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19 August 2017 Venue Brunton Park Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Cheltenham Town

A look at Saturday's League Two opponents

18 August 2017

Having secured a first Sky Bet League Two victory of the season at Cambridge last weekend, Keith Curle’s side are now hoping for a maiden Brunton Park triumph as they welcome Cheltenham Town to the north west.

But the Robins themselves will be hoping to pick up back-to-back wins in the league and begin to climb up the table.

It’s certain to be an intriguing contest, and we’ve put Gary Johnson’s side under the microscope to get the lowdown on our visitors before the big game:

Two wins, two defeats

It’s been a mixed start to the season for Cheltenham who have won two and lost two after playing four games in all competitions.

Their season began with a 2-1 defeat at Morecambe before they defeated Oxford United 4-3 in the first round of the Carabao Cup, requiring extra time to knock-out their League One hosts.

A first league win of the season followed at home against Crawlely last weeked, but the Robins were then defeated 2-1 by Swansea City in the Checkatrade Trophy earlier this week. They’ll be keen to get back to winning ways at Brunton Park and pick up a first away success in the league.

Plenty of changes expected

While Cheltenham may have lost out to the Swans on Tuesday evening, the scoreline doesn’t quite tell the fully story.

Gary Johnson used the Checkatrade Trophy tie as an opportunity to test some of his youngsters - 17-year-old George Lloyd started along with young goalkeeper Rhys Lovett while youth team captain Lee Llewelyn was on the bench.

First team regulars Nigel Atangana, Jordan Forster and Mohamed Eisa were all rested completely with Harry Pell and Carl Winchester given only 45 minutes, so it’s wise not to look too much in to that result.

It’s likely that Johnson will make several changes ahead of the trip to Brunton Park with some of his more experienced heads returning, meaning the Blues could face a very different test to the once Swansea had.

United’s good record to continue?

The Cumbrians may have lost 1-0 the last time they faced Cheltenham, but that was the first defeat the Blues had suffered against the Robins since 2008.

United have picked up five wins from the last ten meetings between the two sides, with Cheltenham having won only two.

There have been 20 league meetings of the two teams, with both Carlisle and the Robins claiming six wins with eight games ending in draws.

It’s the Blues who have had the better of the recent meetings, though, and they’ll be hoping for a similar result this time around.

Below are the highlights from last season's 1-1 home draw:

Glamour ties coming up ...

It’s not just United who have an exciting Carabao Cup tie on the horizon.

While Carlisle prepare to welcome Sunderland to Brunton Park, Cheltenham will be facing West Ham at the LCI Rail Stadium in a televised clash.

Both Curle and Johnson will be keen to ensure their sides are fully focused on the task at hand before attentions to turn the glamorous cup ties.

Ones to Watch

+ Harry Pell - The midfielder was a key figure in the Robins’ promotion from the National League in 2016 and continued his fine form in League Two last season. Comfortable centrally or on the right, Pell was wanted by Blackpool earlier in this transfer window but turned down the Seasiders. Always looking to chip in with an assist or goal, the 25-year-old will need to be watched carefully.

+ Mohamed Eisa - Plucked from non-league by Johnson during the summer, Eisa had a good track record before stepping up to the Football League and immediately demonstrated his worth to the Robins with five goals in pre-season. He added a brace in the Carabao Cup against Oxford and is a handful for any defence with his pace and deadly finishing proving a powerful combination.

+ Brian Graham - Another summer addition, Graham moved to the LCI Rail Stadium from Hibernian and could partner Eisa up top at Brunton Park. Having proven himself north of the border, the striker is now looking to make a name for himself in England. At 29-years-old, Graham offers some valuable experience having represented the likes of Dundee United and Ross County in the past. An old-school target man, Graham’s physical presence could prove the ideal accompaniment to Eisa’s sheer pace.

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 3 - 0 Cheltenham

Report from the Saturday afternoon Sky Bet League Two game

19 August 2017

United returned to Brunton Park for a double-header of home games starting with the visit of Cheltenham Town on Saturday afternoon.

United put on a near perfect performance on the day as they deservedly added a home win to an impressive week of solid away game displays.

Carlisle started with a lively attack down the right flank which brought a corner as a cross from Shaun Miller was blocked at source. Grainger swung it in and a downward header from Tom Miller was smashed into the top corner by the unlucky Harry Pell as he tried to hook it away.

United camped forward and a lovely pass from Grainger sent Adams on a run. His cross edged across the face of goal and Flatt had to save from Lambe as he drilled a stinging shot through bodies. The parry spun across the face of goal and rolled behind to safety.

Cheltenham got forward well as they tried to gain a foothold and a deep corner found Eisa in space. He got there with a header but Bonham was able to watch as it bounced wide of the mark.

The Cumbrian lead was extended on 18 minutes when another patient build-up found Shaun Miller on the move in the area. He shielded it and rolled it back for Grainger to cross, and Reggie Lambe did the rest with a glanced header which left Flatt with no chance.

Atangana sent a shot at Bonham when he had a brief sight of the target as the Robins tried to get a foothold in the game, but it was Carlisle who played the better football with Grainger right at the heart of it. His quickly taken free kick left Lambe in acres of space but Storer did well to block a goal-bound thunderbolt.

Wide man Nicky Adams took over for the set piece and he put a looped pass onto Tom Miller’s head as the right back raced in with a late arrival. Flatt was beaten but the ball dropped onto the roof of the net.

The visiting goal lived a charmed life on the half hour when a ball into the box was met by Bennett. Adams had a toe poke blocked on the line, and the follow-up from Miller received the same end result, then Bennett somehow sliced wide as he tried to finish it off on the stretch.

Pell tried to make amends for his earlier misdemeanour at the other end with another tester from distance but, Bonham was safe as he dropped to make the save. Excellent defending by Parkes from a Cranston cross prevented Wright from having an easy chance moments later in what was a better visiting spell.

A determined run from Adams earned United another corner just before the break but Cheltenham dealt with it as Bennett and Tom Miller challenged. 

The visitors had an early chance to get themselves back into it after the break when Grimes leaped to meet a wind assisted corner. It was a firm header but he couldn't guide it under the bar.

Carlisle were denied what looked another certain goal when Bennett and Adams worked space for a cross. Flatt got a touch and Shaun Miller looked on in anguish as his powerful drive hit a defender and went wide.

United effectively wrapped things up on the hour when another dangerous ball into the area came to Bennett. The big striker kept his cool and two neat passes followed, including a lovely lay-off from Parkes, before Tom Miller curled a wonderful shot into the top corner to register his second goal of the campaign. 

Carlisle protected their lines following Miller's game killing strike and they comfortably saw the game through, with a late shot onto the bar from Hope to add to the mix, to claim a clean sheet and an excellent three points.

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Goals

Carlisle United - Pell (5 og), Lambe (18), T Miller (58)

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Bookings

Carlisle United - Ellis (70)

Cheltenham Town - Pell (58)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Bonham, T Miller, Ellis, Parkes, Grainger (C), Lambe, Joyce, Jones (Liddle 84), Adams (Devitt 71), S Miller, Bennett (Hope 71). Subs - George, Kennedy, Cosgrove, Egan.

Cheltenham Town - Flatt, Grimes, Cranston, Storer (C), Atangana, Pell (Dawson 65), Wright, Winchester (Graham 58), Boyle (Bower 86), Eisa, Forster. Subs - Lovett, Holman, O'Shaughnessy.

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Referee - Martin Coy

Attendance - 4,497 (122 away fans)

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