Sky Bet League Two Preview: Cambridge United

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Wed 06 Jun 2018

History 

The club was originally founded in 1912, as Abbey United as opposed to Cambridge as the club were named after the Abbey district of Cambridge. The club played in local amateur leagues for many of its early years struggling to find a stable home as United were forced to move from ground to ground in the early years.

The club finally turned professional in 1949, and the name Cambridge United came to birth in 1951. The year 1970 saw the Cambridgeshire side finally reach the Football League. United replaced Bradford City in the third division but were relegated that same season. 

Cambridge won successive promotions which took them into the Second Division in 1978, and they reached their peak only two years later in 1980 as United finished a respectable 8th in the league.

However, only four years later The U’s would once again see relegation which was further overshadowed by the club setting an English record for most successive games without a win (31). This record would stand firm for 24 years before Derby’s 2007/08 campaign finally saw a change of name.

Another relegation for United the following season saw Cambridge dragged back down to the fourth division and promotion would not be achieved again for another four years.

The early 1990’s saw a change in fortune for the U’s as the club recorded their first appearance as a professional club at Wembley in the Fourth Division play-off final which saw them return once again to the Third Division after a 12-year absence.

A Third Division win in 1991 saw United the following season finish 5th in the Second Division to see them in a playoff position. However, Cambridge would miss out on the Premier League, and it would prove to be the club’s highest finish to date. 

The following season saw The U’s relegated from the new First Division before two years later the club would drop down another league. 

2005 saw one of the worst days in the club’s history as United were relegated to the Football Conference after a 35-year-spell in the Football League.

After nine years away from the Footballing League Cambridge finally returned to the promise lands after a Wembley play-off final saw the U’s beat Gateshead 2-1 to finally achieve that desired promotion. 

A first season back in League Two saw United avoid the drop finishing 19th in the table and 10 points from relegation. An improved 2015/16 saw Cambridge finish an impressive 9th with a respectable 68 points before the following season the U’s were sitting pretty in 11th place to avoid any fear of relegation.

Last Season 

The 2017/18 season once again saw United cement themselves as League Two regulars as the club finished 12th to secure their 5th successive season in the Fourth Division. 

The steady league finish was overshadowed by the departure of manager Shaun Derry back in February who enjoyed a successful three-year spell with the U’s. However, a string of poor results saw the 40-year-old English manager depart Abbey Stadium with the club 14th in the league. 

His assistant Joe Dunne took over as caretaker boss, but the former Colchester United manager has been given the reigns on a full-time basis for the 2018/19 season. The Irishman only lost four of his 15 games in charge of United and was fundamental in the U’s revival following the loss of Derry.

Another significant change at the Abbey saw former chairman Paul Berry become the club’s new owner after becoming United’s largest shareholder since 2008. 

Head to Head 

The Silkmen have met Cambridge on 12 occasions with only one of those fixtures occurring in League Two.

Macclesfield wins: 5
Games Drawn: 4
Cambridge wins: 2

How to get there

By Train - Cambridge Rail station is located in the city centre and is a 25-30 minute walk from the ground. 

By Bus - A Citibus C3 bus stops within a few yards of the ground (Ditton Walk stop) on Newmarket road and runs from the Railway Station and through the city centre every ten minutes during the day, and at longer intervals in the evenings.

By Car - From the South - M11 to Junction 14, then turn east along the A14 dual carriageway:

From the North - A14 from Huntingdon, then turn east along the A14 dual carriageway:

Then exit the A14 at the fourth junction (situated east of Cambridge), up the slip road to the roundabout (signposted Stow-Cum-Quy). Turn right onto the A1303, and return westwards towards Cambridge. Go straight over the first roundabout, passing Marshall Airport to the left. Go straight over two sets of traffic lights to a roundabout. The Ground's floodlights can be seen from here and McDonald's is on the right.

Turn left onto the ring road. Turn right at the first roundabout (a large Sainsbury's is on the left here), and go along Coldham's Lane. After half a mile, immediately after the traffic lights turn right into Coldham's Road before the railway bridge.

Newmarket Road, Cambridge, CB5 8LN

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