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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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27 April 2019 Venue Brunton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

BIG MATCH PREVIEW: Crawley head north at the weekend

The Blues host the Red Devils on Saturday

26 April 2019

A run of three games unbeaten has seen Crawley secure their League Two status with time to spare and they certainly won't be making the long journey north just to roll over and give the points away.

CioffiA tough set of results through February and March had left the Red Devilslooking over their shoulders, but back-to-back away victories against Yeovil Town and Exeter City got well rid of any lingering doubts as they came out of the Easter period with smiles on their faces.

Ollie Palmer [16] and Filipe Morais [7] have 23 goals between them, but there are threats all over the park in a side that has started to play with confidence.

For United, of course, there is no grey area. Three points are needed if the play-off dream is to be kept alive and there'll be more then one eye checking on results elsewhere as one of the most fascinating days of the season unfolds.


Manager’s thoughts ...

Steven PressleySpeaking ahead of the weekend game, the manager said: "This is a game we go into knowing exactly what needs to be done. It's been very frustrating for us recently because we have been given opportunities, because of results elsewhere, and we just haven't managed to take them.

"We're now in a situation where we have to keep the pressure on the sides around us, and the only way to do that is to win our remaining games.

"If we do that, and if there are slip-ups elsewhere, then at least we will be in a situation where we will take advantage.

"Crawley may be talked about as a team that has nothing to play for but that is never the case. Professional footballers have a winning mentality and they will want to come here and do a job for their own reasons.

"That's why it's down to us to make sure we deal with the game and the pressure that comes with it, and that we get the right result. That's the only way that we can make sure we'll be involved in the battle for promotion."

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Did You Know?

+ Crawley managed to stay in the Conference despite receiving point deductions in three of their seven seasons in the league.

+ The Red Devils reached the Fifth Round of the FA Cup in 2010, where they were narrowly beaten by Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Sean O'Driscoll

+ Sean O’Driscoll was appointed Crawley manager in 2012, but left after only four days to take over at Nottingham Forest.


Head to Head

These sides have met on a total of 13 occasions over the years, with the Red Devils having only notched up two victories to their name thus far.

  Carlisle wins Draws Crawley wins
League 6 5 2
Total 6 5 2

Our trip to Sussex for this campaign came in December - with aircraft at nearby Gatwick Airport grounded because of an ongoing rogue drone problem. A ding-dong battle saw Jerry Yates, Jack Sowerby and Danny Grainger cancel out a first half brace from Dominic Poleon.

Watch the highlights from that game here:


We went to Crawley in September last season and, having weathered an onslaught through the first half, where the Red Devils created numerous chances, we struck after the break when Nicky Adams curled a beauty of a cross to the back post. Hallam Hope lost his man and thundered a great header into the back of the net. It was ultimately the goal that won the game.

Watch the highlights from that game here ...

Back up at Brunton Park in March and the Blues opened the scoring with a thundering and unstoppable volley from Richie Bennett from the angle of the 18-yard box early in the game. United doubled their advantage in the second half when a scramble inside the six-yard area was finished off by a header from Hallam Hope. Karlan Grant wiped the smiles off home faces when he drilled a shot in from just inside the area a few minutes later, and the same player earned his team a point when a 20-yard shot somehow squirmed past keeper Jack Bonham with just under 10 minutes left to play.

Watch the highlights from that game here ...



Man in the middle

Scott OldhamOur referee for this game is Mr Scott Oldham. He has taken charge of 32 games this season and has shown 95 yellow cards and just the one red.

We last saw him at stadium:mk for our 2-0 defeat at the hands of MK Dons. Early secind half goals for Jordan Houghton and Kieran Agard were followed by bookings for Regan Slater and Macaulay Gillesphey.

Prior to that, he was here at Brunton Park for the game against Stevenage in September. A Ben Kennedy goal early in the second half was enough to give the Boro a one-goal victory, and Hallam Hope's was the only Carlisle name taken on the day.

He was at Brunton Park on three occasions last season - the first in September 2017 when we drew 1-1 with Barnet. Shaun Miller scored our late equaliser, with just five minutes left to play, and it was a game where the notebook stayed firmly in the pocket.

We saw him again at the end of December when Coventry were the visitors to Carlisle. Danny Grainger and Jamie Devitt went in the book as Marc McNulty bagged a second half winner.

His last trip to see us in the last campaign was for our 2-0 victory over Grimsby. Hallam Hope and Mark Ellis scored the goals and Clint Hill was the only yellow card shown on the day. 

Referee – Scott Oldham
Assistant Referee 1 – Chris Isherwood
Assistant Referee 2 – Geoffrey Liddle
Fourth Official – Richard Aspinall


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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 4 - 2 Crawley

Report from the season's final scheduled home game

27 April 2019

Carlisle knew they had to go all-out for three points and rely on results elsewhere if they were to keep their play-off hopes alive, and they were up against a Crawley side who had already secured their League Two status.

Hamstring injuries to Jamie Devitt, Kelvin Etuhu and Danny Grainger ruled them out, so that meant a return to the 4-3-3 starting line up for midfielder Regan Slater.

