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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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27 April 2021 Venue Jonny-Rocks Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: United head to Cheltenham

We look ahead to the midweek game

26 April 2021

United know exactly what they have to do as they head to Whaddon Road to face table-toppers Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night.

bits

  Carlisle wins Draws Cheltenham wins
League 10 8 9
FA Cup 0 0 2
Total 10 8 11

The fixture brings to an end a run of what will be 11 consecutive Tuesday night games for United - as gruelling a schedule as the club has ever known - and they know that a win is the best way to keep their play-off hopes alive.

For Cheltenham, a promotion winning season (pretty much guaranteed) also almost brought one of the greatest FA Cup stories in recent memory.

The Robins came within nine minutes of one of the biggest shocks of the year before Manchester City staged a dramatic late rally to crush the dreams of the gallant League Two side.

Cheltenham were some 72 places below City, who were second in the Premier League when they headed to Gloucestershire back in January, and time was running out for Pep and his superstars after Alfie May put the hosts ahead, just before the hour, when a trademark long throw from captain Ben Tozer caused chaos in the box.

Three late goals spared City their blushes, but the home side deserved the accolades they received for their determined performance.

opposition

Conor Thomas struck late in the weekend home game against Colchester, and his goal meant that Cheltenham are all-but assured League One football next term due to their superior and impressive +20 goal difference.

They need just one more point, or for results to go their way elsewhere, to make their step up the leagues a reality.

The joint highest number of league wins (23) is backed up by the fewest number of defeats (11) and a mean defence that has conceded just 36 goals this term - so it's little wonder that they also have the title in their sights.

Their last six games have brought them four wins, one draw and one defeat, a run which was much-needed after they'd stuttered their way through March with some unexpected defeats.

Top spot can still go one of three ways, with Cambridge and Bolton hot on the heels, so there's no doubt they'll be looking to take one step closer with this game in hand.

who watch

Club captain Ben Tozer has experience and close to 115 appearances for the club he joined back in the summer of 2018.

He tackles hard and works the middle of the park well, always looking to provide a link.

He also has a huge throw. And it's accurate. And powerful.

There are others with a long throw in their armoury, so it isn't just him, but he's definitely one to watch.

ifollow

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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highlights

William Boyle and Conor Thomas (penalty) gave the Robins a two-goal cushion in the first half at Brunton Park in November 2020, but Jon Mellish gave the Blues hope when he pulled one back on the stroke of half time. 

It was nip and tuck for the remainder of the game, but Cheltenham held out to take the points back down the M6.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

The 2019/20 season bragging rights went the way of Cheltenham, as they headed north just before the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown was imposed to register a one-goal victory courtesy of a first-half strike from Reuben Reid.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

The Blues were at Whaddon Road earlier in that campaign, in August 2019, when a certain Mr Gavin Reilly set the home side on the road to victory with an early goal. Luke Varney doubled the lead on the stroke of half time, and that's how it stayed.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

Carlisle United 2 - 0 Cheltenham Town, Saturday 19 January 2019

Cheltenham Town 0 - 1 Carlisle United, Saturday 18 August 2018

officials

Referee - Kevin Johnson
Assistant Referee 1 - Christopher Husband
Assistant Referee 2 - Greg Read
Fourth Official - Lee Swabey
Observer - Stephen Tanner

Our match referee this weekend is Mr Kevin Johnson.

He has been in charge of 25 games so far this season showing 75 yellow cards and five reds.

We had Kevin as our man in the middle for our first trip to Salford in February 2021. George Tanner ut us ahead in the first half, but the Ammies grabbed an equaliser with 11 minutes to go. Jon Mellish and Rhys Bennett were booked for the Blues.

Prior to that it was just over three years since we last saw Mr Johnson, and that was for our December 2017 visit to Forest Green. Richie Bennett bagged the winner and Tom Miller and Danny Grainger were the visiting names taken on the day.

He was also the man in the middle for our eventful visit to Crawley in September that same year. Hallam Hope scored the only goal, but Richie Bennett (two yellows) and Tom Parkes (a straight red in time added on) were both given their marching orders. Josh Yorwerth was also sent off in the injury time incident with Parkes. Clint Hill and Mike Jones were shown yellow cards for good measure.

tickets

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: Robins 1 - 1 United

Report from the Cheltenham away game

27 April 2021

It was an intriguing evening for all concerned heading into the game with Cheltenham all-but guaranteed League One football next season due to their superior goal difference.

They were still, however, locked in a battle with Cambridge for the League Two title, and they knew that making the most of this game in hand would take them a step closer to that particular piece of silverware.

For the Blues, who sat five points adrift of the play-off places, it was the simple case of needing to win to keep their hopes of extending the season alive.

Manager Chris Beech made two changes from Saturday's home draw, with Rhys Bennett back into the starting line-up in place of Lewis Alessandra, and Magnus Norman was handed his third league start between the sticks at the expense of Paul Farman.

United went with three centre backs in a 3-5-2 formation with Tanner and Armer on either flank providing width.

The much talked about Tozer long throw was in evidence for the home side within 90 seconds when he launched one into the box. Bennett got the first header, and the blue shirts converged to get it away.

