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24 April 2021 Venue Brunton Park Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: Harrogate come to Brunton Park for the first time

Saturday afternoon back on our own turf

23 April 2021

This is the first time these teams have met at Brunton Park, with Harrogate making club history last season when they marched their way into the National League play-offs to give Notts County a bloody nose in the final, having battled past Boreham Wood in the semis.


Life in the EFL got off to a flying start under the tutelage of Simon Weaver and Paul Thirlwell, with five of their opening seven league fixtures going their way.

A televised away win at Bradford early in the piece had everybody sitting up to take notice as the Town steamed their way to a comfortable 1-0 win.

November brought a couple of speed bumps, with boss Weaver isolated for 14 days with coronavirus.

But the Sulphurites more than found their feet, albeit without quite managing to find their way into the upper reaches of the division for a sustained period of time.

In a bizarre twist to the first ever meeting between these clubs at Wetherby Road, at the end of December, cold weather proved to be too much as the pitch hardened through the warm up, and into the start of the game.

Referee Martin Coy had to put safety first, and the match was abandoned with just eight minutes played. The game was rescheduled for 12 January, but a major power outage in the area brought an eventual cancellation, at around about 8pm on the tonight.

The game was finally played out in the middle of February - and that feels almost a lifetime ago!


Harrogate currently occupy 17th spot with 53 points.

Hence they are out of the reach of the bottom two places, but also sit too far adrift of the play-off places to have any impact, even if they secure victories in their remaining three outings.

They can, however, have an impact on what happens up there with games against pace-setters Cambridge and Cheltenham to follow their meeting with us.

The month of May will also see them finally get to play their FA Trophy final against Concord Rangers, with the pandemic having delayed that for almost a year. 

April has proved to be a difficult month so far with just one win from six games played. That came against Yorkshire rivals Bradford, but they were back down to earth with a bump on Tuesday night when Oldham cruised to a 3-0 victory at their expense.

With just eight draws from their 43 league games they tend to either win or lose, so it should be another entertaining encounter.

who watch

We highlighted Jack Muldoon as the one to watch way back in December, and we see no reason to change that assessment now.

13 goals and five assists from 44 games played suggests a player who can be a threat, be that through scoring goals or bringing others into play.

Former-United academy product Mark Beck is likely to feature at some stage, and he's another who, as we know, can be a real handful.

And, of course, we also meet Paul Thirlwell once again. The assistant boss will be in the dugout, but there's no doubt he'll be looking out across the familiar turf and reminisicing about some of his whopping 265 appearances for the Blues.

The vast majority of those games were with the captain's armband on his sleeve - a role for which he gained a huge amount of respect through his near nine-year stay in Cumbria.

Welcome back Mr Thirlwell.


Click HERE to purchase a match pass which will allow you to watch this game in full HD via our streaming iFollow service.

With match commentary also provided by BBC Radio Cumbria, this is a fantastic way to follow your team through these unprecedented behind closed doors fixtures.

Match passes are available for ALL EFL league games during this restricted attendance period. Click HERE to find out more about this season’s iFollow United service.

Our handy 'How To' guide for season ticket holders and match pass purchasers is HERE.

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Harrogate currently hold the bragging rights from our only meeting with a Josh March penalty in the first half of the game in February 2020 enough to earn the Sulphurites their win.

Watch the highlights from that game here:


Referee - Christopher Sarginson
Assistant Referee 1 - Scott Williams
Assistant Referee 2 - Richard Bartlett
Fourth Official - Martin Woods
Observer - Brian Parry

Chris SarginsonThe referee for this game is Mr Chris Sarginson.

He has taken charge of 30 games so far this season showing 76 yellow cards and three reds.

Chris was at Brunton Park in March 2021 for our 1-1 home draw with Grimsby. Offrande Zanzala bagged a dramatic late equaliser and Aaron Hayden was only Carlisle booking on the day.

Prior to that, we have to go back to April 2019 for our last game with Mr Sarginson, and that was an action packed 3-2 home victory over Bury. Jamie Devitt, Callum O'Hare and Hallam Hope scored the goals, and the Blues saw the victory through despite Mike Jones having received his marching orders on the stroke of half time.

He was also at Brunton Park for our November 2018 victory over Newport. Early goals from Jamie Devitt put Carlisle in the driving seat, but a late Butler strike levelled things up following a first half reply from padraig Amond. Danny Grainger snatched the last minute winner with a goal of the month volley to keep the points in Cumbria, and his was the only name taken on the day.

We saw him three times last season, with our first meeting with him for our Tuesday night away game at Luton last November. The home side scored twice in the first half and once after the break to take a 3-0 win, and Hallam Hope, Luke Joyce and Danny Grainger had their names taken for the Blues.

He was here at Brunton Park in January when a first goal for the club for Sam Cosgrove earned us a 1-0 victory over Crewe. Richie Bennett's name was the only one taken for the home side that day.

The last time we met was for our February away day in Barnet. The Bees took the lead just after the break but Ashley Nadesan [2] and Richie Bennett [1] came off the bench to change the game and make sure United went away with a valuable three points. Richie Bennett also went in the book late in the game.


This is a behind closed doors fixture. 

Please see above for details on how to purchase a live streaming match pass to see all of the action on iFollow.

Alternatively click HERE to go directly to our iFollow United information page where you can also purchase your match pass - match passes cost £10 per game.

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 1 - 1 Harrogate

From the Saturday afternoon home game

24 April 2021

United went into their penultimate home game of the season knowing exactly what they had to do if they were to keep their play-off dreams alive.

A minimum of 10 points from the remaining four games was required, with the Blues currently sat in 11th place and five points shy of the hotly contested remaining slot.