Storm Hannah hit Brunton Park just before kick off, with sizeable hail stones battering into the players as they walked out of the tunnel.

There were huge appeals for handball as O'Hare tried to find Scougall with just two minutes on the clock, but the referee appeared to be unsighted as he waved play on. Carlisle stayed forward and Miller sent a shot from distance wide as it opened up for him.

It was a good start from the hosts but Slater was caught in two minds as he reached the edge of the box following an excellent move. His hesitation, just as he shaped to shoot, allowed McGuire to step across and make the block. 

Wide man Nathan Thomas was twice blocked as he cut inside to make room, with the bulk of the early play taking place at the Waterworks End.

Slater arrived late once again as the Blues surged forward, and he spotted Thomas in acres of space as he went on the overlap. A neat touch was followed by a drop of the shoulder and an unstoppable thunderbolt as he sent a rasper past the dive from Morris to open the scoring on the day. 

It became a one-man show as, just two minutes later, Thomas wound his way in from the right flank once more. He kept the ball for what felt like an age as he mesmerised the back line with his movement, and Morris was left to pick the ball out of the net when a low, driven shot nestled in his bottom corner.

Confidence was high and Hope was a whisker away from converting a fizzed cross from Scougall which teased its way across the six-yard box. And the Cumbrians were left feeling hard done by on the quarter hour as O'Hare went clean through with just Morris to beat. A tug on the shirt from Nathaniel-George left United's attacker on the floor, but the officials missed the moment and the penalty appeals were ignored.

It was turning into a rout as O'Hare dusted himself off to react first to a parried shot from Slater. Hope and Thomas were heavily involved in the build up as the home side queued up to put it away, but it was the Villa loanee's volley via the underside of the bar which did the trick.

The celebrations were followed by a switch, with Jason Kennedy coming into the fray as O'Hare signalled to the bench that the challenge for the earlier penalty incident had taken its toll. 

Thomas was after his hat-trick and a curling shot was target bound until it flicked off Kennedy and spun away to safety. But the lead was extended to four goals just past the half hour when Hallam Hope looked up and saw a huge gap when the ball came his way 26-yards out. He wound his foot up and slotted it away with an inch perfect strike.

Collin was needed to tip an effort from a tight angle from Palmer over his bar, as Crawley mounted a rare attack, and there was more danger at the other end as Hope ran past his marker to deliver low. Kennedy was waiting to tap it in but Morris threw a boot out to hack it behind.

The Red Devils nicked one back on the stroke of half time when Nathaniel-George played a one-two with Palmer inside the area. That left him with just Collin to beat, and the stopper had no chance as a toe poke rolled under his body.

A tame effort from Camara signalled the start of the second period with Collin on the spot to snap it up. The stadium held its collective breath when Thomas went in search of his third goal when he took the pass on his toe with just McNerny to get past. The defender did just enough to prevent the shot.

The referee inadvertently helped United to mount an attack as a clearance from Young came off his shin. Hope ran away with it and his pass found Kennedy with his back to goal. Defensive errors allowed the popular midfielder to cut the ball back, but McGuire hooked it away.

Collin had to save a header from McNerny on his goal line as Crawley made more of a fight of it, and he was needed again when Grego-Cox beat the offside trap. The keeper covered his angles and spread himself to beat the drive away.

A clear-cut opportunity to pull another goal back was spurned by Morais when he was first to a parry from a save from a fierce Gambin effort. 10-yards out he had the width of the goal to aim at, but he leaned back and clipped it over the bar.

Crawley lifted the spirits of their 76-strong travelling band of faithful supporters when a dipping cross from Young was met on the full by defender Anthony Gerrard. He could do nothing as it came off his boot and headed over the line, despite the best efforts of Collin to claw it away.

A fine save from Morris denied Hope a celebration as he tried to bend it into the bottom corner as Carlisle broke, but an even better save from Collin stopped Grego-Cox in his tracks as he came through unhindered. A firm touch from the big keeper was enough to take it past the upright.

United saw the game out and claimed their points, and it now all comes down to the final weekend as the Blues make their way to already relegated Yeovil knowing that only a victory will keep them in with a shout.



Carlisle United - Thomas (7, 9), O'Hare (20), Hope (31)

Crawley Town - Nathaniel-George (44), Gerrard (og 77)



Crawley Town - McNerny (20), Dallison (90)



Carlisle United - Collin, Liddle, Gerrard, Parkes, Miller, Scougall (Gillesphey 81), Jones, Slater, Thomas, O'Hare (Kennedy 24 (Cullen 69)), Hope. Subs - Gray, Glendon, Simpson, Branthwaite.

Crawley Town - Morris, Young, McNerny, Grego-Cox, Palmer (Gambin 58), Nathaniel-George, McGuire, Dallison, Bulman, Morais (Willock 71), Camara. Subs - Mersin, Doherty, Sesay, N'Gala.


Referee - Mr Scott Oldham

Attendance - 4,514 (76 away fans)

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