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Blues end goalless run to win friendly
STUART Beavon netted twice to end Wanderers’ three match pre-season goalless streak at Cambridge.
Blues had failed to breach the defences of Luton Town, Fulham and QPR in successive games but their forwards finally fired as they beat the Conference side 3-2.
Last season’s top scorer took advantage of a goalkeeping howler to put Wanderers in front, although a penalty rebound from Andy Pugh ensured it was a lead that was short lived.
Two goals in two minutes just after the hour mark from Beavon and substitute Richard Logan then settled the game in Blues’ favour, although Cambridge will feel hard done by at the final scoreline.
There were some moments of promise and skill from their young side, who looked to get the ball down and pass it at every opportunity.
They had more of the first half chances once the game finally got going after a turgid opening quarter. Blocked shots by U’s winger Robbie Willmott and his Blues opposite number Joel Grant was all there was to write home about until the match opened up in the 20 minutes prior to the break.
Wanderers almost took the lead when Beavon shuffled past Rory McAuley after collecting Marvin McCoy’s cross, but having shown great skill to beat his man he was desperately unlucky to see his effort shave the upright.
He wasn’t to be denied however and bundled in from a corner after United keeper Jonathan Hedge made a total hash of Sam Wood’s delivery and dropped it straight at the feet of Wanderers’ top scorer.
Blues were in front for less than two minutes however as goalkeeper Nikki Bull was adjudged to sent the lively Harrison Dunk to the floor as the winger burst into the area. Wanderers’ number one initially denied Pugh as he dived low to block his penalty but he was powerless to prevent the striker from smashing in the rebound.
Cambridge had further chances before the half time whistle came as Michael Gash was unable to keep his shot down after seizing on Gary Doherty’s attempted clearance from a cross, before a lovely flowing move from the back culminated in Willmott firing narrowly wide.
It drew generous applause from the home fans and no doubt a few in the away end as Cambridge finally managed to show a decent end product their progressive brand of football deserved.
Minutes after the restart Bull was into action again as he pulled off a stunning reflex stop from James Jennings’ piledriver from just outside the box, and not long after that substitute Adam Marriott should have done better than to poke wide from six yards as Doherty couldn’t get proper purchase on his clearance.
It wasn’t all one way traffic however as half-time substitute Grant Basey combined with Grant to open up space for Matt Spring, who curled his shot over from the edge of the area.
And Wanderers crept back in front when both of Cambridge’s central defenders misjudged McCoy’s long throw-in into the box and Beavon stole into the gap vacated by the centre halves to tuck home his and Blues’ second.
Minutes later it was three as Logan, who had just replaced Grant, did superbly to read a long, raking cross into the area from fellow substitute Dennis Oli and the former Exeter man steered it into the net off the post.
Cambridge continued to create chances though and Scott Garner’s shot through a crowded penalty area evaded everyone until it was cleared off the line by McCoy.
Sam Wood was denied in a similar manner at the other end after he jinked into the area, before Oli’s clipped shot was easily plucked out of the air by Hedge.
Beavon missed out on a hat trick as he hammered Wood's pass wide in the final minute, before Marriott laid the ghost of his earlier miss to rest as he took a long ball in his stride and calmly slotted past Bull with the final kick of the game.
Wanderers: Bull, McCoy, Doherty, Stewart, Dunne (sub Basey), Grant (sub Logan), Bloomfield, Spring, Lewis (sub Oli), Wood, Beavon. Substitutes not used: Ingram, Angol