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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Port Vale 1 - 2 United

Report from the final away game of the season

28 April 2018

Carlisle United signed off their 2017/18 away days campaign with a well deserved victory at Vale Park following an excellent second half turnaround courtesy of two very good goals.

An early Vale corner was met by Bonham on the punch and he recovered quickly to pluck the ball out of the air as it came back at him via Tom Pope's head.

Carlisle responded with some excellent football which saw Joyce, Campbell-Ryce and Liddle combine to make room for a cross from Jones. An excellent delivery fizzed across the face of goal but there was nobody there in a visiting shirt to tuck it away.

The visitors stayed on the front foot and Devitt ghosted through midfield to find a dangerous position. It opened up in front of him but his shot from distance rattled into the side netting.

Campbell-Ryce was next to test the back line when he twisted and turned his way past his marker. Another excellent low cross bounced across the six-yard box and Liddle was disappointed that he couldn't make more of it.

United continued to look the more likely, without quite managing to find the quality needed in the final third, and they had to take care when Whitfield clipped a pass at the near post at the other end. Bonham raced off his line to make sure Pope was denied a chance.

A long pass from deep followed for the hosts and it had Pope interested as it skipped up off the surface. He got there with the header but Bonham dived low to make the save.

It was a good spell for the Valiants and Angus did well when he cut inside and ran past Liddle. He had options but his high cross bent well wide.

Defender Danny Grainger had half a sight of the target when he got on the end of a one-touch passing move involving Liddle, Campbell-Ryce and Nadesan. He came under pressure as he shaped to make the connection and it was an easy save for Hornby to make.

Despite all of the good visiting work, Carlisle were undone just after the half hour when Whitfield streaked away with possession from just inside his own half. His run took him to the edge of the United box, where he found Turner in close support. A dinked pass invited the shot and Bonham could do nothing as Angus headed the ball home from one-yard out after the stopper had made an initial very good save.

The lead was almost doubled immediately when Turner pulled wide to find space. His pass was perfect for Pope but Bonham readjusted to make an excellent save just as the ball threatened to cross his line.

Parkes had a late first half chance to make a mark when he arrived unattended at the back stick, but his volley from a pass from Devitt took a deflection and that, in turn, took the sting out of the effort.

An early second half Grainger free kick caused all kinds of problems as Carlisle kept it alive and it eventually bounced high for Bennett to volley. He got on the end of it but a touch from a defender took it behind. The corner found Ellis on the run beyond the back post but Hornby did well to keep hold of the header as it flew at him through bodies.

Carlisle came again when Liddle overlapped through a gaping hole on the right flank with time on his side. His cross took a deflection, but that set things up for a wonderful goal from Ashley Nadesan as he flashed an unstoppable volley into the roof of the net right in front of the ecstatic travelling supporters.

Port Vale were suddenly struggling to deal with the United movement and their goal lived a charmed life when Jones burst through from deep. It was a tight angle, and his shot shaved the outside of the far post as it went under Hornby's body.

The game opened up and the hosts had a penalty decision turned down when Angus went down following a tussle with Ellis. Whitfield then blazed over from 16 yards after he rode two challenges to get into the area.

Pope tried his luck as he latched on to a kick out from Bonham, but his attempt to catch the keeper off his line went astray as the ball bent away from the target. Carlisle regrouped quickly and they took the lead for the first time on the day when Devitt bent a run to leave defenders in his wake. The cross was impossible for the back line to deal with and Hope celebrated his return from injury with a firm close-range finish.

United still had work to do, and they were relieved to see a strike from Turner rise over the bar as the home side tried to stage a grandstand finish.

Vale had Antony Kay sent off late in the day for an off-the-ball incident, and that allowed Carlisle to see the game out to its successful conclusion and to give their departing manager the final away-day victory he craved.

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Goals

Port Vale - Angus (32)

Carlisle United - Nadesan (50), Hope (71)

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Bookings

Port Vale - sent off - Kay (85)

Carlisle United - Parkes (90)

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Teams

Port Vale - Hornby, Kay, Pugh, Pope, Turner (Barnett 76), Gibbons, Angus (Calveley 63), Smith, Whitfield, Howkins (Howe 42), Hannant. Subs - Davis, Boot, Tonge, Benns.

Carlisle United - Bonham, Grainger (Hope 65), Joyce, Liddle, Parkes, Jones, Devitt, Campbell-Ryce (Bennett 46), Ellis, Hill, Nadesan (O'Sullivan 77). Subs - Miller, Brown, Stockton, Twardek.

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Referee - Ben Toner

Attendance - 5,163 (540 away fans)


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