The optimism garnered by City’s second half display at Stevenage appeared to go out of the window at Cambridge on Friday night as City slumped to yet another defeat. While the defeat was down to what looked a soft penalty and a breakaway goal completely against the run of play, the fact is City have now gone more than three months without a league win and with just 20 goals in 29 games in all competitions, if you’re not creating and taking chances, you’re not going to win matches even with 60% of possession – and the atmosphere in the away end at Cambridge will have sent another message to the board that these capitulations will not be tolerated. Gary Caldwell was dealt another blow with Ryan Trevitt leaving Cambridge in a boot. With Jack Aitchison back from suspension it’s likely he will return to the side while Caldwell will presumably look at any fatigue in the side before making a decision on the rest of his team.
It was expected that Wycombe would enter something of a transition period following the long reign of Gareth Ainsworth, although most pundits wouldn’t have expected the Chairboys to be struggling in 18th place in the table at Christmas under their former long-serving player Matt Bloomfield. Like City, Wycombe’s league form has slumped of late with no win since thrashing Fleetwood 4-1 in early October, while they suffered the indignity of an FA Cup 2nd round defeat at home to League Two Morecambe. Wycombe have at least managed draws in their last two fixtures at Derby and at home to Port Vale to show some upward signs. Bloomfield moved to sign free agent Lyle Taylor, but he has yet to find the net in five appearances (four off the bench), with Luke Leahy (six) providing the main goal threat. Elsewhere as always former City favourite David Wheeler will be keen to impress, his appearances have been somewhat restricted so far with 12 games played, five of which have been from the start.
There was little sign of things to come for City as they raced to a 3-0 win at Adams Park on the opening day of the season. Aitchison marked his debut with a goal in the opening 30 seconds – to date his only goal in a City shirt – Will Aimson quickly added another before James Scott completed the rout late on. City were also triumphant in this fixture last season – 2-0 up at half time through Kite and Collins, Wheeler reduced the arrears early in the second half before Dieng clinched a 3-1 win. City’s win on the opening day means it’s absolutely level in terms of the league head to head with both sides having won seven, while there have also been seven draws.
The match officials for this game will be:-
Referee: Charles Breakspear
Assistant Referee: Chris Wade and Simon Shaw
Fourth Official : Mark Derrien
Charles Breakspear took charge of the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season which City win 3-0.
Pre-match interview with Reece Cole