Cambridge United Away Carabao Cup 2nd Round Won 0 – 3
Ralph made all the right noises about the Carabao Cup tie at Cambridge but still made nine changes to his starting line-up. Crucially our hosts followed suit with seven changes of their own, and, with all due respect, they don’t have the depth of squad to do that and so found themselves on the wrong end of a one-sided encounter, the first between the two clubs. Only Elyounoussi and Adam Armstrong kept their places for Saints while there was a debut for Lewis Payne at right back – more debuts to come. Adams looked to have given us a very early lead but the ‘goal’ was ruled out for handball – a bit harsh, especially as Adams was having his shirt tugged in the process. It didn’t matter too much as he notched a legitimate strike on 16 minutes, converting a low Payne cross from close range. There could have been several more goals from the visitors before the break but a mixture of good goalkeeping, goal-line clearances and off-target finishing kept them down to one, while at the other end, the key stat might have been how often McCarthy touched the ball, rather than how many shots came his way. A second Adams goal ten minutes into the second half confirmed the outcome of the contest, but he looked offside as the converted Mannion’s parrying of Romeu’s shot, while Cambridge also protested about a possible handball in the build-up. Adams wasn’t given much of a chance of completing a hat trick as he made way for Mara soon after the hour and Payne’s memorable evening came to an end on 75 minutes, being replaced by teenage striker Dominic Ballard for his first appearance. A third newcomer, Diamond Edwards, managed a late run out for the duration of added time, and by then it was 0-3 as Ballard went even better than Payne’s earlier assist by gleefully smashing home the loose ball after Mannion parried his own shot. A successful outcome with three happy debutants, but we didn’t learn much from the night, except that the League Cup can be a bit of a waste of time.
Three LSSC Man of the Match candidates to choose from:
6. Oriel Romeu. With his team well on top, he probably managed more shots in this game than he will in the rest of the season – a shame none were good enough to go in.
10. Ché Adams. Another two goals, although he didn’t look too over-happy when scoring either of them.
61. Lewis Payne. Vote for him if you want to encourage the youth policy.