Newcastle United Blog | Newcastle fail to seize chance at Cambridge first-half deadlock
Newcastle have been at the forefront for much of the first half against Cambridge. However, the need for a striker in Callum Wilson’s absence was glaring. The guys saw luck after chance be lost or saved by Dimitar Mitov, who was excellent in the opposing goal.
Eddie Howe put the guys in a 4-3-3. The last four were Trippier, Krafth, Schar and Ritchie. The midfield trio were Shelvey, Longstaff and Joelinton. Murphy was on the left with Fraser on the right and Saint-Maximin was leading the line, although he traded with Murphy later in the game.
Newcastle had a first chance. A penalty cry was denied when Longstaff fell into the box with Newcastle winning a corner. The guys played short with the ball ending up with Trippier. The full-back whipped a cross that Schar directed over the bar.
After Longstaff gave the ball away with a wrong pass, the visitors threw up a counter in the 13th minute. Newcastle returned to defend but conceded a corner which resulted in an open header at the back post which went straight into Dubravka’s waiting claws.
Newcastle had a flurry of chances around the 20th minute but just failed to shoot. Cambridge continued to defend well but Newcastle began to increase the pressure on our League One counterparts.
The best opportunity so far came in the 24th minute. An excellent pass sent Saint-Maximin rushing towards the two Cambridge central defenders. He played the ball to a booming Murphy on the left side of the box. His curling effort was parried by goaltender Mitov.
Another good opportunity presented itself just after 30 minutes. Schar played a great ball to Fraser on the right. The winger whipped up a cross that Murphy, now as a forward, tried to grab in front of goal but just couldn’t get the ball to touch.
Newcastle continued to pressure Cambridge without trying their luck. In the 40th minute, Shelvey found Fraser in the box. The winger passed to Murphy whose volley was repelled by Mitov. Saint-Maximin recovers the ball, the cross, but Longstaff’s header misses the goal.
Murphy was pushed back by Mitov again in the dying minutes of half-time. Fraser again found Murphy in the box. The 26-year-old scratched the ball but Mitov put his gloves on as he escaped the crossbar and behind for a corner kick.
Newcastle create chances and dominate this game. However, the guys started to panic after not being able to get into Cambridge early. The visitors are very involved as the absence of a clinical goalscorer keeps this game scoreless so far.