Simp­son’s birth­day starts a day early

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Matthew Good­ing

BIRTH­DAY-BOY Rob­bie Simp­son be­gan his cel­e­bra­tions early with a stop­page time equaliser to earn Cam­bridge United a point against Steve­nage, and his manager Richard Money is hop­ing for more of the same from his striker from here on out.

U’s sub­sti­tute Simp­son, who is cel­e­brat­ing his 30th birth­day to­day, was in the right place to turn the ball in from close range af­ter Josh Coul­son had flicked on a long throw into the box.

Steve­nage had de­fended doggedly af­ter tak­ing a first-half lead through Dean Wells, but were un­able to hold on to claim three points in their chase for the play-offs.

And Cam­bridge manager Money hopes the point, which leaves his side nine clear of the rel­e­ga­tion zone, will take some pres­sure off the U’s play­ers.

“It’s a re­ally im­por­tant point to keep our to­tal tick­ing over,” he said.

“We played well in the first half, but came in be­hind and at the minute we need to get a bit of free­dom by scor­ing the first goal.

“At the mo­ment we’re al­ways try­ing to get back into the game and end up chas­ing things too early.

“Hope­fully we can come here on Tues­day against Tran­mere and play with a bit of free­dom.”

On Simp­son, who has been in and out of the side in re­cent weeks, Money added: “Rob­bie’s been a bit of enigma, but he’s given us ev­ery­thing in the 30 min­utes he played here.

“He was a real plus for us this af­ter­noon.”

The U’s dom­i­nated the first half with­out trou­bling Chris Day un­duly, though the vet­eran stop­per made a sharp save to foil Jor­dan Slew’s half-vol­ley.

Steve­nage hit the front in the 18th minute when the lively Tom Pett was brought down by Har­ri­son Dunk.

The re­sult­ing free-kick was launched into the box by Dean Par­rett and Wells was un­marked to take ad­van­tage of a poor headed clear­ance and fire home.

The sec­ond half was less en­ter­tain­ing, with the vis­i­tors shut­ting up shop and frus­trat­ing Cam­bridge. A string of free­kicks given by over-fussy ref­eree Gra­ham Hor­wood didn’t help, but Simp­son’s late in­ter­ven­tion sent the home fans away happy.

And Steve­nage boss Gra­ham West­ley ad­mit­ted his troops didn’t de­serve to head home with all three points, de­spite com­ing so close.

He said: “We got what we de­served here.

“I don’t think ei­ther side de­served to win.

“They put a lot of balls in our box from set plays, but they didn’t re­ally trou­ble us in open play.

“We de­fended quite well on the whole, but we in­vited pres­sure on, made a mis­take, and the ball’s in the back of our net.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

EASY-THREESY: Adam McGurk cel­e­brates with goalscorer Matty Palmer as Bur­ton go three goals ahead STAR MAN MATTY

R PALME

Bur­ton

STAR MAN TOM PETT Steven

age

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