The Blues will be looking to bring more festive cheer on Boxing Day when Oldham Athletic come to town.
The Latics continue to hover in the mid-table slots but, buoyed by a recent 4-2 derby victory over Bury, are most definitely not to be taken lightly.
A solid run of results through November and the early part of December saw them consolidate their position, albeit with a need to change draws into wins as they ran into some stubborn opposition.
Last Saturday saw them host Exeter, and the Latics twice took the lead through the prolific Surridge and an early second half goal from Callum Lang. Ultimately they came out of the game empty handed as Jayden Stockley bagged a hat-trick for the Grecians.
Sam Surridge and Chris O'Grady remain the two danger men to watch - both have notched consistently so far this season. In terms of creating chances, Dan Gardner and Gevaro Nepumuceno have a combined assist tally which is well into double figures.
Manager’s thoughts ...
Speaking ahead of the game, manager John Sheridan said: "We obviously go into it looking to build on what we did in our last home game, and in the way we dug deep at Crawley.
"I've said it a few times now, but home form is vital if you want to achieve anything in this division.
"We want to make this a difficult place to come and if we can repeat that level of performance we know teams won't enjoy coming to Brunton Park to play us.
"Our fans will have had a good day with their families on Christmas Day and we're hoping to give them more to smile about on Boxing Day. Oldham are another team who are a good side on their day, so it won't be easy, and they have players who can use the ball.
"I know a lot of them really well, and they'll be looking to get on a consistent run of their own. We'll go out there to be attack-minded and I know the players will give me work rate and energy.
"We'll compete and hopefully we'll create and take the chances, in exactly the same way as we have in the last two games, to give everyone another exciting afternoon."
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Did You Know?
+ Pine Villa was formed in 1895 but on 4 July 1899 they ceased to exist ... however, there were no tears, because the name was changed and the birth of Oldham Athletic came about.
+ Oldham were founder members of the Premier League back in the 1992/93 season, and stayed in the top flight for three seasons - one campaign in the old First Division, two in the Premier League.
+ Latics fell on hard times and were forced to go into administration in the summer of 2003, but some much-needed financial stability was provided when three American-based businessmen - Simon Blitz, Simon Corney and Danny Gazal - purchased the club the following November.
Head to Head
These sides have met on a total of 81 occasions over the years with the Blues shading it for victories, with 34 compared to 27 for the Latics.
|Carlisle wins||Draws||Oldham wins|
The last meeting between these teams met was in October this season, down at Boundary Park. The Blues deservedly took the lead when Macaulay Gillesphey kept the ball alive at the back post. His header invited Hallam Hope to steam in and apply the finishing touch. Hope turned provider to set up Ashley Nadesan early in the second half, and a wonderful piece of skill from Jack Sowerby wrapped things up just two minutes later. Oldham bagged a consolation with 20 minutes left to play, but there was little else they could do to eat into United's lead.
Watch the highlights of that game here:
Prior to that, our visitors were up here at Brunton Park last season, for an FA Cup first round fixture at the beginning of November.
Oldham lad Richie Bennett bagged a brace and, along with a good finish from Hallam Hope, that was enough to see the Blues through to the next round despite second half goals from Peter Clarke and Aaron Holloway.
Watch the GoPro highlights from that game here:
Rewind another year and we were the guests of the Latics for what turned into an unbelievable game in the Checkatrade Trophy group stages. Billy McKay opened the scoring for the hosts, and it all sparked up from there, to say the least.
Michael Raynes, Tom Miller, Reggie Lambe and Charlie Wyke scored for United (complemented by an own goal from Cameron Burgess) and Darius Osei (2) and Oliver Banks added to the net bulging to bring it to a 5-4 conclusion in favour of the Cumbrians.
There was even time for Macaulay Gillesphey to get sent off along the way.
Watch the highlights from that game here:
Man in the middle:
The referee for this game is Mr Andy Haines. He’s taken charge of 20 games so far this season showing 67 yellow cards and three reds.
He was last at Brunton Park just three months ago for our Checkatrade Trophy group game against Morecambe. A tight game saw the Shrimps twice take the lead through goals from Oliver and Piggott. Glendon and Gillesphey pegged them back for the Blues, and that set it up for Jerry Yates to grab a late winner. There were no United names taken on the night.
We saw Mr Haines twice last season, both a Brunton Park, starting with our opening day fixture against Swindon Town. Luke Joyce scored our only goal in a 2-1 defeat, and Mike Jones was the only Carlisle name taken.
Our second meeting had a much more pleasant outcome as we beat Oldham Athletic 3-2 in the FA Cup. Richie Bennett (2) and Hallam Hope gave us a three goal cushion but there was still time to bite the fingernails as Peter Clarke and Aaron Holloway bit back to make it a nervy ending to the game. There were no Carlisle bookings that afternoon.
Referee - Andy Haines
Assistant Referee 1 - Graeme Fyvie
Assistant Referee 2 - Natalie Aspinall
Fourth Official - Barry Cropp
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