2008–09 Cambridge United F.C. season

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Cambridge United
2008–09 season
Chairman Geroge Rolls
Manager Gary Brabin
Conference National 2nd
FA Cup First Round (Lost to Kidderminster)
Conference League Cup Third Round (Lost to A.F.C. Telford)
FA Trophy Second Round (Lost to Crawley Town)
Top goalscorer Scott Rendell (13)
Highest home attendance 7,090 (v Altrincham, League, 26 Apr)
Lowest home attendance 2,662 (v Northwich, League, 14 Mar)
Average home league attendance 3,567
Home colours
Away colours

The 2008–09 season was the 97th season in the history of Cambridge United F.C., and the club's fourth consecutive season in the Conference National. After finishing as runners-up and losing in the play-off final during the 2007–08 season, the club were optimistic of a return to the Football League either as champions or through the play-offs.

The club appointed little-known manager Gary Brabin to guide them through the season, who joined from Southport with relatively little managerial experience.[1] He replaced the successful Jimmy Quinn who parted company with the club by mutual consent after lengthy talks with chairman Phillip Law.[2]

The club enjoyed a successful season, although they were not close to catching eventual champions Burton Albion for much of the season. However, in the final months some excellent form, together with the departure of Burton's manager Nigel Clough, saw the gap close and Cambridge could have won the title and promotion on the final day of the season had they beaten rather than drawn at home to Altrincham.[3] As it was they finished runners-up for the second successive season and despite a memorable play-off campaign, which included beating Stevenage Borough 3-0 after extra time in the second leg at the Abbey Stadium to overturn a first-leg deficit, Cambridge lost the play-off final to Torquay United

Background[edit]

Cambridge United were founded in 1912 as Abbey United, named after the Abbey district of Cambridge. For many years they played amateur football until their election to the Football League in 1970. The early 1990s was Cambridge's most successful period; managed by John Beck the club won the first ever play-off final at Wembley Stadium and gained promotion from the Fourth Division before reaching two successive FA Cup quarter finals in 1990 and 1991 and winning the Third Division in 1991. The club reached the play-offs in 1992 but failed in their bid to become founder members of the Premier League.[4] This was the club's highest final league placing to date and since then it has been in almost constant decline.

The following season the club sacked Beck and were relegated from the First Division. Further relegation followed two seasons later. United returned to Division Two but were relegated in 2002. In 2005, after 35 years in the Football League, Cambridge United were relegated into the Football Conference. This brought with it financial difficulties and the club filed for administration,[5] coming out of it three months later after the intervention of sports minister Richard Caborn,[6][7] but not before selling their Abbey Stadium home to keep the club afloat and closing the youth system.[8]

The club's first season in the Conference National was one of stabilisation, followed by a close shave with relegation. Under the stewardship of Jimmy Quinn, the club recovered in the previous season to finish in the play-off final. However, after despite losing the 1-0 to Exeter City, the club were hoping to build on this relative success under the new management of Gary Brabin following Quinn's departure.[2]

Team kit[edit]

The team kit for the season was produced by Vandanel for the second season. The same kit was used as in the previous season, with a white and black away shirt, and amber and black striped home shirt. As for previous seasons, the kit had two different sponsors - local company Global Self Drive at home and Kershaw away.[9]

A special edition play-off final shirt was also released and worn for that match. Produced by Vandanel, the shirt was all amber with limited black trim and sponsored by Kershaw.[10]

Team[edit]

First team squad[edit]

This table shows the squad as it stood at the end of the season.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK Danny Potter
2 England DF Dan Gleeson
3 England DF Anthony Tonkin
4 Republic of Ireland MF Daryl McMahon
5 England DF Phil Bolland
6 England DF Wayne Hatswell
7 England FW Mark Beesley
8 England MF Andy Parkinson
10 England MF Jon Challinor
11 England MF Courtney Pitt
No. Position Player
12 England DF Josh Coulson
15 England MF Paul Carden
16 England MF Ben Farrell
18 England MF Robbie Willmott
21 England FW Chris Holroyd
25 England MF Jai Reason
26 England DF Rory McAuley
27 England FW Lee Phillips
28 England FW Danny Crow
30 England GK Aaron Grundy

Top scorers[edit]

Includes matched in the Conference National, FA Cup and FA Trophy. Where total goals are equal, the list is sorted in favour of league goals, and then alphabetical order.

