Stuttering start not a worry for Derry
A MAD five minutes and a world-class goal ruined Shaun Derry’s first home match in charge of Cambridge United but the new boss was far from dejected.
Josh Windass’ penalty and goals for Sean McConville and Tom Davies sent Accrington Stanley one spot below the automatic places, after Cambridge had twice led through Barry Corr and Luke Berry.
Derry gave debuts to three loan players, including Everton’s Ryan Ledson, who captained England’s Under-17s to European Championship success last year, and he was cheerful despite a second straight defeat in charge of the U’s.
“I do not want to be despondent, I've just got here!” Derry joked. There were many positives. I felt probably for large periods of the game – 60/70 minutes – I was very happy with what I saw. But it’s vital times in the game when you’ve got to stick in there and we’ve not done that. The equalising goal and the penalty stunned us.
“Their first goal was wonderful. If that’s scored by a Premier League player it would be played on Sky Sports all week.”
On Ledson, the sponsors’ man of the match, he added: “I thought he had a really accomplished debut. I really enjoyed watching him.”
Corr swept in a closerange volley from Leon Legge’s knock-down for his ninth goal of the season, but Accrington hit back when McConville collected the ball after a Billy Kee dummy and lifted a shot into the top corner from just inside the area.
Cambridge then retook the lead before half-time when Ryan Donaldson teed up Berry to shoot in low from nearly 25 yards. The visitors, though, equalised just after the break as Chris Dunn dropped McConville’s corner and Davies volleyed in.
And the turnaround was complete five minutes later after Legge was adjudged to have hauled down Kee and Windass sent Dunn the wrong way for his tenth goal of the season.
Accrington have won four of their last five matches and boss John Coleman said: “It’s a good game if you’re a neutral, end-to-end stuff. They put us under pressure and we were giving the ball away cheaply first-half.
“Second-half we were excellent and created numerous opportunities.
“I said at half-time this is a test of how much we want to be promoted.We need to get something from these games.
“It was a wonderful goal by Sean and to see that togetherness in that dressing room, that will take us forward.
“We do not give ourselves a target, but I said we have got to be in and around the promotion places at Christmas.”
STAR MAN SEAN McCONVILLE