Chris Beech made two changes to the starting line up from Tuesday night, with Nick Anderton in for the injured Rod McDonald and Ozzy Zanzala back from his niggle, to replace Omari Patrick.

Long throw specialist Dan Jones was back for the Sulphurites and he launched one early, which Stead flicked on. There was nobody there and it drifted behind.

A tumble from Stead earned the away side a free kick from the right hand angle of the area, with four minutes on the clock, and Smith was picked out by the accurate Thomson delivery. His 16-yard header sailed over the bar.

It was the visitors who appeared to have taken the lead on eight minutes when Stead slowed his run to beat the offside trap, as Muldoon clipped it through from a fortunate midfield ricochet. The big striker went round the keeper and rolled the ball into the net, but referee Chris Sarginson walked across to consult his assistant. A brief conversation was followed by the raising of the offside flag.

A huge ball over the top was challenged for by Anderton when play restarted, and Muldoon pushed through again, only to have it taken off his toe as he shaped to shoot.

But Harrogate were ahead on 11 minutes when Thomson was given space inside the area. His cross was blocked, but it spun awkwardly and Farman was out to chase it down. Jack Muldoon got there first, and his low toe poke somehow twisted its way from a very tight angle across the goal line. It hit the inside of the post and the spin took it away from Hayden and into the nets.

Stead was close to doubling the lead when a Jones delivery was guided to the back post by Falkingham. The forward couldn't wrap his boot round it and the Blues were able to clear.

The Thomson set piece caused more problems for the home team on 20 minutes when it was whisked low and hard. Stead was onto it, but his connection was weak and the moment was gone.

United showed attacking intent when Riley put a ball over the top for Zanzala to control. He took it down well, and held it up with his back to goal. Alessandra showed, but his shot as he dropped his shoulder was charged down. Guy was onto it, but he dragged his long-range effort wide of the mark.

There was more danger at the United end when Muldoon used guile to work a way between Tanner and Mellish. He opted to try his luck, but he skewed his effort into the Warwick Road End.

Carlisle crafted a bright moment when Tanner came out of his own half with the ball at his feet. He used Kayode, who stepped inside before sweeping it wide to Armer. A lobbed cross found Zanzala, and he got enough on it to send it bobbling at Alessandra, who was on the edge of the box. It wouldn't settle as it bounced high and Burrell made up the defensive yards.

Guy had two deep free kicks cleared from the area in the run-up to half time, and Harrogate broke from the second delivery as McPake showed pace. His shot on the move was deflected behind, and Thomas looked for Smith from the resulting corner. The defender met it cleanly but his header went over the crossbar.

The last action of the half was a looping free kick which was cleared only as far as Riley. He went past a challenge to make room for a thunderbolt, but another block was made before the keeper could be troubled.

United went for a triple substitution for the start of the second period with Rhys Bennett, Omari Patrick and Ethan Walker coming on for Jack Armer, Joe Riley and Lewis Alessandra.

The Sulphurites went close on 51 minutes when Thomson and Stead passed their way to the byline. A looped cross was grasped by Farman, but he was fouled just as he took it into his chest.

A long kick from the home keeper brought a corner from nothing as Burrell misjudged his header. Guy swung it in, but it stuck on the floor as Bennett got there, on the penalty spot. Kerry gratefully hooked it high.

Pace from Walker saw him carry the ball 40-yards when he latched onto a Farman throw. He went for a neat inside pass but it was just too far in front of Patrick.

Walker almost pulled the hosts level on 58 minutes when he took a pass from Guy on his instep. He feinted, then aimed at the far corner, but it took a touch off a defender and skimmed just past the upright.

It was a good spell from the Blues and play was spread to Patrick over on the right touchline. He beat his marker but a low pass was cut out.

A dipping cross from Tanner was nodded wide by Walker as Carlisle continued to probe, and Patrick had another stinger blocked when he let fly from 22-yards.

Strong defending from Anderton prevented Beck from having a clear sight of the nets with just over 15 minutes left to play, after the centre forward had controlled a driven pass from Thomson on his chest.

Carlisle were back on terms moments later when Guy sent a beauty of a free kick into the mix. Kayode got the touch it needed and it flew past Cracknell and into the top corner, making it seven for the season for the Rotherham loanee.

Beck nodded a Thomson cross straight at Farman with the game right in the balance, and Guy had another opportunity to send one in when Mellish was fouled out wide. 

A deep one from Guy caused consternation as Walker then Patrick tried their luck. The rebound eventually came to Walker, but the whistle blew as Bennett and Cracknell came together.

The hosts were the width of the woodwork away from taking a late lead when Scott burst into the box from a Patrick flick. A low cross was met by Burrell, but his hurried clearance hit a sharp angle off his boot. He was relieved to see it bounce back off the bar.

United ended the game on the attack, and a Guy corner was recycled for a second delivery. Kayode flicked it but it was always heading wide.



Carlisle United - Kayode (75)

Harrogate Town - Muldoon (11)



Carlisle United - Guy (39), Armer (40)



Carlisle United - Farman, Tanner, Hayden, Anderton (c), Armer (Bennett 46), Riley (Patrick 46), Guy, Mellish, Zanzala (Scott 87), Kayode, Alessandra (Walker 46). Subs - Norman, Devine, Toure.

Harrogate Town - Cracknell, Jones, Falkingham (c), Smith, Burrell, Thomson, Stead (Beck 66), Kerry, Muldoon, Hall, McPake. Subs - Belshaw (gk), Fallowfield, Kiernan, Francis, Williams.


Match officials

Referee - Christopher Sarginson
Assistant Referee 1 - Scott Williams
Assistant Referee 2 - Richard Bartlett
Fourth Official - Martin Woods
Observer - Brian Parry


Attendance - BCD

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