It’s got to the stage of the season where the games are coming thick and fast for us Yeovil fans in the north. Normally the fixtures are set out in a way that we get a game a month. This hasn’t been the case this season, with this the second of the three games we are going to in March, having not been to a game since November. I would like to think this was the worst performance that I will see the Glovers put in this season, because we were pretty dreadful.
The trip to Cambridge is a pretty dull one, given that I wouldn’t exactly say that the A1 offers any great scenery. One of the main requirements of your average football stadium this season is to have a decent place to park. At Cambridge you get the small car park for members, with others left to find any sort of decent spot on the surrounding roads. I can’t exactly put that much blame on Cambridge for this, given that the stadium is well over 80 years old, and they can’t exactly control the surrounding areas, however there must be a nicer way to walk to the away end than through what appeared to be an old cow field.
I really enjoy going to the old terraced grounds in League 2, as you normally feel a lot closer to the game and it always improves the atmosphere somewhat. The ground was older than what I had expected given what I had seen of it on the internet, and that is pretty understandable given the lack of income for many clubs at this level. I can’t really complain though, as I spent 90 minutes in the rain at York’s Bootham Cresent earlier this season because there was no roof, as at Huish Park, and I was at least under some shelter at the Abbey Stadium. You get a pretty good view from everywhere in the away end, and as you’re stood up there’s enough room for you to find the best views.
Despite it was just the lone bloke providing all of the catering in the away end at Abbey Stadium, the food provided was probably the best I have had this season. Cambridge offer what I imagine is the greatest variety of food in League 2, including things like Bacon Baps and Vegetable Lattices (Yep, I know). I went with your typical football meal of a burger, which for once was put in a roll that wasn’t in the clearance section of Asda, and was properly cooked. For just £3, it was excellent value of money for a football ground, and it was pretty good. I would have liked to be able to buy it from better surroundings than barbed wire fencing and a ditch containing what seemed to contain every liquid known to man other than water.
The Cambridge fans lived up to the title of “Amber Army” in the home terracing, and they provided a very good atmosphere, but that may have been different had they not been as dominant as they were in the match. In the end they were ahead pretty early, with Ben Williamson poking in Josh Coulson’s shot-come-cross. Initially I thought he had to be offside, but on replays he was being kept on by centre-back Nathan Smith, who had returned to his usual poor level of performance. I hate to say it but from that point the referee ruined the game. It took him a matter of seconds to dismiss Liam Walsh for possibly the least worthy red card offence I have seen committed. I’ll admit that he shouldn’t be raising his hand right in front of the referee, but there is no intent, and virtually no contact, and the ref looked like he was just waiting for an excuse to send him off. It shouldn’t even have been a Cambridge free kick, and even their right back, Darnell Furlong, showed his shock at him producing the red.
From this point on the ref was extremely card happy, including booking both of the Town’s centre midfielders, but neglecting to bring out the yellow for any of United’s players offences, even though they were as bad, if not worse. The red card left Yeovil totally on the back foot, and they had no control in midfield for the rest of the half, and Cambridge took control. Their second goal however came from a lousy pass from Glovers’ captain Darren Ward, which would eventually lead to Williamson tapping in at the far post on the brink of half time to double United’s lead.
The Glovers were much better in the second half, and the substitute pair of Jack Compton and Ryan Bird had a real effect on the game. The Glovers still lacked a real presence in midfield however, and they never looked like they could really get back into the game. There weren’t really that many chances in the second half, but Artur Krysiak made a couple of good saves, as did Will Norris in the Cambridge goal. The third goal came with some inevitability however, and it was a tap in for James Spencer after a good initial save by Krysiak.
Overall, the game was pretty low on quality, and no one really caught the eye. I think, even without the red card, Cambridge would probably have gone on to win the game, but I think Yeovil would have made more of a contest of it. The away day itself was pretty good, despite the interesting surroundings. I must however complain about some of the people there, with the stewards spending more time on their phones texting than taking any interest in the supporters, and even one of the ball boys stuck his middle finger up at the away fans, what a lovely lad.
Rating out of 10: Good atmosphere, not great facilities, pretty poor quality on the pitch, but a good day. 6/10