Cambridge United boss Mark Bonner speaks on Charlton Athletic’s Sky Bet League One win at Abbey Stadium

Mark Bonner felt Charlton Athletic were “too good” for Cambridge United during the 45 minutes of their 2-1 defeat this afternoon at the Abbey.

The visiting Addicks scored twice before half-time and missed several chances to extend the lead even further during a period of uninterrupted dominance.

A change in form in the first half saw United gain some control of the proceedings and they managed to pull one goal back through Lloyd Jones, but Charlton’s first-half display ultimately proved to be the difference.

Cambridge United coach Mark Bonner.  Photo: Simon Lancaster
Cambridge United coach Mark Bonner. Photo: Simon Lancaster

The result leaves United second from bottom six points from safety with just nine matches remaining in Sky Bet League One this season.

Bonner said: “In the first half they were very good for us. It was a little bit on our part but at the same time they were very athletic, very quick and moved the ball around really well and made the field huge.

“They turned really well and completely controlled the middle of the field and we struggled to control that.

“The first goal is a bad goal from us because it’s easy to defend but we’re stuck deep. Once you give them space at the back to run, they’ll get away from you and they’ll take the goal well.

“The second for us is a really defensible position from the wide free kick. We don’t drop fast enough and clear as well as we should.

“In the end it became a really tough game for us as we are not so close and press the ball. We lost physically, a lot of duels and a lot of moments.

“We actually had a lot of moments where we got into the first third and had the ball, but we didn’t play with the technical quality that they did.

“The spins they took were excellent, but we turned the ball around very easily and easily in the first half. It was only in the second half where we played with more physicality and direction that we got momentum into the game.

“We had more moments that we should have done better or moments where we had to take a shot or put a cross in the box when he was there to do it. Teams would have scored some of those moments against us, no doubt about that.

“We moved the ball around brilliantly a few times, got it across the goal (but) we’re not there to finish it off. That’s our downfall, we know that, and in the two halves I thought we were really good in the second half.

“We had a real game orientation and maybe we could turn something around but we just couldn’t find the quality. In the first half they were too good for us, too athletic for us and moved the ball around really well. We just couldn’t get our form right to contain them.”

United will be on the road away to Burton Albion next weekend.

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