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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

12 September 2020 Venue Abbey Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: United head to the Abbey at the weekend

We take a closer look at Cambridge United

10 September 2020

Isn’t it funny how the fixture computer regularly manages to throw up little quirks, and this weekend is one such occasion with the Cumbrians travelling to Cambridge for their first league away game of the new season – with the Abbey Stadium being the last place they played an away league fixture prior to the Covid-19 lockdown.


Lewis Alessandra and Nick Anderton scored either side of the break, 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: 

Another quirk ... 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 six meetings.

Fancy another quirk? All three of our most recent visits to the Abbey have ended as 2-1 victories to us, with the Cumbrians unbeaten on the last five trips they’ve made there.


Carlisle wins


Cambridge U wins










In the week that 'significant new investment' was announced when American businessmen Mark Green and Adam Webb each bought 10% stakes in the club, the Abbeymen took a real scalp in their opening game of the season as they travelled to St Andrews to face Championship side Birmingham City in the first round of the Carabao Cup.

If the Midlands giants thought progression was going to be a formality they were given a rude awakening with just 18 minutes played when Robbie Cundy marked his debut with an excellent finish.

Round three takes them to Newport County, with the winners of that tie at home to either Oxford or Watford.

It was a welcome return to fans inside the stadium at the Abbey on Tuesday night with up to 1,000 supporters permitted to attend the EFL Trophy clash with Fulham U21 as part of the ongoing Matchday Protocol trials, which should pave the way for a staggered return to some kind of normality.

Mark Bonner's side opened the scoring through a Tom Knowles free kick, and their victory was secured late in the game when Paul Mullin popped up to slot one home from the edge of the box.

who watch

It was a busy summer for Cambridge boss Mark Bonner as he looks to improve on last season’s mid-table finish.

As far as familiar faces go, Jabo Ibehre and Reggie Lambe were both released, but Jack Iredale was recruited having ended his time up in Cumbria in May.

More recent activity saw George Maris leave to join Mansfield, as midfielder Paul Digby came in from Stevenage and the experienced Wes Hoolahan headed back to the UK having been with the Newcastle Jets.

Keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle was the latest of the signings when he left Liverpool for Cambridgeshire at the start of the month.

But our one to watch for the weekend is Paul Mullin. A forward who seems to know where to be and when to be there, he’s a real handful who will be looking to make an impact this season, having initially joined Cambridge on-loan from Tranmere in January. He netted twice in his six appearances for them last term, and opened his account this time round on Tuesday night.


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 this unprecedented behind closed doors period.

Match passes are available for ALL EFL league games.

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Prior to our February meeting [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:


Referee - Paul Howard
Assistant Referee 1 - Garry Maskell
Assistant Referee 2 - Paul Lister
Fourth Official - Stephen Finch

Our referee for this fixture is Mr Paul Howard.

This is the first time Paul has taken charge of a game involving Carlisle United.


This is a behind closed doors fixture for away fans. Home supporters are permitted – but under strict entry guidelines.

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

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Cambridge 3 - 0 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

12 September 2020

United kicked their league season off at the Abbey Stadium - the very place they played their last away league fixture prior to the Covid-19 lockdown way back in February.

The game was designated as League Two's official test fixture for the return of fans - but the wheels were taken off that on Thursday when stricter Covid-19 restrictions were put in place by the government, meaning it would be yet another behind closed doors event.

New signing Ethan Walker, in from Preston on a season-long loan, was drafted onto the bench with two changes made to the starting line up. Patrick and Kayode came in for Furman and Riley. 

It was a warm late summer afternoon in Cambridgeshire and it was Callum Guy who took the first kick of the season when he set things off from the whistle.

There was early defending to do for the away side as Hannant won a corner, but the defensive shirts converged to see the danger away.

United responded with a quick break which saw Alessandra pick possession up in the centre circle. He spread it to Patrick, but the forward had his effort blocked as he reached the edge of the box.

Good pressure from the Blues saw Toure take the ball from Digby before pushing the amber line back. He used Patrick as a bounce board, and Guy took over with a 23-yard shot. That came off Taylor, which took the sting away, and the hosts worked hard to calm things down.

Cambridge looked to impose themselves and a firm challenge from Hannant meant Hayden had to poke it clear from inside his own six-yard area. Hoolahan was in space but a poor long-range volley from him skewed well wide.

The home side took the lead with just nine minutes on the clock when the ball spun loose as McDonald and Hayden jumped to head it clear. It was quickly spread to Hannant and he drew Farman off his line before clipping it into the far corner.

More danger came when Hoolahan pounced on a loose clearance. He wasted no time at all in getting it into the area and Ironside was disappointed as it whisked past his outstretched leg.

