ILL-DISCIPLINE COSTS MONEY
TEN-MAN Cambridge were brought back down to earth after their Old Trafford experience with defeat at home to high-flying Wycombe – and manager Richard Money admitted his players only had themselves to blame.
Hogan Ephraim’s free-kick separated the two sides before Cambridge’s Cameron McGeehan was sent off a minute later. The Norwich loanee, playing his last game for Cambridge, saw red after kicking out at visiting goalkeeper Matt Ingram.
And Cambridge boss Money insisted his side’s failure to maintain discipline cost them dearly.
“The ill-discipline has cost us and it’s frustrating,” said Money. “It’s a poor foul from Nelson and we didn’t defend the free-kick well enough. We lost a goal through our own poor play.
“Then McGeehan’s flicked a shoelace at the goalkeeper.The red card is understandable, but the reaction of the keeper was appalling.
“The game has been decided by those two minutes and we’ve come off the pitch as losers when we deserved something from the game.
“I can’t fault the effort with ten men. We created two or three good opportunities, but I think to expect people to drive forward with ten men is asking a lot.”
Wanderers arrived with the best away record in League Two, having only lost once on the road all season. And they started strongest at the Abbey Stadium.
Former Newport striker Aaron Holloway had the best chance of the first half on 29 minutes when his free header from Ephraim’s cross drifted narrowly wide.
Moments later, Cambridge’s Robbie Simpson saw his shot tipped onto the post by Ingram.
Nine minutes into the second half and the visitors broke the deadlock. Ephraim’s free-kick on the edge of the area was missed by everyone and nestled into the corner for his first goal for the club. And things went from bad to worse for the U’s just a minute later when they were reduced to ten men.
While lining up for a corner, McGeehan kicked out at Ingram and was given a straight red.
Money brought on strikers Sullay Kaikai and debutant Jordan Slew as Cambridge pushed for an equaliser. The two combined as Kaikai’s cross was met by Slew, who dragged his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
But Wycombe stood firm to stretch their unbeaten run to 12 games, much to the joy of boss Gareth Ainsworth.
“I thought we managed a professional performance in the second half,” said Ainsworth.
“We kept the ball well. Cambridge are a big strong side. We’ve got some good quality in the team. I thought we kept possession of the ball very well.
“It was a fantastic ball from Hogan Ephraim. He’s a player with some great quality. He’s just put it in the area with a little thought that if nobody touches it, this could go in. You see them week-in, weekout.
“Apparently the boy McGeehan kicked out at our keeper and if you do that in the box, you’re asking for trouble.”
SURROUNDED: Wycombe celebrate Hogan Ephraim’s goal. Below: Dunn can’t stop Ephraim’s shot finding the net