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27 March 2021 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: Cambridge head north on Saturday

We look ahead to the Saturday visitors

26 March 2021

It's the second of three straight home games for the Blues this weekend as we host automatic promotion chasers Cambridge United.

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The Abbeymen currently occupy second spot having combined a good habit of scoring goals (55 in the league so far) with a healthy knack of keeping them out at the other end (just 34 conceded in their 37 games).

January transfer window work signalled intent as they set things off with the loan capture of Spurs defender Jubril Okedina, and midfielder Hiram Boateng extended his move from MK Dons as part of the same announcement.

Harry Darling went the other way, switching to stadium:mk for an undisclosed fee, but there was more to be done with Spurs as winger Shilow Tracey agreed a move.

Competition for places at the back was bolstered on the final day of the window when centre backs Declan Drysdale (Coventry) and Aji Alese (West Ham) became part of the mix.

opposition

  Carlisle wins Draws Cambridge wins
League 10 14 9
Total 10 14 9

These teams have only ever met in league competition, with a fairly even spread of results. Carlisle have had the best of it in recent seasons, with three wins and three draws from the last seven meetings.

Back-to-back wins have got Cambridge on track again following blips against Bolton and Scunthorpe earlier in the month, and the ability to bounce back following a disappointing result is what has kept them near the top of the pile all season.

That, and consistency in results, demonstrated by the fact that they've lost just four of their 17 league games this year.

who watch

Lively striker Paul Mullin is in the form of his life, with 24 goals from his 39 appearances.

He's bagged six goals in his last 10 outings, and has registered two hat-tricks and four braces in a season that his seen him keep his personal tally ticking over, with plenty of chances coming his way.

Good movement is matched with an ability to keep the ball, but it's that high number of goals that has made him our one to watch this weekend.

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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.

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highlights

A first away trip of the 2020/21 season took Carlisle to Cambridge and the hosts swept into a two-goal lead with just 16 minutes played. A late Ironside strike wrapped up the victory.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

United were at the Abbey in February 2020 and goals from Lewis Alessandra and Nick Anderton scored either side of the break seemed to put them in a good place. But a late strike from Reggie Lambe kept the fingernails at risk as the hosts tried to claim a point.

It was a deserved victory for the Blues in the end, as they made it just one defeat in nine outings in what was an impressive run of performances.

Watch the highlights from that game here: 

Prior to that Fmeeting [highlights above] the last coming together of these two sides was in November 2019 when the teams battled out a 0-0 draw here at Brunton Park.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

Prior to that we met in March 2019 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 2018 for our first meeting with the U's that 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:

officials

Referee - Tom Nield
Assistant Referee 1 - Anthony Moore
Assistant Referee 2 - Peter Gooch
Fourth Official - Geoffrey Liddle
Observer - Edward Tarry

Our match official this weekend in Mr Tom Nield. He has taken charge of 26 games so far this season and has shown 95 yellow cards and two reds.

He was with us for our first home game of the 2018/19 season when we drew 2-2 with Northampton. Jamie Devitt and Hallam Hope scored our goals, and Devitt also went in the book.

We had him as our man in the middle 12-months prior to that when we made the long trip south to face Cambridge at the Abbey Stadium. Reggie Lambe opened the scoring with just eight minutes on the clock but that lead was quickly wiped out when Medy Elito scored from the spot. A close range volley from Tom Parkes brought an infamous dab celebration and restored the lead ahead of half time, and that was that in terms of goals as the Cumbrians went on to win the game. Gary Liddle and Tom Parkes were the Carlisle names to go in the book on the day.

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: United 1 - 2 Cambridge

Report from the weekend home game

27 March 2021

High-flying Cambridge United were at Brunton Park on Saturday afternoon as the Blues hosted their second home game of the week.

Four changes accompanied a change in formation to a midfield diamond from the Tuesday night meeting with Orient, with George Tanner, Rod McDonald, Joe Riley and Omari Patrick in for Jack Armer, Rhys Bennett, Lewis Alessandra and Gime Toure.

There was unfortunate injury news when it was confirmed that both Brennan Dickenson and Rhys Bennett had knee problems, which will keep them out for a number of weeks. 

United opted to kick towards the Warwick in the first half, as a strong breeze gusted around the stadium, and they were on the front foot as they used Patrick to overlap. His cross found Guy but a timely tackle slowed him down.

Zanzala was next to pull wide and he beat his man to deliver low. Mellish hunted but the cross smacked into the side netting. A break from midfield saw Anderton cross twice, after Zanzala had surged on, and the second curler from the left wing looked tasty until it got stuck under the striker's feet.

Carlisle kept the tempo high through the opening stages, but a quick passing move from the Abbeymen put them in space. Boateng and Hoolahan moved sharply and a cut back found Mullin on the edge of the box. He put his boot through it but Farman dived long to parry.

