The Abbeymen head north this weekend looking to find some consistency following what has been an up and down month of results.
A home win and an away defeat is their league return from November, and they had the disappointment of falling out of the FA Cup on Tuesday night when Alex Fisher grabbed the winner for Exeter with just 20 minutes to play in their first round replay.
Their last five league outings have been a snapshot of why they have occupied a mid-table slot for most of this early part of the campaign with two wins and a draw punctuated by two frustrating defeats.
The prolific Sam Smith is the one to watch this season - with seven goals and two assists to his name already - and he has been ably backed up by Paul Lewis, who has four goals, and Marc Richards and Jack Roles who have three strikes each.
Under Colin Calderwood they have shown that they can play football and do the ugly stuff, and they'll be looking to bounce back from that midweek disappointment come Saturday afternoon.
Speaking ahead of the game, caretaker boss Gavin Skelton said: "The players have been excellent this week and it's now up to us all to get out there and perform on Saturday.
"We showed some good signs at Port Vale and, looking back, we were disappointed not to come away with something. We've spoken a lot to the players about making sure they do things properly in both boxes.
"They know what's required and, if they do what they've been doing in training, I know they'll give themselves every chance of winning the game which, ultimately, is what everyone wants."
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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.
+ 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 30 times in all competitions and honours couldn’t be more even if they tried. Nine wins to the Blues, eight wins to Cambridge and 13 draws … which way will it go this weekend?
|Carlisle wins||Draws||Cambridge wins|
The last coming together of these two sides was in March this year when United had to recover from conceding a very early goal. Jamie Devitt and Nathan Thomas put the Blues ahead before the break, but Jabo Ibehre came back to haunt us when he netted the equaliser in the second half.
We were at the Abbey in September for our first meeting with the U's last season, 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:
The 2017/18 season saw United edge in front courtesy of a neat finish from Reggie Lambe, when the sides met at the Abbey in August 17, 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 2018 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 Sebastian Stockbridge. He has taken charge of 15 games this season showing 49 yellow cards and four reds.
He was with us earlier this season for our 4-2 home loss at the hands of the Wolves under-21 side. Hallam Hope and Ryan Loft scored our goals and Canice Carroll received a yellow card.
The last time he was here prior to that was for our 2-0 home defeat against Morecambe in October 2018. There were no names taken on the afternoon but the game was lost by half time.
He was also with us in August 2018 for our 1-0 home victory over Crewe. Ashley Nadesan scored the winning goal, with 20 minutes left to play, and there were no United names taken on the day.
We saw him on three occasions during season 2017/18 – Danny Grainger [who also scored], Mike Jones, Mark Ellis and Jamie Devitt were all carded in our 1-1 draw with Luton in April.
Gary Liddle’s name was the only one written down as Kelvin Etuhu and John O’Sullivan scored the goals to secure a 2-0 victory over Chesterfield in February.
And Hallam Hope and Jason Kennedy were the goal scorers as United stayed trouble free in their 2-0 Checkatrade victory over Morecambe.
Referee - Sebastian Stockbridge
Assistant Referee 1 - Richard Woodward
Assistant Referee 2 - Graeme Fyvie
Fourth Official - Simon Clayton
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