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08 January 2022 Venue Brunton Park Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

PREVIEW: A look ahead to the visit of the Bantams

A closer look at this weekend's opponents

7 January 2022

United return home following a two-game absence on Saturday when they play host to Bradford City.

Match sponsor - Attis

Click HERE to visit the official Attis website.

Match sponsor - Stanwix Park

Click HERE to visit the official Stanwix Park Website.

Match ball sponsor - Keith Richardson (celebrating his 70th birthday) 


The long trip from Yorkshire to Exeter is tough enough, but add a bit of FA Cup extra time and, ultimately, a disappointing defeat, and it makes the whole day feel just that little bit longer.

So imagine discovering that the hosts have (reportedly unwittingly) bent the competition rules, only to then be told that the journey has to be made to do it all again ... during midweek.

The replay was done in normal time, with the Grecians battling out a 2-1 win, but there's no doubt it left a strange taste in Bradford mouths.

Not quite up there with the controversy created by the Hamilton / Verstappen incident, but certainly one that threw up plenty of discussion points.


Bradford are one of the division's draw specialists by some margin. 11 of their league games have seen points shared, with six wins and five defeats making up the other half of their results.

New boss Derek Adams (installed after his play-off success with Morecambe) will be looking for another push this term, with a club steeped in history, and he's spoken recently about the need to turn some of these stalemates into victories.

A win and three draws from their last four league games have left them hovering and poised to pounce in the mid-table positions and, indeed, the consecutive home draws against Sutton and Colchester were accompanied by a sense of disappointment that the points return could have been more.

The last league away win came at Barrow on New Year's Day, and a welcome result that was. They'd had to wait since the end of October to celebrate again  - a comfortable 3-1 victory over Swindon - so they'll be looking to add more in the way of away success to the mix as well.

who watch

He's back from injury, we know him well, and he has eight goals to his name already.

Striker Andy Cook has been in a good vein of scoring form when available and he's the kind of striker who causes real problems at this level.

Awkward to deal with he comes alive in the area, and will give the defence plenty to mull over if he can find the spaces within which he likes to do his work.


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With match commentary provided by BBC Radio Cumbria, this is a fantastic way to follow your team through the season.

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  Bradford wins Draws Carlisle wins
League 20 13 15
Cup 0 0 1
League Cup 0 1 1
FA Cup 1 0 1
Total 21 14 18

March 2021 brought the Bantams to Brunton Park as Rhys Bennett (2) and Ozzy Zanzala opened up a three-goal lead. Paudie O'Connor bagged a consolation, but the points stayed in Cumbria.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

Rhys Bennett bagged the only goal of the game in December 2020 to earn the Cumbrians a deserved away win.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

A game blighted by red cards went the way of the Bantams back in September, as they bagged three in response to Olufela Olomola's early opener, but the match became a difficult one to measure for the Blues following a first-half sending off for Jack Bridge.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

We hadn't seen Bradford prior to that since the 1-0 home victory at Brunton Park back in February 2014. Striker Lee Miller scored the only goal of the game - and it was an absolute stunner - and keeping goal for the Blues that night was a certain young man called Jordan Pickford.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

A more recent meeting between the teams was the July 2018 pre-season friendly, played at Brunton Park. It was a tight game with the winner coming in time added on when Richie Bennett got on the end of a deflected Hallam Hope shot.

Watch the highlights from that game here:


Referee - Andy Haines
Assistant Referee 1 - Matthew Parry
Assistant Referee 2 - Alan Clayton
Fourth Official - Ivan Stankovic
Observer - Mick Brown

Andy HainesMr Haines has taken charge of 19 games so far this season showing 50 yellow cards and no reds.

He was at Brunton Park in November 2020 for our defeat at the hands of soon to be promoted Cheltenham Town. Jon Mellish scored on the stroke of half time, but the Robins were already two goals to the good, and they ended up claiming the win. There were no bookings that afternoon.

We also had him for the pre-lockdown game against Cheltenham in February 2020. They won 1-0 and Gethin Jones was the only Carlisle name taken on the day.

