U’s still in hunt with a Berry good win
TWO goals from Luke Berry maintained Cambridge’s outside chance of making the play-offs and boss Shaun Derry was ecsatic with a 90-minute performance.
Berry’s goals, his 18th and 19th of the season, were no more than Cambridge deserved for a superb display.
The U’s are now five points outside the top seven, with six games still to play.
“We were outstanding,” said Derry. “We turned in a strong performance against a side that had won three on the bounce.
“I am delighted with how we applied ourselves from start to finish.
“We were precise in possession and made the ball do the work.
“Crewe tried to close us down but our movement and passing enabled us to keep control.
“We still have a chance of making the play-offs and we’ll be going all-out to maintain our challenge.”
Cambridge dominated the first half, restricting the home side to a near-post strike from Jordan Bowery, comfortably saved by Will Norris.
The U’s then took a deserved lead when a Harrison Dunk header was parried by Ben Garratt. Berry still had a lot to do but engineered space on the right and his low angled drive found the far corner.
Cambridge picked up the same script in the second period, only for the home side to draw fortuitously level.
There appeared little danger when Chris Dagnall received the ball wide on the right but, in attempting to intercept Dagnall’s low cross, Leon Legge succeeded only in turning the ball past his own goalkeeper.
Crewe’s good fortune prompted a double substitution by Derry as the U’s went in search of all three points.
Cambridge continued to probe an increasingly overworked home defence and were rewarded for their efforts when Berry’s superb 25-yard free-kick evaded Garratt’s leap.
Cambridge were reduced to ten men in injury time when Paul Lewis was sent off for a challenge on Dagnall, the U’s substitute having only been on the field for three minutes, although Derry intimated his intention to appeal against the sending off.
“It was a bad afternoon but it is only one bad performance in the last six, “said Crewe manager David Artell.
“I felt it was poor defending for both goals but, that said, they were two quality finishes.
“We will now dust ourselves down, work this week on how we can improve, both individually and as a team, and go again next time.”
STAR MAN LUKE BERRY Cambridge