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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 1 - 0 Alex

Report from the Saturday afternoon game

25 August 2018

United hosted Crewe Alexandra in their second home game of the week as they looked to build on the good form shown in the opening few games of the season.

Manager John Sheridan went with an unchanged starting eleven for the third consecutive game as he looked to extend the winning run to three games unbeaten.

Crewe looked to stay tight through the opening minutes, with Tuesday night still fresh in their memories, but an exchange of passes between Nadesan and Hope on the edge of the box created the slightest of gaps which the Blues looked to exploit. Hope tried to clip a shot to the far corner but it was just too high and it dipped over the bar.

The Alex repsonded with a good move which saw Miller pull wide to take control of the ball. He found Kirk, who fed it to Green, but the visiting captain was wayward with his long range effort.

Quick feet from Ainley earned his side a free kick, as he was chopped to the floor by Grainger, but a push from Raynes when the delivery came in brought the danger to a close.

Direct forward play from Hope brought a corner at the other end as he skipped past two challenges, and the ball pinged around the box from the resulting Devitt cross until Hunt stepped in to hook it clear.

The play stayed mostly in midfield as Carlisle tried to find a way through, with Crewe sitting deep, and Devitt tested Garratt from 30-yards when he called for a pass from Hope. It skipped off the surface and the stopper showed good hands.

Nadesan was next to try to break down the stubborn defence when he latched on to a ball over the top. He looped it on the volley into the box but it was just too far in front of the late arriving Bennett.

There was a let-off for the home side midway through the half when Ng was left unmarked as a corner delivery bent into the area. He had the width of the target to aim at but he got his bearings wrong and his header went well wide.

One-touch passing from Grainger and Etuhu worked space for Devitt to go for it with a firm connection as both sides kept chipping away, but his shot was too close to Garratt and he dropped comfortably to make the save.

A heavy fall for Grainger saw him leave the field of play on the half hour, to be replaced by Macaulay Gillesphey, but United recovered from the blow to play some good football as they tried to pick up the pace. Yates angled a run to pull away from his man and he picked out Devitt in a crowd of players. Hope shouted but his first time punt was right at the keeper.

Fryer stayed big to block with his boot from Bowery as he overlapped and shot from a tight angle, and that sparked a good spell for the away side as they pushed men forward in numbers. Liddle, Gerrard and Parkes all had crosses to deal with.

A spin from Etuhu lifted the crowd at the start of the second period, as he left his man for dead in the centre circle, but it was a frustrating day as passes went astray in the final third.

There was more bad news for United on 51 minutes when Fryer raced off his line to intercept a through ball from Miller. He collided with Green and had to leave the pitch on a stretcher as his team mates and medical staff showed a huge amount of concern. Paul Green went the same way as he also failed to recover.

Both sides started brightly after the delay and Nadesan was about to pull the trigger on a ball over the top when Raynes slid in to make a timely challenge. Crewe broke and Gerrard was excellent as he stretched to hook clear when Bowery tried to find Miller.

Crewe had a good sight of the target when a cross into the box was half cleared. Wintle wrapped his boot round it from 22 yards and substitute stopper Adam Collin had to parry as it swung wildly in the air. Ainley tried to find the corner with a header but Collin was up quickly to make a second save.

It was pace from Ashley Nadesan which put the home side in front when he shrugged off his man to get on to a flick from Bennett as he won the battle for a high ball forward. Nadesan then showed strength and poise to set himself, draw the keeper and find the bottom corner to register his first ever goal at Brunton Park, and his fifth in total for the club.

Chris Porter's first touch late in the game was to thunder a 12-yard header over the bar, but United should have put the game out of sight as Devitt lofted a beauty of a pass into Hope's path. The keeper was off his line but Hope went for power and slashed it high into the sky.

A deflected Glendon shot brought a corner as eight minutes of added time were announced, and Yates had a thunderbolt blocked as he dropped a shoulder and beat his man to make room for his shot.

Carlisle defended and closed down through the closing stages and they did what had to be done to secure that third consecutive win.

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Goals

Carlisle United - Nadesan (69)

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Bookings

Crewe Alexandra - Ng (47), Green (57)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Fryer (Collin 57), Liddle, Gerrard, Parkes, Grainger (Gillesphey 31), Yates, Devitt, Etuhu, Hope, Bennett, Nadesan (Glendon 79). Subs - G Miller, Slater, Campbell, Adewusi. 

Crewe Alexandra - Garratt, Ng, Raynes, S Miller, Bowery (Porter 84), Ainley, Nolan, Wintle, Green (Jones 57), Kirk (Nicholls 79), Hunt. Subs - Richards, Walker, Lowery, Reilly.

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Referee - Mr Seb Stockbridge

Attendance - 4,238 (251 away fans)


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