He was last at Brunton Park prior to that for our 1-0 home victory over FA Cup replay with Forest Green in December 2019. Aaron Hayden scored his first goal for the club - the only goal of the game - and Ryan Loft went in the book on the night.

He was also here for the 2-1 home win over Macclesfield in November 2019. Harry McKirdy and Ryan Loft scored the Carlisle goals and Mike Jones and Canice Carroll had their names taken on the day.

Prior to that he was here in March 2019 for our 2-2 draw with Cambridge. The U's went ahead with just three minutes on the clock, but goals from Jamie Devitt and Nathan Thomas gave the Blues the lead before the break. Former-United favourite Jabo Ibehre bagged midway through the second period to make it a share of the spoils on the day. Danny Grainger and Mike Jones received bookings during the game.

He was also with us just three months earlier for our Boxing Day meeting with Oldham. United ran riot with goals from Hope, Yates [2], Nadesan, Grainger and Liddle securing a thumping 6-0 victory. Kelvin Etuhu was the only Carlisle name taken on the night.

Earlier in the 2018/19 season he was up here for our Checkatrade Trophy group fixture against Morecambe. A tight game saw the Shrimps twice take the lead through goals from Oliver and Piggott. Glendon and Gillesphey pegged them back for the Blues, and that set it up for Jerry Yates to grab a late winner. There were no United names taken on the night.

We saw Mr Haines twice in season 2017/18, both at Brunton Park, starting with our opening day fixture against Swindon Town. Luke Joyce scored our only goal in a 2-1 defeat, and Mike Jones was the only Carlisle name to be written down.

Our second meeting had a much more pleasant outcome as we beat Oldham Athletic 3-2 in the FA Cup. Richie Bennett (2) and Hallam Hope gave us a three goal cushion but there was still time to bite the fingernails as Peter Clarke and Aaron Holloway bit back to make it a nervy ending to the game. There were no Carlisle bookings that afternoon.


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Alternatively, you can purchase your tickets in-person here at our main ticket office during office hours (Pioneer Stand), online by clicking HERE, or over the phone by ringing 0330 094 5930 (option 1).

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 2 - 0 Bradford

Report from the Saturday home game

8 January 2022

United returned to Brunton Park for what felt like the first time in an age as they faced Bradford City in the rearranged fixture.

The Bantams suffered a Covid outbreak on the original game date, but a free January Saturday for both clubs meant a swift agreement on a new day for the meeting.

United welcomed Tyrese Omotoye into the starting line-up for his debut, with Sam Fishburn dropping to the bench as the only change from the last two outings. 

Fellow new arrival Omari Patrick was also named as a substitute, as was Joel Senior, who had made his first appearance in a blue shirt at Harrogate on Tuesday night.

The visitors had an opening with just 27 seconds on the clock when Cook chased down a ball over the top. He fed it wide, and the pull back was perfect for Threlkeld, who had supported the attack, to strike. He took it first time from 17-yards out but it whipped over the bar.

Bradford looked lively, and Mellor had to stop Angol in his tracks as he tried to deliver. The ball went behind, but the corner was comfortably dealt with.

Tenacity in the middle of the park from Guy saw him send Armer on an overlap, but his cross was charged down. Feeney followed up with a raking pass towards Omotoye but it had just too much on it.

The Blues then won a corner when Omotoye controlled a Guy clip, with Mellish also involved. Guy swept it towards the edge of the box but Cooke got in the way.

United put some passes together and it was worked smartly from right to left, where Armer sent one deep into the area. It spooned off a defender, and Mellor was set to volley. He caught it cleanly but it hit O'Connor and that was enough to divert it away.

There was danger at the Warwick Road End when a long throw was only half cleared. Songo'o connected with a sweet rasper but it bulged the side netting.

Carlisle showed patience on 17 minutes as they gradually mounted an attack, but it came to nothing as Gibson pulled a long-range effort well wide.