A second delivery of the same kind followed from the right flank, but the back line stood strong once again.

Set pieces have been a potent threat for the Robins this season and Hussey whisked one in when Smith was fouled. Anderton made sure he followed the flight to make the clearance.

Striker Josh Kayode earned the Blues a free kick when he angled a run before being chopped to the floor. Guy fed it out to Armer on the left flank, but his low cross was swept away.

Hussey was fortunate to stay on the pitch on 11 minutes when he tangled with Hayden. He kicked out as he rolled away on the floor, but nobody seemed to see the incident and a free kick was awarded to the home team.

That again came to nothing as the defensive unit stayed tight.

Midfielder Joe Riley created a chance from nothing for himself when he blocked a clearance on the edge of the box. It fell nicely, so he let fly with an instinctive shot. That was charged down and the Robins quickly pushed out.

There was bad news for Carlisle on 22 minutes when Rhys Bennett landed heavily after he knocked shoulders with Smith. A short period of treatment followed but the signal came that the central defender was unable to continue.

George Tanner was moved to left wing back, with Devine slotting in on the right, and Jack Armer moved across to take a more central role.

A half of very few chances saw the teams largely cancel each other out, but it was Carlisle who edged in front through number eight of the season for Josh Kayode. He got on the end of a superb Guy delivery with a peach of a 16-yard header that floated into the top corner.

The visitors crafted another opening when Devine refused to allow possession to overturn on the edge of the box. Mellish helped out, and Devine showed again to roll the pass to Guy. He shot as he latched onto it but he couldn't keep it down.

Cheltenham were largely shut out of Carlisle territory, with a late Tozer throw their only contribution for a substantial period of time. That led nowhere as Anderton and Hayden did their jobs.

And Farman had to punch when an overlap from Hussey brought a cross on the run. It was tricky, but the stopper put a strong glove on it.

A long-range effort from home substitute Alfie May sailed over the bar as Cheltenham looked for a way back into it, with an extra zip in the pass suggesting that harsh words had been exchanged during the half time break.

The Blues responded with a passing move down the left which took Tanner past his man. He used Mellish, and his delivery was put behind for a corner. Hayden won the leap for that, but Tozer was on hand to clear.

It was end-to-end for a spell, but neither side was able to make the most of their wide movement. 

The Robins were awarded a free kick just 24-yards out when Smith went down as Anderton won a header, and Hussey found a way over the wall when he pulled the trigger. Norman could do nothing as it crashed down off the bar and bounced over the line to level the scores.

Smith had a volley charged down at one end, and Mellish skewed one wide at the other as the game sat finely balanced with clear-cut chances at a premium.

Kayode and Walker had attempts blocked within seconds of each other as the pair found space, and a follow-up from distance from Walker hit Raglan before skipping into the safety of the keeper's hands.

There was drama at the other end when a May shot hit Guy before curling out to Blair. He set himself, drilled it low, and was disappointed to see Norman drop down to make a smart save.

Carlisle pushed forward, and Mellish twice dropped a shoulder as he worked room to cross. Two corners followed for the visitors, with an Alessandra volley controlled by Anderton as he lost his marker. It eventually came to Walker but he lost his balance as he tried to arrow the ball at the top corner, and it dipped onto the roof of the nets.

Another set piece went the way of the Blues when Norman sent it long for Alessandra. Patrick overlapped, but a timely tackle prevented his touch from counting. 

The Cumbrians thought they'd done it on 84 minutes when the away side recycled possession. Anderton cushioned his first touch when he was found out wide and his excellent cross was there for Kayode to head. It had power from eight-yards out, but it smashed back off the bar and Raglan sent it behind.

United applied the late pressure and a Guy free kick had to be nicked off Hayden's head. The resulting corner was frantically cleared, and the Robins got one of their own when they went on the break. Hearts were in mouths as Raglan got on the end of it only to pop his diving connection wide.

The point left Carlisle six away from the play-off spots with two to go, with Salford having grabbed a last-minute winner at Bradford, and Cheltenham were left to celebrate the point that secured their promotion.

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Goals

Cheltenham Town - Hussey (56)

Carlisle United - Kayode (33)

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Bookings

Carlisle United - Hayden (72), Mellish (87), Anderton (90)

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Teams

Cheltenham Town - Griffiths, Long, Hussey, Tozer (c), Raglan, Thomas, Smith (Williams 90), Blair, Azaz (Chapman 88), Lloyd (May 46), Sercombe (Freestone 90). Subs - Flinders (gk), Wright, Vassilev.

Carlisle United - Norman, Tanner (Patrick 74), Bennett (Devine 22), Hayden, Anderton (c), Armer, Riley (Walker 66), Guy, Mellish, Kayode, Zanzala (Alessandra 74). Subs - Farman (gk), Charters, Scott.

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Match officials

Referee - Kevin Johnson
Assistant Referee 1 - Christopher Husband
Assistant Referee 2 - Greg Read
Fourth Official - Lee Swabey
Observer - Stephen Tanner

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Attendance - BCD

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