Our second update of the week from the CUFC Ladies team
Carlisle United Ladies 3 – 0 Newlaithes Ladies - County Cup semi-final
Sunday 15 March
United needed to guard against the ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ syndrome following their League Cup success over Preston but a few team changes and a full bench meant there was an opportunity to rest for any tired legs.
Newlaithes gained the early upper hand, putting the United goal under heavy pressure. Carlisle survived and finally settled as used to width to get behind the Newlaithes back line. The switch in power brought a goal for the hosts when McGimpsey challenged with the keeper for a high ball into the box. The United player got their first and her header bounced back into Ullyart’s path. She reacted quickly to slot it home.
Carlisle grew in stature after their goal and they went into the break in confident mood with their one goal advantage. They took that attitude into the second period and they doubled their lead when Mallin floated a deep free kick to the far post. McGimpsey raced in to meet it and her header flew fiercely into the top corner.
Harmison and Mallinson replaced McGimpsey and Ullyart as Carlisle looked to reshape and Mallinson was able to pounce on a perfect through ball from Browbank. She took it well and turned the defender before sliding the ball into the danger area. Harmison used her pace to get there and power it home.
The killer goal left United in control but they couldn’t add to the goal column despite creating a number of decent openings. However, the positive display and result secured their passage to the Coutny Cup final.
Manager Tracy Gannon said: “Newlaithes were much far the better team for the first tweny minutes. They showed their intentions from the start and it was disappointing from us. It was almost as if we had no energy.
“We were fortunate that we managed to ride the storm and keep a clean sheet, and that allowed us to get settled. We made hard work of it and credit to Newlaithes for the way they went about it”
United - Edmondson, Martin (Walker), Adam, Mallin, Ullyart, Browbank, Simpson (Comber), Robinson(c), Dunn, Ullyart (Mallinson), McGimpsey (Harmison).
Carlisle United Ladies 1 – 3 CMB Ladies
Sunday 22 March
Last Sunday’s game saw title contenders CMB travel to face Carlisle. United knew they were in for a tough test as CMB are not a team to give up, as seen earlier in the season when the Cumbrians held a one goal lead only for CMB to equalise in the last minute.
It was a scrappy start but Carlisle earned an early corner which CMB defended well and eventually cleared. The visitors then showed their title credentials by taking control of proceedings and the back line was tested and, at times, overrun as they came under waves of impressive attacks. The closest of a run of shots shaved the outside of the post with the keeper well beaten.
CMB made their early dominance pay on 20 minutes when Darby dribbled into the box and laid it off for Lea. She created a yard of space and calmly finished it off.
Carlisle were forced into an early substitution when Adam replaced Martin and the hosts slowly started to get their game together following their sluggish start. It became a great midfield battle to watch as two teams who like to get it down and play stroked the ball around.
An intriguing first half ended with CMB one goal to the good and United tried to take advantage of a strong wind at their backs following the break. The home side had plenty of the ball but the CMB target lived a charmed life as shot after shot flew over.
The visitors worked hard to close down and stop the shots and they caught Carlisle by surprise when they hit back on the break. A quick ball out from the back allowed Darby to nip in. Two defenders tried to reach it before it crossed the line but they couldn’t quite make it, much to the frustration of everyone in a blue shirt.
Carlisle tried to get a foothold in the game and they had a strong ten minute spell where they went close on no less than three occasions. They finally got back into it when Browbank curled a deep delivery over the keeper and into the back of the net.
United pushed on for their equaliser, having been given renewed hope, but the game was put out of reach with five minutes left to play when a hand to ball incident inside the box resulted in a CMB penalty. Edmondson went the right way but could do little to stop the shot.
Manager Tracy Gannon said of the game: “You can see why they’re at the top end of the league. They’re well organised and play good football.
“They’re always a pleasure to play against because, like us, they want to play the ball on the ground as much as possible. All in all they were the better team on the day, but we lost the game in the right manner.
“We had two new starters in the team and it was a tough one for them, but also an opportunity for them to see what that next step up is. We’ve picked up a few injuries so I'm more concerned about getting them sorted as we can’t afford to have any more players out.”
United - Edmondson, Robinson (C), Martin (Adam), Sissons (Comber), Mallin, Ullyart, Smethurst, Browbank, Walker, McGimpsey, Mallinson (Logie).
Player of the Match - Sharina Robinson
Match Sponsor - Andrew Jenkins