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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

05 December 2020 Venue The Utilita Energy Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Bantams 0 - 1 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

5 December 2020

It was the relatively short hop to Bradford on Saturday afternoon as the Blues faced the Bantams in League Two game number 16.

The suspended Callum Guy missed out, having picked up his fifth yellow card before the 19-game cut-off point, and he was replaced by Dean Furman.

United's good form had seen them cement their early season play-off position, and the Bantams went into their afternoon looking to kick start their faltering campaign.

An early low cross from Hosannah was fizzed into the box for the hosts and it skipped awkwardly off the surface as Hayden threw himself at it. The Bantams screamed for a penalty for handball, and they were even more incensed when a goal kick was given.

A 30-yard Anderton free kick was charged down as United looked to make their mark, and Bradford broke in numbers as the ball was cleared. They were awarded a free kick, which Watt delivered to the back stick, but Anthony O'Connor could only put his close range header into the stands.

The away side had a real chance to take the lead on nine minutes when Kayode launched a long throw. Hayden flicked it on, and it eventually came to Patrick who was lurking in space, 10 yards out. His first-time volley had venom but O'Donnell was down sharply to make the save.

Strong tackling was the order of the day through a tight spell, but Carlisle almost picked the lock when Alessandra turned his boot to send Patrick on a run. His cross was stopped by Richards-Everton and the home side pushed out.

Another Kayode launch from a throw was met by Hayden, but Devine and Patrick got in a mix as they both looked to shoot. Patrick took over as he bent his run back towards the box and O'Donnell had to parry the drive behind as it came at his bottom corner.

Bradford looked to counter and they won a corner as Anderton guided a deep cross behind. A quickly taken set piece found Watt on the edge of the box but his snapshot flashed wide as it took a deflection off a blue shirt.

A good away move saw Alessandra feed Tanner on the overlap. He clipped it back towards Patrick, but his header was angled wide. Alessandra recovered it, but the defence had regrouped and the moment was gone.

The away side kept probing and sharpness in midfield saw them turn possession over with plenty in support. Devine had a volley blocked and Mellish was smothered as two men closed him down.

More pressure from the Blues brought a shot from distance which was stopped by Richards-Everton. His touch invited a follow up from Patrick and he caught it well, keeping it on the ground. O'Donnell saw it late but his handling was true.

An inswinging free kick from Watt brought a jump from Richards-Everton at the other end, but he was closely watched and it was sent behind by Devine. The corner was half cleared, but Pritchard put it back in, and O'Connor popped it back for Samuels to strike. He fluffed his first effort and miscued his second attempt as he stumbled into the advertising boards.

Bennett defended excellently deep into time added on for the half, as he got there first to take a Watt free kick away from the onrushing attackers.

Carlisle started the second period on the front foot and a perfect free kick from Alessandra was helped on its way by Kayode. It dropped for the unmarked Aaron Hayden but his pop at sending it back across the face of goal was grasped by the alert stopper.

The Blues came again when Anderton asked for a pass from Tanner. Still 40-yards out, he slid a ball through for Kayode to chase but it gathered pace and bobbled behind.

An overlap from Tanner followed, and he found Devine, who had turned his man. A ricochet went the way of Patrick but his volley struck Paudie O'Connor and Donaldson hooked it away.

United did most of the attacking and a patient approach saw Furman steal in before picking out Patrick. It was worked on towards Mellish but his grasscutter from the edge of the area was always heading the wrong side of the upright.

The deserved lead came just before the hour when a short throw left Furman with room to cross. His awkward delivery bounced past everyone and Rhys Bennett made it three goals in six games as he stole in, completely unmarked, to head it into the net.

Bradford looked for an immediate repsonse, and Hayden picked up a yellow card as he took both Donaldson and the ball as the forward tried to burst through.

Bennett was needed when Samuels threatened to go clean through as a pass was looped his way. The defender got his boot to it just in the nick of time.

Carlisle looked dominant and the ball somehow stayed out of the home target as Alessandra whipped a beauty of a free kick into the middle. Hayden and Kayode got bits of it, but it somehow stuck on the surface inside the six-yard box and Cooke gratefully swept it behind.

United carved the Bantams apart on the break when Alessandra and Furman broke from a corner, and Kayode carried it forward with Mellish in support. A forward pass was touched back to Patrick and he pulled the trigger, bringing a two-handed save from O'Donnell.

The home keeper was in action again when Patrick sprinted up the left flank leaving two in his wake. He went for it from a tight angle but the stop was made.

An Anderton volley from an Alessandra corner hit a defender and spun wide, and a Furman punt from distance whisked wide as the Blues continued to look the most likely to add to the tally.

It was almost a dream return to Valley Parade for Danny Devine when he angled an effort at the bottom corner, but he was thwarted by a late fingertip from O'Donnell. Kayode put one at rigth at the same man, which had to be dealt with, moments later.

Stunning trickery from Alessandra sliced a path into the area as he feinted and dropped a shoulder, and his intelligent through ball for Mellish brought an instinctive volley. It had power but it zipped an inch over the bar.

Deep into time added on Gime Toure was sent away as United broke in numbers, but his first touch was heavy and O'Donnell was able to shepherd him wide.

The Blues kept their concentration and they saw the game out with discipline to take a very well earned three points.



Carlisle United - Bennett (57)



Carlisle United - Hayden (61), Bennett (64)



Bradford City - O'Donnell (c), Hosannah (Scales 75), P O'Connor, Richards-Everton, A O'Connor, Pritchard (Mottley-Henry 75), Cooke (Sutton 85), Donaldson, Samuels, Watt (French 85), Wood. Subs - Hornby (gk), Longridge, Cousin-Dawson.

Carlisle United - Farman, Tanner, Hayden, Bennett, Anderton (c), Devine, Furman (Riley 90), Mellish, Patrick, Alessandra (Toure 88), Kayode. Subs - Dewhurst (gk), Hunt, Reilly, Charters, Armer.


Match officials

Referee - Geoff Eltringham
Assistant Referee 1 - Mark Dwyer
Assistant Referee 2 - Jonathan Hunt
Fourth Official - Wade Smith


Attendance - BCD

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