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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 3 - 1 Gillingham

Report from the Emirates FA Cup second round replay

19 December 2017

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 3 - 1 Gillingham

Report from the Emirates FA Cup second round replay

19 December 2017

League One Gillingham made the long trip north to face the Cumbrians in the Emirates FA Cup second round replay.

It was nip and tuck through the opening exchanges as both sides started at a high tempo, but defences were on top as things stayed tight.

United had work to do when O'Neill went on a run, having robbed the ball off Hope, but Liddle made a timely intervention when Wagstaff and Eaves came hunting for pieces.

But it was Carlisle who made the early inroads when Gary Liddle gambled on a loose touch deep inside the Gills half. It went his way and he did well to bring Devitt into play with a neat inside pass. The winger had the presence of mind to find Bennett, who fed a lovely touch to Hope, and the striker grabbed his eighth goal of the campaign with a drilled finish which took a deflection on its way into the back of the net.

The Gillingham response was almost immediate as Mark Byrne tried his luck directly from the kick off. Bonham had to scamper backwards but the ball landed on the roof of his net.

United had to be on their guard when visiting captain Lee Martin fizzed a beauty of a 20-yard free kick into the mix from wide. Liddle watched it all the way and he did well to nod it to safety over his own bar.

The away side tried to get forward at every opportunity but they were kept at arm's length by a very stubborn defence. Eaves won a corner with a deflected shot from distance, as he tried to make things happen, but the touch from Grainger meant it was always bending wide.

Sean Clare was another who had an effort from distance dampened down by a good block, and the same man went into the book when he went down too easily under a challenge from Liddle moments later.

Grainger thumped a 25-yard free kick wide at the other end, as United continued to look comfortable, but there was an inswinging corner from Martin to deal with which pinged worryingly around the edge of the six-yard box. Hill stood strong and hooked it away.

Set piece specialist Lee Martin tested Bonham with a dipping attempt when he clipped a long range free kick at the top corner. The stopper jumped high to tip it behind.

Good work from Hope at the other end gave him room to work and he rolled the ball low for Brown to cross. Bennett stretched a leg, but he couldn't quite get there, and Liddle slashed the resulting corner high onto the roof of the Warwick when he attempted to guide his volley at the target.

The Blues were almost undone on 35 minutes when O'Neill made it behind the back line to cut the ball into the mix. Liddle was at his best yet again to make a vital last ditch clearance. The corner caused more anguish as Lacey jumped highest to nod it down. Grainger leaped across to clear the ball off the line and Jones completed the clearance.

Carlisle doubled their lead with the next attack of the game when Lambe somehow twisted his way out of a double challenge. He put Bennett into the box and the forward set a rasping cross on a plate for Hope to score his second of the game from close range.

Another eye-catching move brought Devitt into a shooting position, but he couldn't keep his first time volley down and it went high and wide. 

Carlisle were almost gifted a third goal within seconds of the restart when Lacey struggled to deal with an awkwardly bouncing ball. He tried to guide it back to Holy but Bennett came sniffing as he tried to make it his own. Holy spread himself and smothered the loose pieces.

But it was Gillingham who dealt the early blow when Parker made the most of a hopeful ball forward. Scott Wagstaff was in acres of space and he left Bonham with no chance as he found the top corner with a bullet of a shot.

The dangerous Lee Martin arrowed a delivery at the near post for Parker to attack as Gillingham started to push forward more, but Bonham judged the angles well as he plucked it out of the sky.

United were under pressure again when another Martin free kick was headed by Eaves. It took two touches before Bonham was able to sprint off his line and bring it under his control. Liddle, Hill and Grainger were in the way of more thunderbolts, as the visitors went in search of a second goal, and Hill stood his ground to deal with a Parker cross as a host of red shirts circled.

The Carlisle nerves started to settle and an exchange of passes between Devitt and Lambe left the former with room for a shot. He connected well but it was straight at Holy.

United created another excellent opening when Lambe won the contest for a bouncing ball in the Gillingham half. Miller took it on, and he played it inside for Jones to shoot. The midfielder went for power but he couldn't direct it at the nets.

The game ebbed and flowed and Wagstaff missed the chance to double his tally for the day when he cut his run short to meet a pull back from O'Neill. He had time on his hands and was disappointed to poke a poor shot at Bonham.

Bonham was suddenly the busier of the keepers and he had to parry a shot from Clare as he ripped it in from a tight space. Carlisle were on the counter from the clearance and neat passes put Hope face-to-face with Ehmer. He dropped a shoulder and was denied his third when his effort skipped off the surface and struck the base of the post.

Eaves nodded a floated free kick wide late in the day, when he was picked out from the half way line, and Bonham had to save low from Parker when Gillingham broke at pace as a United attack fell down.

Hope smashed a late shot just wide in time added on, but it was substitute Shaun Miller who sealed the progression to the third round of this season's competition, and a home tie against Sheffield Wednesday, when he finished off another great move.

Lambe provided the gun, Bennett the bullet, and Miller took the shot which ended the game as a contest.



Carlisle United - Hope (7, 37), S Miller (90)

Gillingham - Wagstaff (47)



Carlisle United - Liddle (73), Lambe (86), T Miller (90)

Gillingham - Clare (28), Byrne (57), Parker (61), Ehmer (77), O'Neill (90)



Carlisle United - Bonham, Brown (S Miller 61), Liddle, Hill, Parkes, Grainger (T Miller 90), Lambe, Jones, Devitt (O'Sullivan 90), Hope, Bennett. Subs - Nabi, Cosgrove, Ellis, Rigg.

Gillingham - Holy, O'Neill, Lacey (Gamston 64), Ehmer, Wagstaff, Eaves, Martin, Parker, Nugent, Clare (List 81), Byrne (Wilkinson 85). Subs - Nelson, Zakuani, Hessenthaler, Cundle.


Referee - Mark Heywood

Attendance - 2,357 (88 away fans)

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