United make the early Conference running
CAMBRIDGE United surged to the top of the table with a comfortable victory over erstwhile leaders AFC Barrow. Both sides came into the match having won their opening two games, but United successfully clipped the Bluebirds wings and condemned the visitor
CAMBRIDGE United surged to the top of the table with a comfortable victory over erstwhile leaders AFC Barrow.
Both sides came into the match having won their opening two games, but United successfully clipped the Bluebirds' wings and condemned the visitors to their first defeat in 20 outings.
Gary Brabin's side took charge of the early exchanges, with Lee McEvilly seeing two shots fly wide of the target and Felino Jardim firing straight at Tim Deacy.
Robbie Willmott also enjoyed another impressive outing, and forced Deacy into a good save after being put clear by a clever Mark Beesley pass.
U's hit the front in the 28th minute when a Stephen Gerrard-esque crossfield ball from Paul Carden found Jardim. He cut in from the left and fired in a low shot which Deacy could only palm into the path of McEvilly, who eagerly gobbled up his third goal in two games.
Barrow looked neat and tidy, and on this showing will not be following in the footsteps of relegation fodder such as Droyslden and Farsley.
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They were particularly dangerous from set plays, with the swirling wind causing U's keeper Danny Potter no end of problems.
Potter recovered well to save from Lee Hunt, after his punch had presented the Barrow striker with a good chance, while Dan Gleeson had to clear another effort off the line after a break down in communication between Potter and Phil Bolland.
The equaliser came from a 36th minute free kick on the left, which was whipped in by Mark Boyd and saw Paul Tait climb highest to head in at the far post.
However, the visitors' joy was short lived. Jardim was fouled 35 yards from goal, and Wayne Hatswell stepped up to unleash a powerful free kick which somehow found its way through Deacy's hands and into the net.
Cambridge looked comfortable throughout the second half, although Bolland was lucky to stay on the field when he lunged in on Carlos Logan, but escaped with a yellow card. Moments later, the same player tugged back Nick Rogan but received only a stern ticking off from referee Amy Rayner, a decision which incensed the Barrow bench.
McEvilly, Beesley, and substitute Chris Jones all passed up good chances to make it three before the end, and in the closing stages, Barrow's Mike Pearson picked up a red card for hacking down Jardim.
United face two more newly promoted sides over bank holiday weekend.
On Saturday they make the journey to Eastbourne Borough (3pm), before hosting Kettering on Monday (4.15pm).