Mark Bonner pleased to see Cambridge’s best performance of season so far
Mark Bonner believes League Two leaders Cambridge played their best football of the season in their victory over Port Vale.
The U’s remained top of the table with a 3-1 win over the Valiants, with Paul Mullin netting a hat-trick to take his tally to 11 goals in 10 matches following an incredible start to the season for the striker.
“We started like a house on fire, exactly how you want to start,” said Bonner of Mullin’s opener from the penalty spot in the third minute.
“We could have been two or three-nil up, and the one at the back post ends in a goal kick which we don’t defend well enough. They get in and he gives a penalty for a foul outside the box but you get punished when you don’t defend those moments well enough.
“That was the challenge at half time; we knew we had to be better to get something out of the game. The 20 minutes after half time is probably the best we’ve played this season. We played it against a really good team, we were brave, we put our foot on the ball and we looked a real threat. We really raised the level second half.
“Paul Mullin’s flying. We’ve waited a while for someone to be as clinical and prolific as he has. We can’t say we were expecting him to get to double figures at this point in the season but we knew we were signing a goalscorer and we knew we’d create an environment that would get the best out of him. He’s loving it here and that’s what we want.”
Valiants boss John Askey was not too downhearted despite his side’s defeat.
“I thought that’s probably the best football we’ve played this season so far,” he said.
“It was more like what we expect of them. Obviously the result isn’t but you couldn’t knock their effort, and some of the football that we played was really good. In both halves we started slowly but overall we played a lot better.
“They responded really well (to going behind). Considering we were 1-0 down I thought we took control of the game, we got a penalty and then it’s anybody’s game. The only difference tonight was Mullin played really well for them.
“I don’t worry about chances missed. The main thing is creating them because eventually they will go in. They took their chances and we didn’t.”