Simpson’s birthday starts a day early
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.”
EASY-THREESY: Adam McGurk celebrates with goalscorer Matty Palmer as Burton go three goals ahead STAR MAN MATTY
STAR MAN TOM PETT Steven