Match Preview: Cambridge United (H)
EFL League Two
The Hive London
Saturday, February 25, 2017 – KO 3pm
Team News: Jack Taylor (hernia) and Jamie Stephens (hamstring) are both short-term absentees.
James Pearson (knee), meanwhile, is recovering from a long-term lay-off. Michael Gash (knee) and Shaun Batt (quad) are out for the season.
Last Time We Met: The U’s were Barnet’s opponents on the opening day of the 2016/17 season with the game finishing 1-1 at The Abbey.
Shaun Derry’s side went ahead just after the hour when Piero Mingoia converted Blair Adams’ low cross to the far post.
However, the Bees drew level with 15 minutes remaining when Alex Nicholls stepped inside his marker and curled home a beauty from inside the box.
Manager: Shaun Derry, 39, is in his second managerial job having succeeded Richard Money in November 2015.
The former midfield hardman, who turned out for Queens Park Rangers, Crystal Palace and Leeds United during a 20-year playing career, previously spent two years at Notts County prior to joining Cambridge.
Born in Nottingham, the tenacious former midfielder began his playing career with County before linking up with Neil Warnock for the first time at Sheffield United.
He would later play for the current Cardiff City boss at Palace and Rangers before finishing his career as player-manager in 2015 during his second stint with the Magpies.
Derry helped Notts – previously doomed to the drop – avoid relegation before struggling the following season.
Dangerman: Midfielder Luke Berry has ten goals to his name from midfield in 30 league starts making this the third season in four that the 24-year-old has hit double figures from midfield.
Born in Cambridge, Berry began his senior career with the club and made the transition from the Academy to the first team in 2009.
He was a key part of the side which won promotion to the Football League in 2014 and won the FA Trophy.
However, he did not played in EFL League Two for United, instead joining League One side Barnsley ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.
But Berry lasted a single season at Oakwell before returning to The Abbey and has slotted back into the U’s midfield seamlessly, re-establishing himself as a key man.
Connections: There are two players in the current Barnet squad who join the Bees from Cambridge in the summer of 2015.
Skipper Michael Nelson switched The Abbey for The Hive after midfield general Tom Champion became Barnet’s first signing following promotion from the Conference.
Both players had captained the U’s over the previous two seasons with Champion making 95 appearances between 2013 and 2015 and Nelson 38 times during the 2014/15 season.
Former Bees defender Alie Sesay, who left The Hive during January, is another to have turned out for both clubs. He made six appearances on loan with the U’s in 2015 before turning out 20 times as a Bee.
Last Time Out: The U’s came from 2-0 down at home to Newport County on Saturday to win 3-2 with an injury-time goal from defender Mark Roberts.
A brace from Ryan Bird looked to have put the Exiles in control. However, Barry Corr started the comeback with a goal in the 63rd minute.
Leon Legge levelled with 18 minutes remaining before Newport saw Mitch Rose sent off in the 90th minute.
Graham Westley’s side were unable to hold out for the remaining minutes and Roberts won it for the U’s in the third minute of stoppage time.
Cambridge United (4-2-3-1): Norris; Davies, Legge, Roberts, Carroll; O’Neil, Lewis; Mingoia, Berry, Dunk; Williamson.
Ticket info: Supporters can order tickets for tomorrow’s match from our online box office or by arriving early and buying on the day from The Hive Ticket Office.