Hoolahan then found Boateng as the amber shirts stayed forward and his cross ripped across the face of goal. O'Neil threw himself at it but he couldn't make the connection.

The dangerous Hoolahan was involved again when he brought Knoyle into play half way inside the home half. The right back crossed on the turn but McDonald saw it off.

United looked to work it wide with Furman feeding a pass for Tanner to cross, but Taylor jumped high to clear it as Patrick angled his way to meet it.

The hosts did pull the defenders this way and that moments later when Anderton used Riley to release Mellish. A low pass was blocked, but Riley set himself with a decent first touch 28-yards out. His effort had venom but it flew just over.

A long kick from Burton had Knoyle interested as he supported the front men, and he did well to slip it to Mullin. The in-form striker pulled the trigger but Anderton planted himself to get in the way.

Mullin looked to be well offside when he controlled a ball over the top on his toe moments later, but the flag stayed down, which allowed him to have a punt. It took a huge deflection as it twisted away for a corner.

Defender George Tanner was brave as he launched himself at a bouncing ball as Ironside shaped to strike it. The whistle blew when the boot went high but a good intervention had been made.

The Blues battled their way up the right flank just before the break as Tanner and Patrick stayed patient. Riley took over with a long throw, and a weak clearance was volleyed instinctively by Patrick. It hit Zanzala in the midriff, but he was the one penalised as he was wrestled to the floor.

A touch from McDonald was needed as Knoyle flashed a pass into the box in time added on for the period, but Carlisle were on the break as they recovered the ball. Furman sent it forward to Patrick, and he dropped a shoulder before unleashing a thunderbolt. Burton got there with a two-handed dive but Zanzala couldn't get to the loose pieces.

Iredale latched onto it, and a raking pass caused a moment of hesitation as McDonald jumped, with Anderton just behind him. The touch off the centre back's head left Mullin with a run at the target and he made it 27 for the season with a missile of a rasper that sailed into the top corner.

There were just 12 seconds on the second half clock when Riley tried his luck from distance as he got onto a weak clearance. Burton pulled it into his chest after he had initially fumbled.

Substitute Gime Toure showed good influence when he and Tanner passed Patrick into space, having received a reverse ball from the big forward. A flag went up for offside before the shot could be taken.

A cross under pressure from Knoyle from Toure earned another corner for the hosts, and a half clearance fell kindly for Patrick. His rasper was blocked, as was the 23-yard follow up from Guy.

Patrick went wide to create space as the Blues kept knocking, and he stepped away from Iredale before sending it at the near post. Burton grabbed it before Mellish could move.

Captain Nick Anderton was next to test Burton as he aimed right-footed when he bent his run. The stopper took the power out of it before picking it up.

Carlisle should have been back on terms on 67 minutes when a throw from Riley was touched to Guy. His grasscutter was trapped then clipped by Mellish, and Toure suddenly had just Burton to beat, four yards out. He tried to clip it under the dive but the keeper got there with his boot.

Another block stopped Anderton from levelling, and there were loud appeals for a penalty when Alessandra moved to make the dipping ball his. His ankle appeared to be tapped, but the referee showed no interest.

Cambridge broke, but United regained possession and Patrick set off on a 70-yard sprint. He left three in his wake, and his swirler was on target, but Burton was able to shield it.

Riley had another one ricochet go wide for a corner as he bundled through, but the nome side got their deserved equaliser on 78 minutes from the resulting set piece. McDonald found a cruncher, which unfortunately cannoned off Alessandra. That brought a punch from Burton, which bounced back and forward before Alessandra kept his cool to thunder it over the line.

A burst from Zanzala saw him fizz the ball low, and Patrick appeared to be sliced by Iredale when he slid to finish it off. Yet again the referee showed no interest when voficerous claims were made for a spot kick.

Patrick had a late shot from distance, but that was charged down, and the good work done through the second period was undone when Hoolahan overlapped in time added on. He rolled the ball into space and Adam May picked his spot as he made the vital connection.

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Goals

Carlisle United - Alessandra (78)

Cambridge United - Mullin (45), May (90)

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Bookings

Carlisle United - Hayden (24), Furman (29), Zanzala (67)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Farman, Tanner, Hayden, McDonald, Anderton (c), Riley, Guy, Furman (Toure 46), Mellish (Alessandra 70), Patrick, Zanzala (Scott 89). Subs - Norman (gk), Charters, Armer, Walker.

Cambridge United - Burton, Knoyle, Iredale, Digby, Taylor (c), O'Neil (Hannant 63), Mullin (Tracey 63), Hoolahan (Dunk 90), Okedina, Ironside, Boateng (May 85). Subs - Drysdale, Knibbs.

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Match officials

Referee - Tom Nield
Assistant Referee 1 - Anthony Moore
Assistant Referee 2 - Peter Gooch
Fourth Official - Geoffrey Liddle
Observer - Edward Tarry

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Attendance - BCD

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