Half chances came at both ends, but the Cumbrians were close when Omotoye trapped the ball as he set off on a mesmerising run. He beat two, and rolled it back for Gibson to take over. The wide man dropped a shoulder and was a whisker away as he flashed a cruncher just over the target.

Mellish then robbed possession on the halfway line before leaving opponents in his wake as he surged for the box. He tried his luck with his right boot but it bent harmlessly wide.

It was then almost the perfect through ball from Mellor for Omotoye as the young forward lost his marker, but it skipped off the surface and Hornby clutched it into his chest.

The visitors had a goal chalked off for a foul on Howard on 38 minutes, when a set piece was kept alive. Three blue shirts got touches, but it was sent back in by Cooke. Songo'o challenged with the stopper, and his celebrations were immediately stopped when the assistant referee raised the flag.

A swipe from Vernam rose too high just before the break, after he'd carried the ball forward, and a replay confirmed that it had been excellent defending from Mellor that had protected the nets.

But it was the hosts who took the lead in superb style on the stroke of half-time when Guy spread a pass to Armer. He chested it, then fed it to Gibson, and the winger spun to make room for a shot. Hornby had no chance as it sailed into the top corner to make it goal number six for the campaign for the popular midfielder.

United's first foray of the second period was a lightning quick move through the heart of the back line. Mellish pulled wide, and he wrong-footed Hornby between the sticks with a low shot at the near post. The keeper was relieved to see it bend wide.

New boy Tyrese Omotoye showed pace to streak down the left flank, and Kelleher had to throw out a boot to put it behind. The corner was met by Songo'o on the leap, but he was off-balance and relieved to see it drop off target.

The Blues created a real chance on the break when Gibson first blitzed forward before twisting into the box. Dickenson provided the cross, but it was a difficult header and Hornby was there to take it.

Carlisle looked confident as they dominated possession, with Omotoye at the heart of much of it as he gave the Bradford defenders a run for their money.

It was the Canary loanee who earned his side a 25-yard free kick when he was barged by Songo'o, and Hornby needed to catch cleanly as Dickenson went for glory.

United were reminded that there was work to do when a Watt corner was flicked into the mix. Whelan kept an eye on it to hook it away. Howard was strong in the punch from the second delivery, and he ws there again when the follow up came at him.

Omari Patrick came on for his second debut with 15 minutes left to play, and there was huge applause for Omotoye (who would go on to be named man of the match) who walked off knowing that he'd had a faultless first appearance.

Every player in a blue shirt ran themselves into the ground to see it through, with Patrick typical of the effort shown when he chased a seemingly lost 40-yard cause into the corner late in the day.

It turned into a dream return for Patrick when he took a high pass from Armer out of the air midway inside the Bradford half. He showed poise, strength and guile to make his way into the box and he left Hornby on the deck as he prodded it into the bottom corner.

The fans cheered every pass and tackle as they watched their side deservedly take the points from what had been a very professional display.


Match sponsor - Attis

Click HERE to visit the official Attis website.

Match sponsor - Stanwix Park

Click HERE to visit the official Stanwix Park Website.

Match ball sponsor - Keith Richardson (celebrating his 70th birthday) 



Carlisle United - Gibson (45), Patrick (87)



Bradford City - Songo'o (64), Angol (90), Watt (90)



Carlisle United - Howard, Mellor, McDonald, Feeney, Armer, Gibson, Guy (c), Whelan, Dickenson, Mellish, Omotoye (Patrick 75). Subs - Norman (gk), Devine, Riley, Abrahams, Fishburn, Senior.

Bradford City - Hornby, Threlkeld (Foulds 60), Ridehalgh, O'Connor (c), Songo'o, Cooke (Robinson 77), Cook (Vernam 29), Gilliead, Kelleher, Watt, Angol. subs - O'Donnell (gk), Sutton, Cousin-Dawson, Lavery.


Match officials

Referee - Andy Haines
Assistant Referee 1 - Matthew Parry
Assistant Referee 2 - Alan Clayton
Fourth Official - Ivan Stankovic
Observer - Mick Brown


Attendance - 4,996 (1,243)


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