Blues Cruise Through

Blues footballers dominate a stormy cup encounter with Bedfordshire

Blues football

Cambridge 3 – 0 Bedfordshire

The Blues made up for their disappointing draw against Bedfordshire University (Luton) last week by crushing the same team 3-0 at Fenners and progressing to the next round of the cup.

Having seen the nature of what they were up against last week, the home team would have expected only a win from this game and they duly delivered, producing an outstanding defensive performance led by stand-in skipper James Day.

Frustrations boiled over at the end of the second half with a disgusting lash-out on Eddie Burrows. Bedfordshire had been completely outplayed, and they knew it.

Cambridge again fielded a changed line-up, the return of Stock up front was certainly welcome, and while club captain Johnson was still sidelined with a groin strain, his intervention was never necessary in a game the Blues dominated from start to finish.

The driving wind was always likely to play a huge part in this game, and much of the first half was a scrappy affair, although for a fifteen minute period the Blues put together some scintillating passages of play, making good use of the channels and wide areas.

Their creativity and invention was far too much for the Bedfordshire midfield who were chasing shadows all afternoon and after Stock had seen a volley cleared off the line Cambridge finally made the pressure tell. Baxter, the dead-ball specialist of the side, curled a beautifully flighted ball into the box where Day, unmarked, rose highest to give Cambridge the lead with a good, low header.

This certainly made up for his poor finish just minutes earlier from an identical free-kick when he had volleyed over from six yards. Stock then had the chance to double the Blues’ advantage going into half-time when, after some typically good squeezing from the midfield, he was released by Burrows only to see his shot well saved by the opposition goalkeeper.

Bedfordshire’s team talk began with one midfielder asking his team ‘What the fuck’s going on?’. His frustration relected the fact that the visitors had  been completely stifled, and as Johnson told his team, Cambridge’s high tempo was giving them no chance.

Though Bedfordshire started the half in a much brighter fashion, with Cambridge sitting a little deeper and allowing them more space, their service and end product was awful and when their players started arguing amongst themselves, the Blues must have felt half the job was done.

A superb display from the back four meant they could create nothing and the ball just kept coming back at the Bedfordshire defence and it was only a matter of time before Cambridge sealed the game.

The second came after Baxter’s initial shot was well saved, but the keeper could only get a finger tip to Stock’s rebound and the ball nestled in the bottom corner to make the score 2-0.

Cambridge were now well on top and the jovial mood along the touch-line reflected this; the Blues could afford to rest influential players and give younger members of the squad a run-out. Despite a couple of hefty but ill-timed challenges Spencer capped his debut with a goal, sliding in to poke the ball home after the keeper had spilled it (3-0).

The game turned nasty at the end though as Burrows, having won the ball with a robust but fair challenge, was given a vicious kick in the stomach while lying on the floor by a player already warned by the referee for verbally abusing the linesman. The resulting fracas was a one-sided affair with the Blues keen to stay out of it.

Bedfordshire ended up embarrassing themselves as the game ended on  a sour note; even after the final whistle it continued as an opposition player totally misinterpreted a comment from a CUAFC member watching the game, who was in fact commenting on a team-mate’s fine physique, with the Bedfordshire player entering into a one-way verbal exchange, laughed off by those who saw it.

The Blues had let their football do the talking, and in style too. Johnson described his team as ‘literally awesome’ and the performance as ‘fantastic’; Bedfordshire, having sensed a cupset, left Fenners embarrassed and with their tails between their legs. Having dumped their sister campus out of the cup, Cambridge now travel to University of Bedfordshire (Bedford) in a top of the table clash; another performance like this, in what promises to be a tough encounter,  could easily see them return with a positive result.