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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

05 August 2023 Venue Cledara Abbey Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

The Wait Is Over

Full preview as Oxford United kick off the new season at Cambridge

4 August 2023

The wait is over and Oxford United finally kick off the new Sky Bet League 1 season away at Cambridge United on Saturday (3pm)

A sold out away end, new look squad, brand new kit and high expectations await Liam Manning's side as they look to start the campaign with three points.

United have eight new faces available; James Beadle, Fin Stevens, Jordan Thorniley, Josh McEachran, Ruben Rodrigues, Mark Harris, Stan Mills and Max Woltman who joined from Liverpool yesterday

Boss Liam Manning was keeping his cards close to his chest in his pre-match interviews, with a couple of knocks and twinges likely to influence his final selection, but captain Elliott Moore told iFollow that whoever starts, the whole squad is ready:

"It has been very structured this summer but you always have it in mind that you are getting ready for that first game" he said. "Even in the pre-season matches, you are pushing to be ready for the first league game.

"Saturday's game is massive and really exciting. It’s what you think about when you first step back into the building for pre-season. Cambridge will be a brilliant way to start with the fans there to back us. We are really looking forward to it. This summer has been excellent and the togetherness of the group is very strong even after a short time together. The new lads are part of it already.

"We have worked hard in training and now we have to put that into action in a real game. We did it in the friendlies but this will be totally different, we know that. Winning is the aim every game though so we are definitely going there looking for three points".

You can see Elliott, Sam Long and Liam Manning previewing the game in iFollow right now.

Cambridge Boss Mark Bonner is naturally looking for his side to start the season with a home win:

“There’s a lovely energy around the place, everyone’s fresh and ready to go" he said "We’ve got a busy first month, that’s often the way, but I think everybody can’t wait to get back to the Abbey in what will be a really full stadium and a brilliant atmosphere, as is always the case on day one.”

“We’ve got the core of a team that’s been with us in the past, but there’s a lot of change there - that’s an exciting scenario… Although it’s a fourth season for me, this feels like a new start and fresh team, and we’re really enjoying the work that we’re doing together already.”

“We want to see if we can be as competitive as we can in the league. It’s very difficult to make so many predictions and understand maybe what the league will look like – it’s probably double figures of games before you can get any pattern or structure to the season.”

There is a familiar face in the Cambridge squad in Jack Stevens who will be hoping to keep a clean sheet against his former club.

United will be wearing their eye-catching new Third Kit for the first time tomorrow. Go With The Flow and order yours HERE

The away end is SOLD OUT which will mean a fantastic backing for Liam Manning's side but fans without tickets should not travel.

Coaches will depart the Kassam Stadium at 11:15am with a pick up at Kidlington Sainsbury’s at 11:30am

Prices :

Adult Member £20
Adult Non Member £23
Under 18 Member £18
Under 18 Non Member £21

Membership is available now, saving you money on all away travel throughout the season.

CLICK HERE or call 01865 337533 to book your place on the coaches or to become a member.


If travelling by train, Cambridge recommend using the Cambridge North Station and following the Chisholm trail. It is a 15-to-20-minute walk to the station.

Street parking around the Stadium is restricted. An alternative is to use the Park & Ride service. It is situated near the airport to the east of the city and is about a 20 minute walk to the ground along Newmarket Road. The cost of using the service for fans is £3.00 return. More information can be found HERE


There is a family zone outside the club shop on matchdays, weather permitting. All families are welcome to enjoy the family area. The family zone opens at 1pm CLICK HERE for more information

Turnstiles will be open from 1.30pm. Food and drink kiosks will be open then. Cambridge are now operating contactless payments inside the ground.

There will be Abbey Helpers situated around the ground to assist supporters before the match with any questions.They are also located around the South Stand to assist on arrival inside the ground

CLICK HERE for a matchday guide for away fans

Picture Path
Cambridge have launched a new app for supporters from both sides to use. It is designed to reduce anxiety for SEN Children. More information about the app can be found HERE

Audio For All is also available for anyone wanting to use the service

Sound Sensory Packs can be organised HERE

There will be a physical programme produced for the match. They will be on sale at the Club Shop, Programme Exchange, and within the South Stand. Cambridge United is a now cash free stadium so a contactless card is required within the ground.

iFollow coverage is available to hear in the UK and watch overseas, with full commentary from our friends at BBC Oxford Sport.

We'll have our usual full coverage across all official channels as well.

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Match Reports

REPORT Cambridge United 2 Oxford United 0

Opening day ends in defeat. Full time report

5 August 2023

Oxford United were beaten on the opening day of the season as two first half goals from Cambridge gave the other university city all three points.

Goals from Jack Lankester and Gassan Ahadme earned Mark Bonner's side a 2-0 win at the Abbey Stadium to frustrate the sold-out away end, which gave their team superb backing.

There were no surprises in the starting XI, but having started well enough, the first shot on target produced the opening goal as Cambridge stole an early advantage.

The elusive Saikou Janneh created it, driving into space on the right flank and powering in a low shot that James Beadle parried, but only into the path of Lankester, who sent the ball back into the unguarded net to make it 1-0.

cambridge goal 1.jpg

In their light-blue third kit for the first time, rightly ignoring Boat Race traditions, United refused to let one goal sink them, but on 28 they were two goals down and treading water.

It was Janneh who was again the provider, this time on the left of attack. Flying towards the packed away end, the Gambian forward stood up a perfect cross and Ipswich loanee Ahadme thumped his header past the stranded Beadle to make it 2-0.


United had seen plenty of the ball but didn’t test former teammate Jack Stevens until first-half added time, when he got down well to save a low strike from Cameron Brannagan, meaning that Liam Manning had stern words with his men at the break.

There was more urgency after the interval but not quite the expected rhythm until the game opened up after the hour mark. Brannagan sent an effort just wide, sub Stanley Mills was off target soon after, while at the other end the home side offered little to suggest they might further extend their lead. They didn't need to.

It became a question of whether United could find a goal that might offer a lifeline. Mills, O'Donkor and Bodin were all given their chance in attack and Cambridge dropped ever deeper to defend their lead.

With time against them, Bodin miscued at the back post as the impressive Mills sent in a superb cross, then the Everton loanee forced Stevens into a crucial block; had that gone in then United had all of the momentum for a dramatic finale. On this occasion it wasn't meant to be.


Sub Sullay Kaikai almost made it three with a last-minute effort but by then, excuse the pun, it was academic.

An early setback but don't let one result dent your enthusiasm. United have won just one of their last ten opening games, the last seven of them away from home. Plenty of time to make amends, starting with the first home game of the season, against Carlisle next Saturday.

See you there.

Att: 7,435
Away: 1,469

Report by Chris Williams, pictures Steve Daniels, Steve Edmunds and Darrell Fisher

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Ticket News

Cambridge SOLD OUT

Fans back the U's on the opening day

27 July 2023

Tickets for our opening Sky Bet League 1 game of the season away at Cambridge United are now SOLD OUT

It will mean a fantastic backing for Liam Manning's side but fans without tickets should not travel.

Spaces remain on the London Road Club coaches:

London Road Travel Club
Coaches will depart the Kassam Stadium at 11:15am with a pick up at Kidlington Sainsbury’s at 11:30am

Prices :

Adult Member £20
Adult Non Member £23
Under 18 Member £18
Under 18 Non Member £21

Membership is available now, saving you money on all away travel throughout the season.

CLICK HERE or call 01865 337533 to book your place on the coaches or to become a member.

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