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25 January 2020 Venue Brunton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: United host the Saddlers on Saturday

Blues at home to Walsall this weekend

24 January 2020

It's just four weeks since these sides last met, with United taking the points on that occasion thanks to a late finish from Harry McKirdy.

Winger Nathan Thomas had given the Blues the lead just after the break, but the home side drew level when Elijah Adebayo netted with 20 minutes left to play. James Clarke was given his marching orders for a tug on McKirdy, and the Cumbrians increased the pressure until they got their match winning strike.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

Walsall have won three of their four league games since that December meeting, with Leyton Orient, Salford City and Crawley Town all put to the sword.

This has seen the Saddlers climb to mid-table - with a tilt at the play-offs not beyond the realms of possibility should results continue to go this way. 

Relegated last term, that outcome will be a definite aim, and teenage winger Jack Nolan has been snapped up from Reading for an undisclosed fee to help with the job at hand.

Caolan Lavery is the front-runner in the scoring charts with seven against his name, and Josh Gordon is snapping at his heels with a respectable six on the tally. Elijah Adebayo has five, including that one against us, and Wes McDonald has pitched in with four.

With January coming to a close both teams want the points, so it's going to be another very tough encounter. 


From Chris Beech ...

Chris BeechSpeaking ahead of the game boss Chris Beech said: "Walsall will give us a very strong challenge. I think I said before the new year that they're a workmanlike team with great energy, and they all always give 100 per cent. 

"We’ve got another big challenge on our hands with this game. Obviously we played Walsall just last month so Darrell Clarke and his side already know as much about us as we do about them.

"It’s going to be nothing short of a competitive afternoon. 

"Everyone in this division is battling for points, and your backing and support is never taken for granted by myself or the players, but it is always appreciated.

"I’ve said it before - together we’re united. You have been magnificent for us home and away, and I'm looking forward to us all doing our bit again this weekend."

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Head to Head

  Carlisle wins Draws Walsall wins
League 16 18 21
League Cup 0 0 1
FA Cup 1 0 1
Total 17 18 23

The last time these teams met prior to this season was in April 2014 at Brunton Park. It appeared that an early opening goal from Liam Noble was going to do the trick for the Cumbrians but Michael Ngoo struck late to make it a share of the spoils.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

We were at the Bescot in December 2013 earlier in that campaign and, having hit the woodwork and missed a penalty, the game was lost courtesy of strikes for the home side from Romaine Sawyers and Milan Lalkovic.

Watch the highlights from that game here:


Man in the middle

James OldhamOur referee for this fixture is Mr James Oldham. He has taken charge of 18 games so far this season showing 62 yellow cards and four reds.

He was at Brunton Park for his first ever Football League game as the man in the middle for our season opener against Crawley Town. Harry McKirdy and Stefan Scougall scored in the first half, either side of a net bulger from Beryly Lubula, and that was it for the goals as United claimed a 2-1 win. Byron Wesbter went in the book for the home side and Lewis Young was sent off late in the day for the Red Devils.

We saw Mr Oldham again for our first-round Emirates FA Cup meeting with Dulwich Hamlet in November. Olufela Olomola, Harry McKirdy (2) and Mike Jones bagged for the Blues, and Byron Webster and Ryan Loft had their names taken as Carlisle recorded a 4-1 victory.

Mr Oldham ended his time as an official with the National League at Wembley with the play-off final between Salford City and AFC Fylde in May 2019.

Referee - James Oldham
Assistant Referee 1 - Mark Cunliffe
Assistant Referee 2 - Helen Edwards
Fourth Official - Simon Clayton


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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 2 - 1 Saddlers

Report from the Saturday afternoon home game

25 January 2020

United were back at Brunton Park for their second league meeting with the Saddlers in the space of just four weeks.

The Blues had taken a 2-1 away victory from the Bescot at the end of December, with goals from Nathan Thomas and Harry McKirdy enough to secure the result.

Boss Chris Beech made three changes from last weekend's game at Boundary Park with Lewis Alessandra and Nick Anderton handed their debuts for the club. Max Hunt stepped down to the bench and Ryan Loft was drafted into the starting line-up, with striker Josh Kayode missing out through illness, and with Harry McKirdy absent due to an injury. 

