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MATCH REPORT: United 3 - 2 Brentford

7 December 2013

Stats and facts from the game

Carlisle United played some excellent football as they took advantage of the behind the scenes upheaval at visitors Brentford and they produced their best performance of the season to book their place in the potentially lucrative Sunday FA Cup third round draw.

United started brightly with Miller seeing plenty of the ball and an interception from Chimbonda on the half way line gave Berrett time and space to cross. The striker stretched to get a touch but he lost control as he came under pressure from Craig.

A long ball forward from the Brentford back line caused confusion as O'Hanlon and Meppen-Walter hesitated and Marcello Trotta pounced to unleash a fierce shot. Fleming dived low to push the stinging effort away.

Debut boy Courtney Meppen-Walter took matters into his own hands moments later when he closed the ball down on the halfway line. He took a touch and put his boot through the ball and it flew just over the bar with Richard Lee stranded. 

Carlisle enjoyed a good spell of pressure and crosses from Robson and Lawrence had to be watched as Miller and Amoo lurked. And the Cumbrians thought they'd scored when Sean O'Hanlon timed his run from deep to meet an inswinging Berrett corner. His header was perfect but Richard Lee reacted late to spectacularly push the ball onto the bar. Miller was there but the defence converged to clear the ball to safety.

The big defender was the man on the spot at the other end as the Bees surged into the Carlisle box. Trotta spun on the spot and had a clear sight of the target until O'Hanlon slid in to nick the ball.

Brentford started to see more of the ball and Alan McCormack forced a corner when he called for a quick free kick. He cut in from the right and Meppen-Walter did well to get his body in the way of another rasping effort. 

It was end-to-end and a Miller interception put United five against two on the edge of the area. Amoo took control but he opted to shoot, from a tight angle, with players screaming for the cross. Bidwell recovered to block and hack it away. 

Meppen-Walter sparked another attack when he came out of defence to claim possession just inside his own half. A Miller back heel allowed Berrett to find Amoo and Craig had to be careful as he cleared under the close attentions of Miller and Lawrence. 

Brentford went close on 29 minutes when a Berrett foul on Forshaw wide on the right brought a chance to deliver the ball. Bidwell curled it in and it needed it just a touch as it flew through a gaggle of bodies and just past the upright. 

More good work from Miller put United on the front foot but Buaben's cross from an Amoo lay off was cut out as the blue shirts lurked. Carlisle won the ball back and Buaben fed Amoo as the pair tried to carve a way through. The cut back was perfect this time but Bidwell earned applause from his team mates as he got in the way of the first time shot from Berrett. Lee Miller went for the overhead kick from the rebound but it was difficult and he screwed his effort well wide.

Lee was in action again when Tom Lawrence waved his team mates away for a 40-yard free kick. He struck it cleanly and the Bees' stopper had to push it away as it skipped dangerously off a very slick surface.

George Saville wheeled away in frustration as he pulled out of a challenge at the Carlisle back stick when McCormack delivered yet another fantastic cross. It needed bravery but the ball dribbled harmlessly away as Chimbonda made his presence felt.

The Cumbrians had just about shaded the first half and they got the lead their play deserved on the stroke of half time when Lawrence controlled the ball in acres of space. He bided his time and laid the perfect pass into the path of James Berrett. A thundering contender for goal of the season then nestled sweetly in the top corner as the Brentford defence looked on in anguish.

Brentford started the second half in determined mood and a step over from Forshaw created space as he carried the ball forward. He pulled his shot but Donaldson was a stud length away from sliding in to poke it away as he arrived late at the back post.

Buaben earned Carlisle a corner at the other end when he protected the ball inside the box. His deliberate cross took the central defenders out of the game but a touch from Bidwell sent it away for a corner. 

A thoughtful pass from Diagouraga released Grigg as Brentford threw men forward and he should have done better as he spotted Fleming coming off his line. The shot had conviction but it slammed into the side netting.

A run of corners followed for Brentford but O'Hanlon and Meppen-Walter dealt with the high balls as they swung into the box. Greg Fleming then completed another excellent save when he adjusted late to get a boot to a spinning drive from the edge of the area from McCormack.

And it was the veteran defender who earned the visitors their equaliser when he played a tricky one-two to get to the byline. His crisp low cross spun up off the unfortunate Pascal Chimbonda before it edged its way over the line.

Carlisle almost reclaimed the lead on 71 minutes when a McCormack hand ball brought a free kick wide on the left. Berrett sent a dipper over the wall and Lee was relieved to see it go wide.

But it got better for the Cumbrians in the very next attack as Miller won the ball and then moved into space. The ball eventually broke free and the big striker reacted smartly to spin and pop the ball into the bottom corner.

And he doubled his tally for the day when he finished calmly from the spot following a late challenge on Amoo from McCormack as the wide man turned him inside out to stride into the area.

It was a nervy finish for United as El Alagui rose to power home a Saunders free kick with just four minutes to play. But they held their shape and their discipline to book their place in the exciting Sunday afternoon draw despite some late enterprising play from the visitors.



United - Berrett (45), Miller (73, 78 pen)

Brentford - Chimbonda (63 og), El Alagui (86)



United - Thirlwell (85)

Brentford - Saville (79)



Carlisle United - Fleming, Chimbonda (Symington 82), O'Hanlon, Meppen-Walter, Robson, Thirlwell, Amoo, Berrett, Buaben, Lawrence (Potts 64), Miller. Subs - Brass, Livesey, Noble, Roddan, Guy.

Brentford - Lee, Forshaw, Craig, Dean, Donaldson, Grigg, McCormack, Saville (Saunders 84), Diagouraga (Reeves 59), Bidwell, Trotta (El Alagui 68). Subs - Logan, Fillo, Button, Nugent.


Referee - Mr Andy Woolmer

Attendance - 2,589 (173 away fans)

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