Cambridge United v Stockport County
The Hatters were well beaten at the Abbey Stadium as their brief unbeaten run came to an end. Danny Whitehead scored a first half equaliser after Liam Hughes had given the home side the lead but an own goal from Jordan Fagbola just before the break saw the home side earn the upper hand. Hughes second and a goal from former County striker Tom Elliott in the second half finished the scoring.
The home side started the match brightly earning a corner in the opening minute, Rory McAuley heading across goal with Matt Mainwaring clearing the ball to safety. Elliott's shot from distance being charged down.
Whitehead, with a shot from distance, was the first to try his luck for County, his effort being just wide of Craig Ross's goal.
Elliott had a header disallowed for offside, although the whistle had gone before he made contact with the cross in from the right.
In an open first quarter, Tom Collins showed his pace to leave James Jennings in his wake, Josh Coulson getting back to block the cross. The winger then fired a free kick narrowly over the bar after Alex Kenyon had been upended on the edge of the Cambridge penalty area.
Good defensive challenges from James Tunnicliffe and Fagbola helped keep United at bay whilst Ian Ormson came off his line well to claim well from high ball into box.
Collins had another effort blocked after good play from Whitehead, the young forward coming the closest yet as his effort grazed the outside of the post following a neat chip over the home defence by Mainwaring.
The opening goal came the way of the home side following a foul on Elliott by Tunnicliffe. Ormson making a superb save from the original set play only for Hughes to smash home the loose ball on 18 minutes
The Hatters were level within a minute as Whitehead coolly slotted home as Fagbola found him with a neat pass after the bid County defender had broken down an attack from United.
A good spell followed for the Hatters as they earned several corner kicks, coming close with efforts from Kenyon, a header into the side netting, and Connor Jennings whose effort cleared the bar after good play down the left.
The home side then saw Tunnicliffe block a goal bound effort and Ormson save well from Michael Gash.
United's Jennings, elder brother to the Hatters Jennings, found himself in the referee's book after a poor challenge left Collins in a heap.
The home side retook the lead just before the break in controversial circumstances. Fagbola was clearly having his shirt pulled and having won the ball cleanly was then penalised as the referee awarded a free kick to the home side on the left of County's box.
To make matters worse for the young full back the ball appeared to clip his heel, under pressure from Coulson, before it slid under Ormson to put United back in front. Connor Jennings earning a booking for his protests.
HT: Cambridge United 2 Stockport County 1 (Whitehead)
The Hatters started the second half brightly earning a corner in the first minute with Connor Jennings seeing an effort go just wide of the target, after a good run from Jon Nolan and a cross
A superb run from Collins, taking him passed several defenders, ended as the winger overran the ball and lost control as he entered the penalty box, whilst a Jennings cross deceived Ross to hit the crossbar after neat work from Kenyon on the left hand side.
The home side missed a gilt edged opportunity as a Kenyon mistake provided an open goal chance for Gash who somehow missed the target. There next opportunity came the way of Hughes who shot wide after United had launched a counter attack following a poor corner kick from Collins.
The third and decisive goal for United came as Hughes beat Ormson at the near post with a good shot from the edge of the box after good build up play on the left.
Elliott, who was enjoying his game against his former side, blotted his copybook with two poor challenges, one on Mainwaring from behind, the other on Tunnicliffe, although neither was deemed bad enough for a card from referee Johnson.
The Hatters made a couple of substitutions, Craig Hobson replacing Collins, Sean Newton, back from suspension, coming on for Kyle Brownhill as they looked for a way back into the game.
Newton's first action saw his shot saved by Ross after a good cross from Fagbola. Further good play from County saw Nolan free Whitehead, Ross quickly off his line to collect the ball as Jennings tried a through ball.
The closest the Hatters came to a goal came after a free kick on the edge of the box found its way to Tunnicliffe, the big defender's effort superbly tipped over for a corner by Ross.
Amazingly, and for the second time in the game, United broke clear from a County corner to create a goal scoring opportunity. A poor back pass from Connor was intercepted by Harrison Dunk who waited for Ormson to commit himself before rolling the ball sideways fro Elliott to tap home and finally put the game beyond the Hatters. The big striker leaving the field to a standing ovation before the restart to be replaced by Ricky Wellard.
In the dying minutes Ross was forced into action on a number of occasions, most notably to tip a Hobson header around the post, but the final whistle saw the home team comfortable winners.
FT: Cambridge United 4 Stockport County 1 (Whitehead)
Starting XI: Ormson, Connor (Hattersley), Tunnicliffe, Whitehead, Kenyon, Collins(Hobson), Brownhill (Newton), Nolan, Fagbola, Mainwaring, Jennings.
Subs: Smith, Newton, Hattersley, Hobson, Sheridan.
ATT: 2,305 (168)