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23 December 2017 Venue The New Lawn Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Forest Green Rovers

We take a closer look at Saturday's opponents

22 December 2017

After success in the FA Cup replay against Gillingham in midweek, United will be aiming to mark their return to league action with three points as they make the visit to Forest Green Rovers.

The Blues have lost just one of their last five in all competitions and will be hoping to pick up a victory to kick-start the hectic festive season.

But recently-promoted Rovers will themselves be keen for another three points as they look to move up the table.

We put Mark Cooper’s men under the spotlight ahead of our visit to the New Lawn:

Desperate For a Win

In their first season in the Football League, Rovers started the season slowly as they won just one of their first five games in all competitions.

But some positive form followed which saw them climb clear of relegation danger - only for results of late to slip once again.

Cooper’s side have lost their last three outings, two in Sky Bet League Two and one in the FA Cup, and have won only once in the league since the start of November.

That form has seen Rovers fall to rock bottom of the fourth tier, and they’ll be desperate to work their way up the table as soon as possible.

Defensive Discipline Needed

No team in Sky Bet League Two have a worse defensive record than Forest Green, who have shipped 42 goals in league action this season.

In fact, that tally means that Rovers have conceded more times than any other club in the top four tiers of English football.

With only two clean sheets kept in the league this season, it seems that the Nailsworth outfit will need to shore up their backline if they want to climb the table.

What Does History Tell Us?

The two sides have only met twice - both during the 2004/05 season - as each team claimed a victory away from home.

United travelled to Forest Green in August of their Conference season and ran out 3-0 winners at Rovers thanks to an early Andy Preece strike and goals after the break from Magno Vieira and Peter Murphy.

The return fixture at Brunton Park in April saw Rovers claim revenge as they claimed a 1-0 triumph against Paul Simpson’s promotion-chasing side.

Damon Searle netted the only goal of the game just after the hour mark to sentence the Blues to defeat.

Ones to Watch

+ Scott Laird - An experienced full-back, the 29-year-old joined Forest Green after his release from Scunthorpe United in the summer. Comfortable playing at left-back or in a more advanced position, Laird began his career at Plymouth Argyle before moving on to Stevenage where he helped the Boro clinch back-to-back promotions which took them from the Conference to League One. He then followed manager Graham Westley to Preston and made the switch to Scunthorpe in 2015. With plenty of pace to burn and a great delivery, expect Laird to contribute in both areas come Saturday.

+ Christian Doidge - The Welsh striker made the move to Rovers in 2016 and has gone on to become a cult hero having scored prolifically since his arrival from Dagenham and Redbridge. With 27 goals to his name in all competitions last season, Doidge played a key part in helping Forest Green to promotion and has continued his fine individual form this campaign. With 11 goals to his name already this season, he’ll need to be watched carefully at the New Lawn as he poses a real threat in the air and with his fast reactions in the box.

+ Bradley Collins - A Chelsea youngster, Collins was loaned out to the New Lawn to offer some more competition between the sticks. The 20-year-old joined Chelsea as an under ten player in 2010 and has progressed through the youth ranks, recently signing a new contract which will keep him at Stamford Bridge until next summer. In order to gain some more first team experience, Collins joined Rovers on a season long loan and has looked impressive so far, offering a commanding presence in the penalty area.

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Match Reports

REPORT: Forest Green Rovers 0 - 1 United

Match report from the Saturday away game

23 December 2017

United were at the New Lawn on Saturday afternoon to face League Two new boys Forest Green Rovers on their return to league action following Tuesday night's FA Cup success over Gillingham.

And the one-goal victory doesn't quite tell the full story as the Blues created excellent chances and dominated throughout what was a very professional 90-minute display.

Rovers seemed happy to allow United to have the ball from the kick off and a long pass forward from Hill was chased down by Hope. He gave it to Grainger, and there was a moment of panic from home stopper Brad Collins as he spilled it. He scampered quickly to recover it before Bennett could pounce.

The ball into the channel proved to be a useful outlet, as Hope ran off the central defenders, and he did well when Jones found him with his back to goal. He spun and crossed but the deflected delivery curved kindly for Collins.

The Green Devils mounted their first meaningful attack just past the quarter hour when a hopeful pass was picked up by Doidge. He went for the early shot but it came off Hill and was easy for Bonham to take.

United were on the attack almost constantly and Bennett did well from a Grainger throw when he shielded it with his back to goal. His first touch was good and his second was a hooked attempt which went over his shoulder and onto the roof of the net.

Osbourne sent a shot from distance wide as Rovers broke forward from deep, but United should have taken the lead when they broke as the home move broke down. Hill clipped it to Liddle, and a half clearance fell nicely for Hope to shoot. He had just the keeper to beat and was disappointed to see it skim to safety via the top of the bar.