Position Nation Name Conference National FA Cup Total
1 England Scott Rendell 13 2 15
2 England Lee McEvilly 8 3 11
3 England Chris Holroyd 10 0 10
4 England Robbie Willmott 6 2 8
5 England Mark Beesley 4 0 4
= England Danny Crow 2 2 4
= England Wayne Hatswell 4 0 4
8 England Jon Challinor 2 0 2
= England Felino Jardim 2 0 2
= England Courtney Pitt 2 0 2
11 England Phil Bolland 1 0 1
= England Dan Brown 1 0 1
= England Paul Carden 1 0 1
= England Mark Convery 1 0 1
= England Ben Farrell 1 0 1
= England Andy Parkinson 1 0 1
= England Lee Phillips 1 0 1
TOTALS 60 9 69

Match results[edit]

Match won Match drawn Match lost Biggest win Biggest loss Top Play-Off Position

Pre-season[edit]

League[edit]

Kick Off Opponents H / A Result Scorers Attendance Pos
9 August 2008 Northwich Victoria A 1 – 0 Jardim 28' 1,445 6th
12 August 2008 Kidderminster Harriers H 2 – 1 McEvilly 27', 61' 3,008 4th
16 August 2008 Barrow H 2 – 1 McEvilly 28', Hatswell 40' 2,663 1st
23 August 2008 Eastbourne Borough A 3 – 0 McEvilly 21', Farrell 40', Holroyd 84' 2,105 1st
25 August 2008 Kettering Town H 0 – 2 3,489 2nd
30 August 2008 Weymouth A 2 – 2 McEvilly 42', Beesley 45' 1,367 3rd
2 September 2008 Ebbsfleet United A 1 – 1 McEvilly 45' 1,832 4th
6 September 2008 Wrexham H 2 – 0 Beesley 28', 64' 3,076 2nd
13 September 2008 Torquay United H 0 – 1 4,041 5th
20 September 2008 Mansfield Town A 1 – 1 Brown 33' 3,171 6th
23 September 2008 Oxford United H 1 – 3 Jardim 56' 4,170 8th
28 September 2008 Grays Athletic H 1 – 0 McEvilly 90' (pen) 2,971 5th
4 October 2008 York City A 0 – 0 2,608 6th
7 October 2008 Lewes H 1 – 0 Challinor 90' 3,194 5th
11 October 2008 Weymouth H 1 – 0 Challinor 11' 3,981 3rd
16 October 2008 Forest Green Rovers A 2 – 2 Hatswell 34', Crow 66' 789 3rd
1 November 2008 Rushden & Diamonds H 0 – 0 3,547 7th
15 November 2008 Crawley Town A 2 – 2 McEvilly 51' (pen), Convery 90' 1,570 7th
18 November 2008 York City H 1 – 0 Purkiss (OG) 51' 2,914 4th
22 November 2008 Altrincham A 0 – 1 1,123 5th
29 November 2008 Ebbsfleet United H 1 – 0 Rendell 45' 2,807 4th
6 December 2008 Torquay United A 0 – 0 2,310 6th
9 December 2008 Burton Albion A 1 – 3 Rendell 63' 1,804 6th
20 December 2008 Salisbury City H 4 – 0 Willmott 24', Rendell 51', Holroyd 62', Pitt 63' 3,340 6th
26 December 2008 Histon H 2 – 2 Hatswell 15', Rendell 42' 6,488 6th
28 December 2008 Stevenage Borough H 1 – 1 Rendell 3' 3,351 6th
17 January 2009 Woking H 4 – 1 Crow 3', 22', Beesley 66', Willmott 83' 2,696 5th
22 January 2009 Wrexham A 0 – 2 3,103 6th
29 January 2009 Oxford United H 1 – 1 Carden 72' 3,774 7th
1 February 2009 Rushden & Diamonds A 2 – 1 Holroyd 21' (pen), Bolland 88' 2,058 3rd
17 February 2009 Kidderminster Harriers A 3 – 1 Rendell 20' (pen), Holroyd 31', 55' 1,361 3rd
21 February 2009 Lewes A 2 – 0 Rendell 83' (pen), Willmott 87' 962 3rd
24 February 2009 Grays Athletic A 1 – 0 Rendell 42' 754 3rd
28 February 2009 Crawley Town H 1 – 1 Pitt 82' 3,231 3rd
2 Match 2009 Histon A 1 – 1 Hatswell 74' 2,579 3rd
7 March 2009 Burton Albion H 2 – 0 Rendell 55', Willmott 76' 4,377 2nd
10 March 2009 Mansfield Town H 2 – 1 Rendell 49', Reason 90' 2,781 2nd
14 March 2009 Northwich Victoria H 4 – 1 Holroyd 25', Rendell 30', 37', Parkinson 80' 2,662 2nd
17 March 2009 Barrow A 2 – 0 Holroyd 63', 83' 1,341 2nd
30 March 2009 Woking A 1 – 0 Reason 83' 1,775 2nd
4 April 2009 Forest Green Rovers H 0 – 1 3,245 2nd
7 April 2009 Stevenage Borough A 1 – 2 Willmott 17' 3,408 3rd
11 April 2009 Eastbourne Borough H 2 – 1 Phillips 65', Holroyd 71' (pen) 3,391 2nd
11 April 2009 Kettering Town A 2 – 1 Holroyd 14' (pen), Willmott 74' 2,340 2nd
11 April 2009 Salisbury City A 2 – 1 Rendell 19', Parkinson 45' 1,031 2nd
11 April 2009 Altrincham H 0 – 0 7,090 2nd

