Cambridge United 2 Gateshead 1 match report: Ryan Donaldson floors old mates to restore Cambridge United to Football League
Sunday 18 May 2014
Cambridge United completed a Wembley double as they sealed their return to the Football League after a nine-year absence.
Goals by Liam Hughes and Ryan Donaldson, against his old club, put the U’s in control of the play-off final before Gateshead’s veteran striker Jack Lester pulled one back to set up a tense final 10 minutes for Richard Money’s men. However, Gateshead could not find an equaliser and their 54-year wait to regain Football League status goes on.
It was Cambridge’s second victory at the stadium in less than two months after they beat Gosport 4-0 in March to lift the FA Trophy.
Former Newcastle United trainee Donaldson, who moved from Gateshead to the Abbey Stadium last summer, almost gave the U’s an early lead but Adam Bartlett tipped away his long-range shot.
Gateshead, who were 19th in the Conference table when Gary Mills took over as manager in September but finished the season in third place, settled after their early scare and began keeping possession well and causing problems.
James Marwood twice went close from outside the area before Jamie Chandler worked goalkeeper Adam Smith.
Smith, on loan from Premier League newcomers Leicester City, had to be alert early in the second half to keep out another Marwood attempt. But Cambridge took the lead after 51 minutes when Donaldson’s cross drifted over the keeper for Hughes to head home from two yards out.
The second goal came in the 71st minute after Ben Clark brought down Donaldson, who curled home the free-kick from 22 yards. Cambridge players celebrate with the play-off trophy
Former Nottingham Forest striker Lester, who took the field two minutes before Donaldson’s strike, reduced Gateshead’s arrears when Liam Hatch’s header was parried by Smith and the 38-year-old headed the loose ball home from close range.
An injury to Cambridge defender Ian Miller saw the U’s finish the game with 10 men but, even though seven minutes of stoppage time was added for the incident, Gateshead could not find the goal that would take it to extra time.
Cambridge United: A Smith; Roberts, Miller, Coulson, Taylor; Champion, Berry (Chadwick, 65), Donaldson, Elliott (Cunnington, 76); Sam-Yorke (Dunk, 45), Hughes. Substitutes not used: Bonner, Chambers.
Gateshead: Bartlett; Magnay, Curtis, Clark, Baxter; Chandler (Lester, 69), Turnbull, Maddison (O’Donnell, 58), Marwood; Oster, Larkin (Hatch, 58). Substitutes not used: Walker, Ramshaw.
Referee: P Bankes (Merseyside)
Latest in Sport
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Michel Platini will consider pulling England and other Uefa members out of the World Cup if Sepp Blatter wins Fifa president election
Manchester United season player ratings: Grading Louis van Gaal's entire squad
Psychic penguins have made their pick for Arsenal vs Aston Villa in the FA Cup final...
How to boycott Fifa - a football fan's guide
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 4 Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote