United win close game
The young Blues ended their season on a high with a workmanlike display which earned them a 2-1 win in blustery conditions against a lively Cumberland U18 side at Creighton this morning.
United had to come from behind to claim their win and they controlled long periods of the game without quite managing to completely kill the game off.
It started badly for the hosts when Jordan Marshall misjudged the run of the ball as he tried to see it out for a goal kick with just four minutes on the clock. Strong work from Cumberland brought a low cross and an easy finish as the defence found themselves flat-footed and out of position.
Good football moments later had United on the attack as Dempsey and Hammell passed their way through midfield. One of two trialist strikers rattled the woodwork with a powerful shot and he was unlucky to see his follow-up well saved by a full stretch diving keeper.
Cumberland were well in the game and they broke from deep when a Dempsey free kick was cleared long. Danny Eccles was relieved to see the ball bobble wide as he struggled to grasp a dipping and swirling shot which angled for his near post.
Carlisle upped the pace and they grabbed their equaliser when a Hammell corner fell nicely for Wallace. His fierce 16-yard volley was parried by the alert keeper but a trialist striker made his mark with a simple finish into the empty net on the rebound.
Wallace started to see more of the ball and he cut across the back line before letting fly through a ruck of bodies. The Cumberland stopper was well placed to gather despite seeing it late.
A weaving run from Jordan Marshall took him from his own half and a one-two with White left him on the edge of the box. An unselfish pass allowed Wallace to have a pop but the save was an easy one to make.
The pressure continued to build with Hammell causing problems with corners and Dickson should have done better when he was left all alone just nine yards out. His header had direction but lacked the power it needed to cause any real kind of concern.
Frankie Wallace than spurned a good opportunity when a half clearance fell to his right boot inside the area. He tried to keep it down but it flew high over the target.
United took the lead just before half time when Connor Hammell took charge of a 22-yard free kick on the right hand side of the box. He whipped it in and the keeper was left with no chance as it nestled in his bottom corner.
The second half was a much tighter affair with chances at a premium as an increasingly strong wind made life difficult for both teams.
Substitute Jason Blackburn could have wrapped things up on 71 minutes when he pounced on a moment of hesitation inside the Cumberland half. He found himself one-on-one and inside the box but a brave dive prevented the ball from finding the back of the net.
And that was that for real goalmouth action with both teams receiving a good round of applause when the final whistle blew.
"That was one where the lads have had to work hard," Eric Kinder said.
"We had chances to kill things off, but credit to Cumberland for the way they approached the game. They deserved to be in the lead and we had to earn the right to get back in front.
"We've seen some good things and some not so good things but, overall, this was a good way to send the lads off into their summer break."
United - Eccles (Brass 75), Thomson (McEvoy 46), Dickson, Chisholm, Marshall (Brough 49), White (Hodgson 46), Dempsey (Blackburn 30), Hammell (White 62), Wallace (Dempsey 69), Trialist, Trialist.