Poppies bloom as United slip to first defeat of season

PUBLISHED: 19:38 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:51 11 May 2010

WAYNE HATSWELL makes a clearance against Kettering. IMG 2926

WAYNE HATSWELL makes a clearance against Kettering. IMG 2926

GARY Brabin s Cambridge United side were given a harsh lesson in the realities of life in the Blue Square Premier league as they suffered their first defeat of the season, going down 2-0 at home to Kettering. To be successful in the league United will nee

GARY Brabin's Cambridge United side were given a harsh lesson in the realities of life in the Blue Square Premier league as they suffered their first defeat of the season, going down 2-0 at home to Kettering.

To be successful in the league United will need to go toe-to-toe with physical sides like Kettering, but here they were unable to assert their authority in a match totally dominated by the visitors.

Too often United eschewed the flowing passing football which has accompanied their opening four matches, instead launching hopeful long balls in the direction of Lee McEvilly which were easily dealt with by the visitors towering centre backs Guy Branston and Exodus Geohaghan.

Mark Cooper had obviously done his homework, and his team worked hard to cut the supply to U's wide men Felino Jardim and Chris Jones. They were also a threat going forward, and Gareth Seddon had the best chance of a dull first half when he was denied at close range by Wayne Hatswell.

Five minutes after half time they took the lead, when Craig Westcarr sent in an attempted cross which eluded Danny Potter and flew in at the far post.

With former manager Jimmy Quinn watching from the sidelines, United tried to get back into the match, but Phil Bolland shot straight at Lee Harper when well-placed.

Moments later, Farrell was given his marching orders for what looked like a fairly innocuous challenge on Westcarr.

With a man advantage the Poppies poured forward, and Chris Beardsley put the result beyond doubt when he finished from close range after fellow sub JP Marna's fine run and cross.

United's bank holiday weekend got off to a better start, beating Eastbourne Borough 3-0 on Saturday. First half goals from McEvilly and Farrell, together with a late strike from debutant Chris Holroyd, set up a comfortable victory over the newcomers.

This weekend United travel south to Weymouth, hoping to get back to winning ways.

However, with Farrell facing a three-game ban, and skipper Paul Carden still sidelined with an ankle problem, Brabin faces something of a selection dilemma in midfield. Mark Convery may come into the side if he has recovered from hamstring trouble, while Darren Quinton is also in contention for a place in the side.

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