United back on song at Wrexham
CAMBRIDGE United returned to winning ways – and joint-top of the table – by beating Wrexham on Saturday. Having taken just two points from the previous nine, United were in danger of losing momentum following a good start to the season, and this convincin
CAMBRIDGE United returned to winning ways - and joint-top of the table - by beating Wrexham on Saturday.
Having taken just two points from the previous nine, United were in danger of losing momentum following a good start to the season, and this convincing victory over another of the early pacesetters will have pleased manager Gary Brabin.
In beating the Red Dragons, the squad also proved themselves to be much more adaptable than their counterparts last year.
Whereas previously a change of formation has led to a disjointed performance, Brabin's decision to switch to 4-3-3 from his preferred 4-4-2 was the catalyst for arguably United's best showing of the campaign to date.
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With Jon Challinor filling in at right back, and Felino Jardim feeling his way back from injury, Brabin opted to bring Mark Convery and Danny Brown into midfield for their first starts of the year, with Chris Holroyd also making his full debut in a three-pronged attack alongside Lee McEvilly and Mark Beesley.
Wrexham had a couple of early chances, with Danny Potter making a fine save to deny Levi Mackin. But it wasn't long before United took control, with McEvilly heading against the post and Holroyd seeing a shot tipped over the bar by Gavin Ward.
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They hit the front in the 26th minute. Convery's corner was flicked on at the near post by Holroyd, allowing the unmarked Beesley to tap in at the far post.
Beesley's Teddy Sheringham-esque link-up play has been key to much of United's attacking play this season, and Brabin was pleased to see the ex-Forest Green marksman get on the score sheet himself.
He said: ""For me Mark has been unbelievable this season, but people are looking at Lee McEvilly because he has scored all the goals. Mark has done all the unselfish work and I felt a bit sorry for him.
"The two games I've told him to go and play for himself, he has scored - that just tells you the type of character he is."
Beesley started and finished the move that led to his second goal, picking up possession in midfield and spreading the play wide to McEvilly.
His searching cross to the back post found Holroyd, and although his volley was turned on to the bar by Ward, Beesley was on hand to nod in his second.
Although Wrexham pressed for a consolation goal in the closing minutes, the U's defence held firm, with Brown and Convery both completing 90 minutes after long spells on the sidelines.
United are at home again this weekend when they face Torquay United.
Brabin is looking to add ex-Peterborough striker Danny Crow to the squad.
Free-agent Crow watched Saturday's game from the directors' box, and it is hoped a deal can be concluded this week.