Hallam Hope was the other change, with the forward having made the move to Swindon during midweek.

The Saddlers enjoyed good possession through the opening five minutes, as they attacked towards the bright sun shining over the Warwick Road End, but United looked untroubled as they held their shape.

The Blues showed as an attacking force when Scougall found space on the left. His cross had Thomas interested but Scarr got in the way just in time with a glanced clearing header.

Thomas had Roberts in a panic moments later when he rifled a 40-yard free kick past the wall. The keeper saw it, but he twice fumbled before scooping it up as Alessandra sprinted in.

The action started to flow and a free kick from a tight angle from just outside the box brought a curling shot from McDonald. Scougall stood strong in the wall and his touch took the danger away.

Excellent work from Alessandra saw him leave his man in his wake as he turned defence into attack on the left flank for the hosts. He was toppled to the floor, tight by the touchline, and Thomas made it count with a superb inswinging set piece delivery. A defensive header fell right in front of Nick Anderton and he marked his debut in style with a stunning unstoppable volley.

Walsall looked for an immediate response and a deep cross from Kinsella brought Collin off his line as Elijah Adebayo went for a jump. The pair collided but the big striker could only find the side netting as he spun to shoot with a wild scrape at the bouncing ball.

The Saddlers came again when Adebayo overlapped and took the ball in his stride. Gethin Jones tracked the run and his challenge on the slide was enough to block what was a firm net bound effort.

Keeper Adam Collin had to go full length as Kinsella let fly from the edge of the area in what was a good spell for the visitors. A one-handed diving save kept the ball out, and McDonald was flagged for offside as he tried to latch onto the loose pieces.

United missed a great opportunity to double the lead just before the break when a touch on the halfway line from Alessandra sent Loft clean through. A heavy second touch made stopper Liam Roberts favourite to make a save, and he did just that as he spread himself to thwart the marauding forward. 

But the reprieve was short-lived as the corner from Watt was met by a thumping header from Loft. It came down off the underside of the bar and the big striker was left to celebrate as the ball was bundled over the line.

Another long range free kick bullet from Thomas had to be pushed away by Roberts as it arrowed at his bottom corner, but it was the Carlisle contingent who had smiles on faces as they headed into the half-time tunnel.

Walsall were right back in it just four minutes after the break when Mat Sadler got on the end of a near post corner. His header, from just eight-yards out, left Collin with no chance as it flew into the back of his net.

Both sides probed through what was a tight spell, and superb one-touch passing between Gethin Jones and Nathan Thomas opened things up for a cross. Loft moved to get a touch but it flashed past him and Roberts was able to gather it in.

A shot on the run from Nolan hit Hayden and went behind on 75 minutes, but Carlisle were a whisker away from a third goal when a bit of magic from substitute Jack Bridge saw him turn his man inside out inside the box. His low delivery squirmed past Roberts and hit Scarr, but the defender recovered in time to hook it clear before it could cross the line.

United kept their discipline and their shape through the closing stages, with Walsall restricted to hopeful crosses from set pieces and open play, and it was a huge roar from the home crowd which greeted the final whistle as the Blues returned to league winning ways.



Carlisle United - Anderton (21), Loft (42)

Walsall - Sadler (49)



Carlisle United - M Jones (33), Webster (35), Scougall (75)



Carlisle United - Collin (gk)(c), G Jones, Webster, Hayden, Anderton, Thomas, M Jones, Watt, Scougall (Iredale 80), Alessandra (Charters 90), Loft (Bridge 78). Subs - Gray (gk), Olomola, Sagaf, Hunt.

Walsall - Roberts (gk), Pring, Sadler, Clarke (c) (Norman 62), Scarr, Kinsella (Guthrie 57), Gordon, Adebayo, Holden (Nolan 71), McDonald, Sheron. Subs - Rose (gk), Sinclair, Lavery, Roberts.


Match officials

Referee - James Oldham
Assistant Referee 1 - Mark Cunliffe
Assistant Referee 2 - Helen Edwards
Fourth Official - Simon Clayton


Attendance - 4,097 (286 away fans)

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