The lead was doubled just past the quarter hour when Digby was first to another ball that was spinning free in the middle areas. Knoyle went on the overlap, and his first-time cross brought a crisp headed finish from the experienced Paul Mullin.

There was better from Carlisle when a long throw from Kayode was flicked into the mix. Toure took it on his thigh but his attempt at a volley on the spin fell kindly for Mitov to gather.

Good work from Anderton prevented Digby from breaking through when he was found by Ironside, and a corner from Alessandra at the other end was inviting for Hayden, but Mitov scrambled to get fingertips to it and that was enough to take it way from the onrushing centre back.

Another good Alessandra set piece, this time a free kick from the right flank, was glanced by Anderton before an instinctive volley from Hayden took it over the target.

Trickery from Toure almost opened a gap, and the Cumbrians recovered the loose ball as it was hooked clear, and Patrick pulled wide to win a corner. A series of crosses followed, and a drilled first-timer from Anderton had to be charged down as the visitors continued to push.

United camped forward, and Toure was involved again as he fed it to Mellish. His toe-ender ricocheted to Patrick and the slightest of deflections was enough to send his goal bound attempt the wrong side of the upright.

More Carlisle pressure eventually led to Toure finding space on the left. He stepped inside his marker and a dipping, rasping curler was less than an inch away from finding the top corner.

Patrick rattled another one over as he linked with Alessandra, but Uniited had to drop deep when Ironside ghosted into the visiting area. Mullin wanted it, but Guy got in the way and Farman came off his line to scoop it up as the cross came in.

Patrick and Digby went in the book as tempers flared in time added on for the half, but there was more fire needed from the Blues in the second period as they went into the tunnel with a two-goal deficit to deal with.

Good pack hunting from Kayode and Toure brought an early second half free kick which had away shirts forward in numbers. Cambridge dealt with it, but they couldn't break clear and Patrick ran deep to recover the ball and whip it in from wide. Toure waved his hands in frustration as he found himself just too far away to make it count.

A Kayode header from a dipper of a corner from Alessandra spooned high into the sky, as he found himself to be quickly closed down, and Toure glanced one off his forehead and behind for a goal kick when Tanner picked him out.

It was another good visiting spell and half chances continued to flow as the strikers lined up in an attempt to turn the territorial advantage into a goal.

Hayden was next to go close when Tanner lobbed a high ball at the penalty spot. The defender got a touch, which had Mitov worried, but the keeper was able to relax when it bounced away to safety.

There was work to do at the other end when Knoyle dropped a shoulder before sending his cross in. Mullin threw himself at it, but Hayden stayed big to shepherd it away.

Preston teenager Ethan Walker made his debut with 25 minutes left to play, as he replaced Alessandra, and Joe Riley came on at the same time as the Blues looked to apply yet more pressure.

The corner count continued to tick over for United when a Toure floater was guided behind. Walker got involved and he twice shielded it before rolling it towards the penalty spot. Patrick had a shot blocked just as it appeared that it had opened right up for him.

All of the action was in the Cambridge half, with Kayode and Guy also closed down as they tried to get efforts at the nets, but there was a blow with 15 minutes left to play when Hayden dropped to the floor. He left the pitch to be replaced by Jack Armer.

The theme of the game from the moment the second goal had been conceded was Blue attacking, Amber defending, but the gate to the Abbey remained shut as the hosts protected their lead.

And there was a real sting in the tail when Cambridge chewed up the possession stats as Ironside found the bottom corner with a neat finish from 20-yards when he'd been picked out by Kyle Knoyle.

Seven minutes of time added on brought more Cumbrian deliveries, most notably from Guy, Anderton and Walker, and a fizzed near post grasscutter from Armer had to be swiped away by Knoyle.

But it was another blank scoresheet for the Blues as they headed north to regroup for next weekend's home game against Southend.



Cambridge United - Hannant (9), Mullin (16), Ironside (85) 



Cambridge United - Digby (45)

Carlisle United - Patrick (45), Guy (77), Toure (88), Mellish (89)



Cambridge United - Mitov, Knoyle, Digby, Taylor (c), Hannant, O'Neil (May 28), Mullin (Knibbs 77), Dunk, Hoolahan (Iredale 69), Cundy, Ironside. Subs - Burton (gk), Dallas, Davies, Knowles.

Carlisle United - Farman, Tanner (Riley 65), Hayden (Armer 77), McDonald, Anderton (c), Guy, Mellish, Alessandra (Walker 65), Patrick, Kayode, Toure. Subs - Dewhurst (gk), Devine, Hunt, Reilly.


Match officials

Referee - Paul Howard
Assistant Referee 1 - Garry Maskell
Assistant Referee 2 - Paul Lister
Fourth Official - Stephen Finch


Attendance - behind closed doors

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