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11 August 2012

Robson wonder goal seals progression

United kicked their season off with a first round Capital One Cup home game against Accrington Stanley and with high hopes following a solid pre-season campaign which had seen them play some eye-catching football.

And manager Greg Abbott asked for more of the same in his pre-match press conference as the implications of successful progression to the next stage dominated his thoughts.

“We all want to get off to a winning start because it breeds confidence,” he said. “It’s a home game for us and we want do things properly and build on what we’ve been doing for the last six or seven weeks. 

“As well as that, the cup competitions are one of the ways we can bring extra revenue into the club and we want to get that right as well. Some of the bigger clubs come into the draw for the next round and our aim has to be in there with them.”

Sweltering heat made it a good day out for the crowd on the terraces but it did few favours for the players who tempered the pace of the action to suit the conditions.

“It was really hot out there,” wide-man Matt Robson agreed. “It makes it tough, but that’s the same for both sides, so you just have to deal with it and get on with it.”

Robson was the provider of the first opening for the Cumbrians when he latched on to a smart through-ball from Chantler to go past his man. A low cross from McGovern followed and Lee Miller got a touch to bring a save at the near post from Dunbavin.

More good work from McGovern, this time on the right flank, had Miller interested again but the ball spun away as it glanced off his forehead and in front of the advancing blue shirts.

Signs that United had found their passing boots grew and a slick move involving Chantler, Berrett and a deft touch from Miller sent Noble into the area. He was unlucky as he shaped to shoot only to slip and fall over at the vital moment.

Robson found plenty of space on the left as the home pressure grew and a slide-rule pass from debut left back Bugno punched a hole through the back four. The delivery into the box was inviting but the strikers were on their heels and Liddle hooked it clear.

“I got a bit frustrated a couple of times when we put balls into the box, but we demand a lot from each other,” Robson explained. “That sharpness will come and it’s good that we’re all talking to each other and urging things on.”

Accrington weathered the early storm and former-Blue Luke Joyce almost upset the apple cart when he pounced on a mistake on the edge of the area. It opened up in front of him and Collin had to grasp the ball from beneath the bar as it curled towards his top corner.

United reasserted their authority and the move of the half came when Noble and McGovern worked their way into the Accrington final third. A touch from Miller released Berrett and he took Dunbavin by surprise with a first time shot from a tight angle. The keeper reacted well to touch it onto his post.

The good work continued and United were rewarded with a goal when persistence from McGovern kept him in possession of the ball. He slipped the ball through two sets of legs and a Miller dummy completely wrong-footed Murphy. Berrett looked up and spotted Robson and a drag-back was followed by a crunching left-foot shot which whistled into the roof of the net.

“It was a good move and I shifted across as James Berrett made a run into the box,” Robson explained. “I heard a shout behind me from Nobs [Liam Noble] to leave it when the pass came inside – then again you can always hear him, wherever you are – but I knew I had a bit of time, so I dragged it back and had a go. I’m not sure it’ll be up there for goal of the season but it was nice to see it go in.”

The Cumbrians started the second half as they had left the first with some bright, attacking play and a Noble step-over allowed McGovern to bring Miller into focus. His long range shot had power but was always off target.

Noble then tried his luck when he found himself unmarked in midfield but he rushed the effort and Dunbavin remained untroubled.

The visitors reminded their hosts that there was still work to do on the hour-mark when Chippendale beat the offside trap to feed off a long ball over the top. He connected well as he reached the angle of the 18-yard box and Collin was relieved to see it skip past his upright.

Chippendale was the danger man again moments later when he thundered a rasping shot from distance and Collin did well to get both hands to it as it threatened to find its target.

Carlisle dusted themselves down and Robson showed skill midway through the half when he flicked the ball over Nsiala to bear down on goal. He volleyed early but Dunbavin was well-placed to claim it.

United closed ranks and concentrated on seeing the game out but they should have sealed the victory with five minutes left to play when Berrett spearheaded a break from deep. Substitute youngster Dave Symington was in acres of space but he went for power as he tried to mark his senior debut with a goal and he dragged the shot horribly wide.

“There were some nice things out there and some areas we have to work on,” manager Greg Abbott said afterwards. “If we play like that next week we’ll struggle, so we want to work on a few things and make sure the tempo is there for the full 90 minutes.

“Overall though we are pleased with a lot of things. We have reached the next round, kept a clean sheet and played some good football, and we have had some young players making debuts and contributing. We have given ourselves a real platform to build on and hopefully we’ll take it on from here.”



United - Robson (39)



United - Miller (61)

Stanley - Nsiala (61), Liddle (67)



United - Collin, Potts, Livesey, Edwards, Bugno, Noble, Berrett, Chantler (Thirlwell 90), McGovern (Symington 77), Miller (Beck 83), Robson. Subs - Gillespie, Simek, Murphy, Welsh.

Stanley - Dunbavin, Murphy, Liddle, Joyce, Nsiala (Eckersley 77), Lindfield, Barnett (Hatfield 58), Sheppard, Chippendale, Miller, Clark (Dawson 70). Subs - Dixon, Gray, Dawber, Molyneux.


Ref - Nigel Miller

Att - 2,924 (118)

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