The Cumbrians got their deserved goal just before the half hour when Grainger floated a free kick into the mix. Richie Bennett was left all alone and he made no mistake as he registered his fifth of the season with an unstoppable header.

Bennett had a great chance to double the lead when a miskick from Collins left him with the width of the target to aim at. He chipped the stranded stopper but wheeled away in disappointment as the ball curled the wrong side of the post.

Carlisle came again as they grew in confidence with a through ball from Devitt which sent Hope on a run. He dropped his shoulder and beat his man, and his stinging drive forced a parry from Collins. Lambe was onto the rebound but he was off balance and he could only guide his volley over the bar.

More good football from the away side put Hope through again with just Laird to get past. He ran straight at him and went for an early shot which crept past the dive from Collins. It wasn't too far away as it bobbled just past the base of the upright.

Unbelievable defending from Traore stopped a certain goal just ahead of the break when Lambe ghosted past two to get into the box. His cut back was perfect for Bennett and he thought he'd done the job as he sidefooted the ball past Collins. Traore had other ideas as he somehow completed his acrobatic goal line clearance.

The Green Devils looked more alert after the break but a terrible header from Doidge brought more frustration as he sent a Marsh-Brown cross closer to the corner flag than to the goal.

United responded with a break sparked by Devitt as he robbed possession in midfield. He had Bennett inside but a good block stopped the shot and the cross. 

Carlisle continued to create half chances, with crosses from Grainger dealt with by Collins, and substitute Shaun Miller went close when his cross hit a boot and spooned over the bar.

Defender Tom Parkes wasn't too far away when he flashed a shot across the face of goal late in the day, and United managed the game out well as they kept Rovers at arm's length to give their travelling contingent a fantastic early Christmas present.

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Goals 

Carlisle United - Bennett (28)

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Bookings 

Forest Green Rovers - Roberts (81), Stevens (84), Laird (90).

Carlisle United - Grainger (86), T Miller (90).

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Teams 

Forest Green Rovers - Collins, D Bennett (Roberts 71), Laird, Traore (Stevens 56), Collins, Marsh-Brown (Bugiel 56), Doidge, Cooper, Fitzwater, Wishart, Osbourne. Subs - Pickering, Simpson, Evans, James.

Carlisle United - Bonham, Brown (T Miller 83), Liddle, Hill, Parkes, Grainger, Lambe, Jones, Devitt, Hope (Etuhu 85), R Bennett (S Miller 65). Subs - Cosgrove, Ellis, O'Sullivan, Rigg.

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Referee - Kevin Johnson

Attendance - 2,489 (315 away fans)

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Ticket News

AWAY DAYS: Forest Green Rovers ticket information

Ticket information for the trip to Forest Green Rovers

20 November 2017

Forest Green Rovers v Carlisle United, Saturday 23 December, kick off 3pm

Prices

Tickets are all for the West Terrace. There are a very small number of seating tickets available for ambulant disabled fans. 

Adult £16
Senior 65+ £12
Young adult 16-21 £8
U16 £5
U11 FOC*

*U11 tickets must be purchased with an adult or senior ticket. 

Ticket prices will increase by £2 on the day of the game. 

Disabled info

Adult £19
Senior 65+ £15
Young adult 16-21 £10
U16 £7

Ambulant disabled and wheelchair supporters will pay the above price which includes a carer ticket. 

Dates of sale 

These tickets will go on sale on at full time in the Morecambe game on Saturday 25 November from the West Stand Ticket Office.

Tickets will then be available from the Pioneer Stand Ticket Office Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm until 5pm on Thursday 21 December. Ticket sales on home match days will be from the West Stand Ticket Office. 

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Methods of purchase:

In person – come to the main ticket office in the Pioneer Foods Stand at the designated time. Ticket sales on home match days will be from the West Stand ticket office. 
 
Post – send in a cheque for the correct amount, a covering letter and a stamped addressed envelope.
 
Phone – ring the ticket office on 0844 371 1921 at the designated times and pay with a credit / debit card. Calls to this line are charged at 7p per minute from a landline. Mobile charges may vary.
 
Internet – click HERE and follow the online instructions. 
 
Please note - to post tickets out to customers who have made their purchase over the telephone there is an additional charge of 75p. All credit cards used will incur a £1 surcharge. The last day tickets will be posted is 5pm on Monday 18 December 2017.
 
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Bus Travel
 
For further information on travel, contact the following: 

Carlisle United Supporters' Group Away Travel: 07563 700 987 

Route A66 West Cumbrian Travel: 07825 840 123

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