From falling out of the English Football League altogether in 2014, to earning automatic promotion to Sky Bet League One in May 2021, Cambridge United and its supporters have experienced ups and downs over the past decade.
There is growing optimism of late with BBC Sport media member and former U’s standout Dion Dublin being announced to the board of directors for the club over the summer and it is a club that appears to be pulling in the right direction. Cambridge United come into Tuesday evening’s contest sitting 18th in the League One table.
Although suffering a 4-1 defeat away to Shrewsbury Town over the weekend, the U’s have been consistent for most of the season. They have accumulated 15 points from three wins, six draws and four losses in the league. Overall, the team has posted five wins, five losses and seven draws across all competitions, including winning 3-1 on penalties at home to Swindon Town in the Carabao Cup. Dating back to last season - when the club was competing in Sky Bet League Two - Cambridge United has won four, lost five and drawn six in the U’s last 15 league matches.
Over the summer transfer window, head coach Mark Bonner and his staff attempted to assemble a team of players with both Championship and League One experience, as well as securing the services of key performers from the promotion season contracts in attempts to keep familiarity in and around Abbey Stadium. Signings such Jubril Okedina added to the likes of Joe Ironside (the team’s top goal scorer) and Andy Dallas getting new contracts, as well as combining loan signee Conor Masterson from Queens Park Rangers gave the side a boost ahead of a consolidation season.
The goals for Cambridge United are provided mostly by Ironside who leads the squad with six. Behind him, a trio of players have two goals (Adam May, Shilow Tracey and George Williams).
Last season, it was Paul Mullin receiving the League Two Golden Boot with a league-high 34 goals, while Ironside scored 14 of his own. However, Mullin rejected a new contract from the U’s at the end of the season joining National League side Wrexham instead.
Cambridge United comes into the match having recorded four clean sheets on the year – including the previously mentioned 0-0 draw at home to Swindon Town in the Carabao Cup. The U’s average 1.38 goals per game, while allowing goals at a 1.77 per game while having been kept off the score sheet just twice on the year by the opposition.
The U’s have scored multiple goals in five of their last eight games, with two of those resulting in 2-2 draws against Ipswich Town and Crewe Alexandra. Despite the four goals allowed over the weekend to Shrewsbury, Cambridge United had allowed three or more goals in a league match just once since a 5-4 loss to Harrogate Town in Sky Bet League Two action in May 2021.
Since Cambridge United’s arrival back in the EFL in the 2014/15 season, the club has met Doncaster Rovers just three times, including once in the Emirates FA Cup. Rovers have won all three of those previous appearances since 2014, with the last meeting coming in League Two in February 2017.