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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 0 - 1 Coventry

Report from the final game of 2017

30 December 2017

United's final fixture of 2017 was for the visit of Coventry City to Brunton Park on a wet and wintry Saturday afternoon.

The Blues were unchanged for their fourth consecutive fixture having built up a good head of steam through the festive period.

Strong work from Brown put him into a crossing position early in the piece but his cut back went behind the blue shirts and Beavon was able to hook it clear.

A whipped long-range free kick from Grainger skipped off the surface and had to be watched by Burge, as Carlisle looked to get forward, and Hope did well to get in front of his man to nod a high ball from Liddle into the box. The Sky Blues stayed tight and shepherded it away.

Coventry almost found a way through when Doyle released Beavon in midfield. He rolled the ball across to McNulty, but Hill and Liddle did well to close the striker down and make the block. The visitors stayed forward and a cross from Stokes had to be dealt with by a headed clearance from Brown. Shipley was on to it in a flash but his shot bent well wide.

Carlisle responded with a nice overlap from Grainger as he took over from Parkes. The cross was cleared and the follow up shot from Devitt was well blocked by Kelly-Evans. United came again with a thunderbolt from Parkes when he stayed deep from a Jones corner. He struck it well but the keeper took it firmly under his grasp.

Captain Danny Grainger slashed a difficult volley over from a wide angle as the hosts sent balls into the danger area, but they thought they'd found a way through when Hill picked out Brown on the right wing with a raking pass. The right back sent it onwards for Hope, and there were huge appeals for a penalty when the striker unleashed a shot which appeared to be stopped by outstretched hands. The referee ignored the shouts and waved play on.

Midfielder Mike Jones miscued a shot when Devitt brought him into play, and Shipley did the same when a half chance came his way at the other end. Keeper Jack Bonham was the first to have to make a save in anger when McNulty dropped a shoulder and opened a gap. The shot was fierce but strong hands matched it.

Reggie Lambe wasn't too far away when he turned inside, beat the tackle and went for the top corner as United turned up the first half heat. The volley had purpose but it flew just past the angle of post and bar.

Grainger then did the hard work when he chased his man down and won possession as he stopped the ball from going for a corner. He tried to put it on a plate for Bennett but his cross ran across the face of goal and bobbled behind to safety.

The Cumbrians almost nicked the lead on the stroke of half time when a Grainger corner hit a Coventry man and dribbled just past the post. The second delivery was just as good, but Bennett was denied when his shot on the spin was blocked on the line.

Coventry were gifted a goal just five minutes into the second half when a lobbed ball forward was allowed to bounce by Hill. McNulty couldn't believe his luck as he had the time and space he needed to pick his spot.

The Sky Blues almost doubled their lead on the break when Bayliss charged through on the overlap. He went for a toe poke on the run and was disappointed to see it rattle off the post and bounce away to safety.

Bayliss was denied again when Bonham went full length to make the save from another of his surging runs, but Carlisle gave themselves a boost when Jones felled Kelly-Evans inside the box. McNulty stepped up to take the spot kick but Bonham went the right way and made the save.

A 25-yard free kick from Devitt was blocked at source late in the game, but Carlisle still had defending to do as the tricky Davies won a corner. Liddle cleared that delivery, but Grainger was disappointed to send a late free kick into the Warwick as Coventry held on to their lead for a claim of all three points.

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Goals

Coventry City - McNulty (50)

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Bookings

Carlisle United - Grainger (67), Devitt (84)

Coventry City - Davies (80), Biramou (84)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Bonham, Brown, Liddle, Hill, Parkes (O'Sullivan 61), Grainger, Lambe (Etuhu 76), Jones, Devitt, Hope (S Miller 71), Bennett. Subs - Bacon, T Miller, Cosgrove, Ellis.

Coventry City - Burge, Grimmer, Stokes, Willis (Hyam 18), Doyle, McNulty, Davies, Beavon (Nazon 46 (Brown 56)), Kelly-Evans, Shipley, Bayliss. Subs - O'Brien, Haynes, Stevenson, Ponticelli.

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Referee - Scott Oldham

Attendance - 5,807 (847 away fans)


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