MONEY HAPPY DESPITE DEFEAT
CAMBRIDGE boss Richard Money claims his side can use their defeat against Luton as inspiration for the rest of the season.
The U’s chief saw his side trailing 3-0 at half-time, before they almost snatched an unlikely draw courtesy of second half goals from Johnny Hunt and Robbie Simpson.
But rather than unleash the hairdryer, Money – whose side travel to Manchester United in their FA Cup replay on Tuesday – was content with the way Cambridge rallied.
Money said:“I thought it was an incredibly good game and I said to them: ‘sometimes you grow as a team in adversity’.
“The second-half performance will enable us to grow in the future, because you need to see what you’re like when you’re under that pressure and trying to come back from that scoreline against one of the best teams in the league.
“For 65 minutes of the game we were excellent, but the game was lost in that 25-minute period where we lost a goal out of nothing, having hit the bar and missed two good opportunities to go in front.
“Then you concede a second goal from a corner which is poor and not like us, but in those moments you have to regroup quickly and stay in the game, but we conceded a third too.”
The visitors had started well in front of over 10,000 at Kenilworth Road as Tom Elliott thundered a header against the bar and Ryan Donaldson screwed wide.
However, Luton went ahead on 19 minutes when Jake Howells’ shot drew a sharp reaction stop by Chris Dunn, only for Andy Drury to volley in the rebound.
It was 2-0 moments after the half-hour mark too as Drury swung over a corner and Luke Wilkinson leapt highest to nod into the roof of the net.
Luton looked to have sewn the points up on the stroke of half-time when Jonathan Smith’s shot went straight through Dunn and into the net.
However, after Jayden Stockley volleyed wide from 25 yards for Luton early in the second period, they were forced on the back foot.
Cambridge mounted attack after attack and finally pulled one back on 69 minutes when Cameron McGeehan teed up the onrushing Hunt and he placed a measured finish into the corner.
The U’s screamed for a penalty when the ball appeared to strike Howells’ arm, but with five minutes remaining, Simpson gathered a long ball to swivel and finish beyond Mark Tyler.
McGeehan then almost scored an unlikely equaliser against his former club, only for Tyler to nick the ball off his toes in stoppage time as Luton held on.
Town first team coach Hakan Hayrettin said:“First half we were outstanding, pressed really high and 3-0 was a great half time score for us.
“But we emphasised the need to carry on what we were doing, so fair play to them, they threw caution to the wind, took the bull by the horns and gave it a go.
“They had nothing to lose, but the pleasing thing for us was we worked hard to get the result. They’re three fantastic points too as whenever we play Cambridge it’s always a close encounter.”
STAR MAN CAMER
idge GLANCE: Luke Wilkinson flicks in Luton’s second goal