The Abbeymen of Cambridge head north on Saturday for what is sure to be another entertaining game.
Cambridge were without a fixture last weekend as heavy wintry weather forced a postponement at Bury, and they'll come to Cumbria determined to build on an unbeaten run of three games - with two draws and a victory to show from their March outings so far.
The improved results this month have lifted them to eight points clear of the bottom two places and have provided welcome breathing space as they appear to be saying 'no thank you, not this time' to any lingering fears of being dragged into a relegation battle.
They'll be keen to get going again at the weekend and, with goal threats all over the pitch, they certainly aren't an outfit to be taken lightly.
Jevani Brown , Jabo Ibehre , George Maris  and David Amoo  have 21 goals and 16 assists between them, but a further eight players have also made their way onto the scoresheet in one form or another.
It feels like déjà vu ...
The U’s have a trio of very familiar faces in their ranks with former Blues David Amoo, Jabo Ibehre and Reggie Lambe now on their books.
27-year-old winger David Amoo spent two seasons with United prior to a move north of the border, before he headed to the Abbey two summers ago. He notched 13 goals in 79 appearances for the Cumbrians.
Reggie Lambe, also 27, is the most recent of the departures having moved on from Brunton Park at the end of last season. The popular Bermudan playmaker scored 14 goals in his 90 games for United.
Speaking of popular, Jabo Ibehre, the man we dubbed the Islington Assassin, exploded onto the Cumbrian scene with 12 goals before Christmas during his first season with the club in 2015/16. He went on to make it 31 goals in 85 appearances as he won the hearts of United’s fans.
Speaking ahead of the game, United boss Steven Pressley said: “I'm sure Colin [Calderwood] will have his team ready and up for the game having missed out on being able to play against Bury last Saturday.
"We've watched them a number of times and they're a side who like to attack. Make no mistake, this won't be easy, but even though I keep repeating myself the fact is that it comes down to what we do on the day that matters.
"If we play in the way we played at Forest Green we will win games and pick up points as we head into this crucial phase of the season, I have no doubt about that. We showed in that game that we can dominate teams and, once we add the clinical edge to our work, we'll be even harder to deal with.
"The players go into the weekend with confidence and I know they really want to start to pick up a bit of momentum at the same time as sending the fans home happy."
Did You Know?
+ The club were originally known as Abbey United, before changing their name to Cambridge United upon turning professional in 1949.
+ In 1984/85 equalled the record for the most defeats in a season - 33 - which was then surpassed by Derby County in 2008.
+ Cambridge have experimented with shirts of full amber in the past, but have always reverted to the traditional black and amber designs.
Head to Head
The clubs have met a total of 29 times in all competitions and honours couldn’t be more even if they tried. Nine wins to the Blues, eight wins to Cambridge and 12 draws … which way will it go this weekend?
|Carlisle wins||Draws||Cambridge wins|
We were at the Abbey in September for our first meeting of the campaign, and the teams had some baking hot weather to contend with on what was a lovely late summer's afternoon. A good opening spell from the home side brought a goal for Jevani Brown, but United were back on terms just before the break when Richie Bennett looped a header into the back of the net. The Cumbrians had the better of the second half and they took the points when Ashley Nadesan bagged from close range.
Watch the highlights from that game here:
Last season saw United edge in front courtesy of a neat finish from Reggie Lambe, when the sides met at the Abbey in August, but Medy Elito levelled from the spot just six minutes later. Carlisle kept going and Tom Parkes scored his first goal for the club, accompanied by a celebratory dab, to earn the visitors all three points.
Watch the highlights of that game here:
Cambridge came to Brunton Park in March to put things right but the deadlock in a tight game was broken by Richie Bennett when he scored from close range following a cut back from Mark Ellis just after the break. However, the celebrations had barely subsided when George Maris scored the point making equaliser just over 120 seconds later.
Watch the highlights of that game here:
Man in the middle:
The referee for this game is Mr Andy Haines. Andy has taken charge of 32 games so far this season showing 99 yellow cards and four reds.
He was last at Brunton Park just three months ago for our Boxing Day meeting with Oldham. United ran riot with goals from Hope, Yates , Nadesan, Grainger and Liddle securing a thumping 6-0 victory. Kelvin Etuhu was the only Carlisle name taken on the night.
Earlier this season he was up here for our Checkatrade Trophy group fixture against Morecambe. A tight game saw the Shrimps twice take the lead through goals from Oliver and Piggott. Glendon and Gillesphey pegged them back for the Blues, and that set it up for Jerry Yates to grab a late winner. There were no United names taken on the night.
We saw Mr Haines twice last season, both a Brunton Park, starting with our opening day fixture against Swindon Town. Luke Joyce scored our only goal in a 2-1 defeat, and Mike Jones was the only Carlisle name taken.
Our second meeting had a much more pleasant outcome as we beat Oldham Athletic 3-2 in the FA Cup. Richie Bennett (2) and Hallam Hope gave us a three goal cushion but there was still time to bite the fingernails as Peter Clarke and Aaron Holloway bit back to make it a nervy ending to the game. There were no Carlisle bookings that afternoon.
Referee – Andy Haines
Assistant Referee 1 – Peter Gooch
Assistant Referee 2 – Simon Clayton
Fourth Official – Martin Coy
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