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Match Reports

Cambridge United v Notts County

2 January 2017

Cambridge 4-0 Notts

Notts suffered a 4-0 defeat against Cambridge United at the Cambs Glass Stadium in their first game of 2017.

Luke Berry opened the scoring on 16 minutes after charging down Adam Collin's clearance and Uche Ikpeazu doubled the hosts' lead after the break.

Attacking midfielder Berry doubled his tally shortly afterwards, before Piero Mingoia completed the scoring.

John Sheridan made three changes to the team that faced Carlisle on New Year's Eve.

Collin replaced Scott Loach in goal, while Haydn Hollis and Alan Smith came in for Richard Duffy and Alex Rodman.

Notts' first sight of goal came on 13 minutes when Michael O'Connor's shot deflected off Elliott Hewitt and into the arms of Cambridge keeper Will Norris.

Shortly afterwards, the Magpies won a corner. Carl Dickinson's delivery found Jon Stead at the near post but the experienced front man could only nod the ball wide.

Cambridge's first clear-cut chance followed when Blair Adams did well to wriggle away from Hewitt and cut into the area from the left. With no-one available for the cutback, Adams opted to shoot for the far post but sent the ball harmlessly wide.

The hosts were gaining the ascendancy, however, and after physical forward Uche Ikpeazu got the better of Haydn Hollis only to fire the ball wide, Cambridge took the lead.

Collin claimed a lofted delivery into the box and rolled the ball out to kick it upfield. Berry was quick on the scene however, rushing the keeper, blocking his clearance and diverting the ball into the Notts net.

The Magpies were on the back foot and, after Ikpeazu's low 25-yarder was comfortably saved, defender Mark Roberts somehow turned the ball over from two yards following a well-worked Cambridge short corner.

Sheridan's men were presented with an opportunity to equalise on 36 minutes, however, and O'Connor came close to doing so. Cambridge skipper Leon Legge hacked down his County counterpart on the edge of the 'D' and the Northern Irishman took charge of the set piece, bending the ball over the wall and just wide of the post.

Collin was called into action twice more before the half was over, saving from Ben Williamson at close quarters before denying Ikpeazu, who received the ball with his back to goal on the edge of the area before spinning and firing it low towards goal.

There were no changes for either side at the break and Notts had an opportunity to equalise early in the second half. The ball was played into Stead's feet eight yards out and his neat turn appeared to have set him up for a clear shot at goal. Roberts had other ideas, however, stretching himself to take the ball off Stead's toes, turning it behind.

And Notts were left to rue that missed opportunity when Cambridge doubled their lead shortly before the hour. It was another scrappy goal from a Notts point of view, Ikpeazu wriggling his way through a crowded penalty area before poking the ball past Collin from six yards.

As Cambridge celebrated, Aaron Collins replaced Forte.

But the Wolves loanee was helpless to prevent Cambridge furthering their advantage minutes later. Berry was the scorer this time, controlling a lofted ball on the edge of the area before seeing his low shot superbly saved by Collin. The ball came back to Berry who, despite still being on the floor after stretching to take the initial shot, was able to scoop the ball off the underside of the bar and over the line.

Piero Mingoia became the first name in the referee's notebook after remonstrating with Brett Huxtable's decision to award a foul against him.

But the winger's frustrations were alleviated shortly afterwards when he capitalised on a sloppy pass to race through one-on-one with Collin before slipping the ball past him.

Thompson saw a well-struck left-footed effort saved and Collins miscued his shot after seeing Stead's shot saved as Notts sought a way back into the match.

That was to be Stead's final action as he was replaced by Campbell, but the hosts saw the game out comfortably from there on in.

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