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23 March 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: A closer look at this weekend's opponents

Cambridge are next up for the Blues

21 March 2019

The Abbeymen of Cambridge head north on Saturday for what is sure to be another entertaining game.

Jevani BrownCambridge 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 [7], Jabo Ibehre [5], George Maris [5] and David Amoo [4] 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.

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It feels like déjà vu ...

Jabo IbehreThe 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.

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Manager’s thoughts

Steven PressleySpeaking 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."

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Did You Know?

+ The club were originally known as Abbey United, before changing their name to Cambridge United upon turning professional in 1949.

Abbey Stadium

+ 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.

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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
League 9 12 8
Total 9 12 8

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:

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Man in the middle:

Andy HainesThe 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 [2], 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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Ticket information:

Click HERE for full ticket information.

Click HERE to purchase your tickets online.

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 2 - 2 Cambridge

Report from the Saturday afternoon home game

23 March 2019

Cambridge were back in action following their enforced break last weekend looking to build on their unbeaten three-game run which had helped them climb away from the bottom two places.

United were looking to push on from what manager Steven Pressley had described as their 'best performance since I arrived' at Forest Green last Saturday and, with eight games left to go, a return to the play-off places was top of the agenda.

The Blues kicked towards the Waterworks End in the first half but it was the Abbeymen who fashioned the first chance, and took the lead, with just three minutes on the clock. Jevani Brown picked up unexpected possession in midfield and his slide rule pass invited Hepburn-Murphy to burst through. He left Collin with no chance as he stroked the ball into the bottom corner.

Carlisle tried to make immediate amends and O'Hare and Hope combined well as they worked their way into the box. Devitt arrived late but his attempt at placing a curled effort into the net was slightly askew and it bent past the upright.

A surge from Thomas on the right flank took him past his man and he cut the ball back into the mix as he reached the edge of the six-yard box. Taylor was there to hook it clear before Hope could make any kind of contact.

Cambridge looked confident through the opening 15 minutes but Devitt wasn't too far away as he cut in from the left touchline before letting fly from 25-yards. Keeper Dimitar Mitov was rooted to the spot as the rasper edged just past the angle of post and bar.

It was Mitov who kept Jones at bay moments later when Hope first controlled a difficult ball over the top before laying it back into the midfielder's path. A cleanly struck thunderbolt was parried by the unsighted stopper and he reacted quickly to pick up the loose pieces.

The vistitors kept trying to get forward and a series of teasing crosses had to be dealt with as Ibehre and Hepburn-Murphy stayed tight to Collin.

But United looked in determined mood and Villa loanee Callum O'Hare thought he'd done enough just before the half hour when he dropped a shoulder to leave his man in his wake on the edge of the box. The ball whipped towards the roof of the net but Mitov got a hand to it to send it over the bar.

A diagonal pass from Gerrard found Grainger hugging the touchline with United suddenly finding space, and he stepped inside before having a shot blocked. United kept the forward momentum going and Slater was next to go close when he let fly having beaten his man. Mitov was able to watch it rise high on this occasion. 

Carlisle were finally rewarded for their efforts on 37 minutes when O’Hare protected the ball as he waited for a runner from midfield. Jamie Devitt duly obliged and he scored his first goal for just over a month as he smashed an unstoppable first time effort into the back of the net via the underside of the bar.

United survived a scare moments before the break when Ibehre played Hepburn-Murphy clean through. Collin raced off his line to make a superb save just as the striker set himself to celebrate.

A thumping low effort from Grainger took two deflections and left Hope wrong-footed right in front of goal as the Blues kept pushing on, but they were the team who headed down the tunnel with smiles on their faces when Nathan Thomas started and finished a move with the help of the lively Callum O'Hare. The Villa loanee bounced a ball back into the winger's path and Mitov could do nothing as a stunning strike nestled in the back of his net.

A superb Carlisle move at the start of the second period saw the Blues work their way from back to front having moved the ball quickly. Grainger's cross from the left was hacked away, but the hosts camped forward as they recycled the move. Screams for handball echoed round the ground as the ball pinged around inside the box, and Hope was disappointed when he volleyed a touch from Parkes the wrong side of the nets.

The same striker felt the same level of disappointment when he was sent into the final third courtesy of another great ball from O'Hare. He beat his man but his powerful drive skimmed the top of the woodwork.

Heroics from Adam Collin kept former United favourite Jabo Ibehre off the scoresheet when he got on the end of an instinctive cross from Maris. His toe-poked volley was going in until Collin readjusted to fingertip it round the post.

But it was a short-lived reprieve as a free kick from deep was played into the path of the Cambridge front man. He stretched out a leg before lifting the ball over the advancing keeper.

Carlisle's in-form stopper was the man of the moment again as the visitors went in search of a third goal. Brown was played behind the back four but Collin spread himself to make another excellent block.

A winding run from Regan Slater mesmerised the visiting defence as he took the ball from the halfway line into the area. It fell nicely for Hope, who had time to set himself, but his lofted shot hit the bar and spooned high into the air. Scougall tried to volley it first time but it was a scuffed effort and Mitov gathered it in.

Right back Brad Halliday sent a shot wide as the visitors played their part in what was a tense close to the game, and Callum O'Hare did the same at the other end as the hosts continued to try to play their football to find a way through. 

But the whistle blew on a share of the spoils with United left to thank Adam Collin as he saved from Brown when the forward had been put clean through with seconds left to play.

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Goals

Carlisle United - Devitt (37), Thomas (45)

Cambridge United - Hepburn-Murphy (3), Ibehre (69)

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Bookings

Carlisle United - Jones (50), Grainger (80)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Collin, Miller, Gerrard, Parkes, Grainger, Slater, Jones, O'Hare, Thomas, Devitt (Scougall 75), Hope (Kennedy 89). Subs - Gray, Liddle, Glendon, Simpson, Branthwaite.

Cambridge United - Mitov, Halliday, Carroll, Taft, Taylor, Deegan, Hepburn-Murphy (Amoo 51), Ibehre (Jones 71), Maris, Brown, Coulson (Lewis 73). Subs - Forde, Dunk, Darling, John.

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Referee - Mr Andy Haines

Attendance - 4,673 (214 away fans)

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