Play-offs[edit]

FA Cup[edit]

FA Trophy[edit]

Conference League Cup[edit]

League table[edit]

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Promotion or relegation
1 Burton Albion (C) (P) 46 27 7 12 81 52 +29 88 Promotion to League Two
2 Cambridge United 46 24 14 8 65 39 +26 86 Qualification to Conference National playoffs
3 Histon 46 23 14 9 78 48 +30 83
4 Torquay United (P) 46 23 14 9 72 47 +25 83
5 Stevenage Borough 46 23 12 11 73 54 +19 81
6 Kidderminster Harriers 46 23 10 13 69 48 +21 79
7 Oxford United 46 24 10 12 72 51 +21 077*
8 Kettering Town 46 21 13 12 50 37 +13 76
9 Crawley Town 46 19 14 13 77 55 +22 070*
10 Wrexham 46 18 12 16 64 48 +16 66
11 Rushden & Diamonds 46 16 15 15 61 49 +12 63
12 Mansfield Town 46 19 9 18 57 55 +2 062*
13 Eastbourne Borough 46 18 6 22 58 70 −12 60
14 Ebbsfleet United 46 16 10 20 52 60 −8 58
15 Altrincham 46 15 11 20 49 66 −17 56
16 Salisbury City 46 14 13 19 54 64 −10 55
17 York City 46 11 19 16 47 51 −4 52
18 Forest Green Rovers 46 12 16 18 70 76 −6 52
19 Grays Athletic 46 14 10 22 44 64 −20 52
20 Barrow 46 12 15 19 51 65 −14 51
21 Woking (R) 46 10 14 22 37 60 −23 44 Relegation to Conference North/Conference South
22 Northwich Victoria (R) 46 11 10 25 56 75 −19 43
23 Weymouth (R) 46 11 10 25 45 86 −41 43
24 Lewes (R) 46 6 6 34 28 89 −61 24

Updated to games played on 26 April 2009.
Source: Football Conference
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
* Mansfield deducted 4 points;[11] Oxford deducted 5 points;[12] Crawley Town deducted 1 point;[13]
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Awards[edit]

Awarded on 2 June 2009.[14]
Award Name No. Pos.
Internet Player of the Year England Wayne Hatswell 10 DF
Internet Young Player of the Year England Chris Holroyd 4 FW
Goal of the Season England Paul Carden (vs Oxford United) 15 MF

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Brabin takes the reins". Cambridge News. 23 June 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "Quinn Leaves By Mutual Consent". cambridgeunited.com. 15 June 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2008. 
  3. ^ "Cambridge vs Altrincham". Cambridge United. 26 April 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Cambridge United Potted History cambridge-united.co.uk. Retrieved 20 July 2007.
  5. ^ "Cambridge United file for administration.. is this the end of the U's?". BBC Cambridgeshire. Retrieved 21 January 2008. 
  6. ^ "Cambridge United – A Fresh Start". www.cambridge-united.co.uk. 22 July 2005. Retrieved 21 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "Cambridge United Clear Last Hurdle". www.cambridge-united.co.uk. 18 July 2005. Retrieved 21 January 2008. 
  8. ^ "Abbey sale keeps Cambridge afloat". BBC. 1 December 2004. Retrieved 8 June 2007. 
  9. ^ Historical Kits – Cambridge United
  10. ^ "CUFC Launch Play-off Final Shirt". Cambridge United. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  11. ^ "Mansfield hit by points deduction". BBC Sport. 6 October 2008. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2008. 
  12. ^ "Five-point deduction for Oxford". BBC Sport. 12 January 2009. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  13. ^ "Crawley win FA appeal over points". BBC Sport. 27 February 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  14. ^ "Player of the Season Awards". Cambridge United F.C. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 

See also[edit]