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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 2 - 1 Vale

Report from the Tuesday evening league game

21 August 2018

It was the first of two back-to-back home games for the Blues on Tuesday night as they welcomed Neil Aspin's Port Vale side to Brunton Park, and a determined performance resulted in back-to-back wins as the hosts saw it through despite a late revival from their visitors

Fresh from their first victory of the campaign at Cheltenham at the weekend, they went into the game in confident mood with improved home form high on the agenda for this season's campaign.

The visit of the Valiants brought a return to Carlisle for Blues favourite Luke Joyce who enjoyed two excellent spells in Cumbria in his midfield berth earlier in his career, the most recent coming to a close just three months ago.

United were on the front-foot from the off and they almost took the lead when a Devitt corner was met on the full by Bennett. His header was going in until Brown tipped it over the bar. 

A string of three more corners followed in quick succession but Vale guarded their lines as Bennett, Devitt and Yates threatened.

Hope was next to cause problems when he cut his run inside from the left flank. He went for the shot from 25-yards but Yates was in the way and his intervention took the bullet away from the target.

A clipped pass forward from Gerrard was flicked on by Devitt on the edge of the box as the pressure levels stayed high, and Nadesan sprinted across to try to get a touch. Brown was off his line quickly to smother the danger.

Great distribution from Fryer allowed Yates to get forward at pace but his direct run was cut short when the back line closed ranks. 

It was all about the home side in the opening minutes and Hope won another corner when his cross was blocked as he tried to get round his man. Bennett was pulled up for climbing on his marker as the high delivery came in.

A shot from Hannant went well wide at the other end, when he was picked out by Dodds, and Gerrard was brave when he bent low to clear a cross from the dangerous wide man as the visitors tried to get a foothold in the game.

The Blues kept tapping at the door, with a swiped shot from Hope which went over the bar and a drilled cross from Bennett that bent too close to Brown, but Fryer still had work to do when he plucked a measured volley from the edge of the area out of the night sky.

A free kick from Grainger was put behind before Bennett could connect, with Carlisle attacking at every opportunity, and the captain had his follow-up corner put behind as Parkes jumped to greet it. 

The good home work was nearly undone when Vale broke at pace with Hannant in acres of space. He took a touch and went for the far corner and Fryer was relieved to see it edge past his upright as it whipped along the floor.

United thought they'd finally picked the lock when a lovely, quick passage of play left Etuhu with a sight of the target. His shot hit Rowlandson and spun agonisingly just past the post with Brown well beaten.

The corner delivery saw Parkes pushed to the floor by Rowlandson and referee Ben Toner had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Danny Grainger placed the ball and he opened his account for the campaign with a sweetly struck spot kick.

The Valiants threw men forward immediately after the restart and Bennett had to put it behind as a free kick angled in at the back stick. The resulting set piece was rolled short to Joyce but he couldn't keep his punt down and it flew over the bar.

A Bennett header from a Devitt free kick looped high onto the roof of the net when he peeled away into space just before the break, and Nadesan appeared to have done everything right as he latched onto a poor back pass right in front of goal. He held it up, drew the keeper, but was thwarted by a block on the line by Legge just as it appeared that he was opening his Brunton Park account.

Vale were wasteful again when Joyce dragged another shot from distance into the advertising hoardings, and United slowed things down as they took their one goal advantage into the half time dressing room.

Carlisle survived an early scare at the start of the second period when a curled pass was diverted over the bar. They regrouped and cut forward with a lovely pass from Devitt, following strong work from Etuhu. Nadesan took it on, and he found Yates on the overlap on the right hand edge of the box. He dropped a shoulder and went for the top corner but it flashed an inch over the woodwork.

The visitors had more to say going forward and substitute Cristiano Montano was disappointed with himself when he sent a shot too close to Fryer. Miller then had a header blocked by Liddle and the hosts were let off the hook when Pope got on the end of a superb delivery just four yards out. His header had power but he somehow guided it into the Waterworks End.

A quickly taken throw caused another nervous moment as Miller suddenly found himself with time and space. He was at an angle, 12-yards out, and he miscued what turned into a poor effort. He was better moments later when he put his boot through a long range swipe, but Fryer stepped across to take it into his gloves.

It was good pressure from the visitors and a hopeful high ball had to be guided behind by Gerrard as Vale's big men lurked. Etuhu tried to relieve some of the mounting tension when he called for the ball in midfield. He stepped forward and caught it on the full, but Brown was comfortable in the save. 

A Carlisle break came to nothing when Hope scuffed his cross straight at Brown, following a direct run from Yates, and Etuhu skied one as Devitt made more space on the edge of the area.

Etuhu had his shooting boots on and he wasn't too far away when he took a lovely touch before winding his way past his man. His 22-yard crunch had power but it whisked just over the woodwork.

The improved home spell had Brown saving at full length from Devitt as he went for the top corner from the 'D' and Etuhu was there again with a beauty that needed another acrobatic save from the stopper to prevent him from finding the back of the net.

United were rewarded for their increased tempo when Tom Parkes stood strong to smash a firm header past Brown as he got on the end of Devitt's corner.

Striker Richie Bennett was close when he shot over late in the day, and Vale gave themselves a late lifeline when Hannant scored a superb free kick from distance. He struck it perfectly and Fryer had no chance.

A pull back from Glendon went behind everybody inside the area in time added on, and that allowed Vale to break, but the Cumbrians saw it through to claim their first home victory of the campaign.

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Goals

Carlisle United - Grainger (30 pen), Parkes (84)

Port Vale - Hannant (88)

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Bookings

Port Vale - Legge (40), Clark (64)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Fryer, Liddle, Gerrard, Parkes, Grainger, Yates, Devitt, Etuhu, Hope, Bennett, Nadesan (Glendon 58). Subs - Collin, G Miller, Gillesphey, Slater, Campbell, Adewusi.

Port Vale - Brown, Joyce, Legge, Kay (Quigley 85), Pope, R Miller (Worrall 69), Hannant, Rawlinson, Smith, Dodds (Montano 46), Clark. Subs - Hornby, Gibbons, Tonge, Vassell.

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Referee - Ben Toner

Attendance - 3,688 (175 away fans)


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