for the Cambridge United Ticket Office Twitter account.
Fans without tickets are urged not to travel to Peterborough, and those supporters who do are reminded to behave in a manner which aligns with the Club’s community and family focused values.
Founded in 1934 at a meeting in the Angel Hotel, local councilor Jack Swain had high hopes for the future of the newly-founded club, which filled the void left by Peterborough and Fletton United’s collapse 19 months earlier. Beginning in green shirts, the side would remain in the Midland League until 1960, where they were elected to the Football League following five consecutive titles. Momentum continued, Posh immediately established themselves as a Third Division side, even reaching the FA Cup quarter-final in 1965 and the League Cup semi-final the following year, but fluctuated until 1992 where they reached the second tier for the first time. Since the turn of the millennium, they’ve yo-yoed, but Darren Ferguson has spearheaded the visitors to four promotions since 2008. Although their Championship stay was short-lived in 2021/22, they hope to go one better than last season’s play -off semi-final defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and stage a return.
Also lining up in the familiar 4-2-3-1 system, Australian Nicholas Bilokapic has garnered six clean sheets from 16 and has a dependable back four of Harrison Burrows, Peter Kioso, Josh Knight and Ronnie Edwards, with the latter two racking up 200 appearances already between them. Hector Kyprianou is the enforcer who sits back and makes the side tick, he’s usually joined by Archie Collins or, most recently, Manchester City loanee Jadel Katongo. Exciting attacking options Ephron Mason-Clark and Kwame Poku are real livewires and a defender’s worst nightmare – in their 15 league starts, they’ve combined for 16 goals. David Ajiboye is becoming a key asset, while at just 21 Ricky-Jade Jones has been around the setup for a while and consistently makes impressions. As for Jonson Clarke-Harris, the powerhouse has pedigree – he’s plundered 31 and 26 in his last two third tier campaigns and is desperate to achieve a similar target this time around.
Starting on the front foot, Peterborough racked up three successive wins against Reading, Charlton Athletic and Barnsley to secure their place as early pace-setters, but a triple whammy of defeats – followed by a draw against Leyton Orient on home soil – tampered with momentum. In spite of that, it kick-started a nine-match winless run where 19 points were attained from a possible 27. Along the way, they shared the spoils with fellow promotion hopefuls Bolton Wanderers and dispatched Blackpool 2-4 prior to Tuesday night’s 2 -1 defeat to Wigan Athletic. Sitting in 4ThPosh have a four-point advantage from 7Th and could possibly go within a point from the automatic promotion spots should they return to winning ways.
Peterborough United: WWWDL
Cambridge United: DWDWW
The U’s are rightfully optimistic and have a renewed sense of optimism all around the squad after a rotated XI deservedly overpowered Tottenham Hotspur U21s 4-1 in their last Bristol Street Motors Trophy encounter.
A promising first-half performance saw United head into the break and a goal to the good following Kai Yearn’s close-range volley. Saikou Janneh got off the mark for the campaign moments into the second period after capping off a fine counter-attack, before Will Lankshear drilled home to reduce Spurs’ deficit. Concluding in the ascendency, late strikes from Jack Lankester and Lewis Simper helped stretch the unbeaten run to five in all competitions as the hosts exited in style.
For the first time since Wycombe Wanderers away in October 2022, United had scored more than twice in a game, therefore Mark Bonner was delighted with the application shown, saying: “I was really pressed with the outcome tonight, in terms of the result first , but obviously just the performance levels… Probably some of the boys needed that level of performance and needed the minutes that they got as well, so a good day for us.”
Yet to taste defeat since Cheltenham Town away three weeks ago, the U’s have turned the corner and now look extremely watertight – three successive clean sheets puts their season showing to eight, a feat which no other side in the 92 match can match. They’ll look to continue that trend by seeing off their rivals and cementing a place in the top half of the table.
The boss revealed earlier in the week that he is hopeful Gassan Ahadme will return to the fold on Saturday and that it’s good news regarding Jordan Cousins, whose scan came back positive – he’s a “real long shot” for the weekend, with an outside chance that he could play a part. Elsewhere, Elias Kachunga has made a welcome return to training.
For a further update and all the latest news and views, be sure to tune into the Head Coach’s pre-match press conference, which will be published on all social media channels on Friday.
Peterborough United Wins: 17
Cambridge United Wins: 15
Down Memory Lane
The sides met at the very same venue just two months ago in the EFL Trophy, as the hosts were victorious with a 2-0 win thanks to Katongo’s and Mason-Clark’s efforts either side of the break.
Nevertheless, the U’s retain the local bragging rights in terms of league fixtures and will vividly reflect on April’s encounter at a delirious, jam-packed Abbey Stadium as they claimed maximum points in a league tie for the first time since 1998 courtesy of club legend Harrison Dunk and Sam Smith.
Speaking after the memorable day, which proved to be the spark that crafted the upturn in results and the great escape, Bonner acknowledged: “It was a brilliant afternoon, a super atmosphere and the extra significance to everybody that has waited 20-odd years for the game here – to get the result, certainly having lost the one earlier in the season, it’s great to send everybody home happy.”
Browsing the form book, it remains the sole triumph in the past 12 meetings – a dramatic contrast to the U’s dominant record between 1988-1995. The past seven visits to London Road have resulted in defeat in each and every one, with the aim now to ensure the United faithful travel home possessing the win for the first time since an FA Cup Second Round tie in December 1994.
Referee: Scott Oldham
Assistant Referee: Steve Durnall
Assistant Referee: Richard Woodward
Fourth Official: Ryan Atkin