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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Stevenage 0 - 0 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

20 January 2018

United were at the Lamex Stadium on Saturday afternoon as they made a return to League Two action following their midweek trip to Hillsborough in the Emirates FA Cup.

And the sides battled their way to a goalless draw with United arguably creating the better of the chances through what was a very tight encounter.

Things started at a fast pace and Pett did well as he broke clear and crossed low. It was a good delivery but Liddle was there to guide it away to safety.

Carlisle responded well with a long ball forward from Liddle which found Cosgrove with his back to goal. A nod down from him invited Bennett to race in, but Henry stepped across to hook it clear.

The Cumbrians won possession from the clearance and Bennett pulled wide to take control. It was a tight angle and his fizzed shot was grasped by King.

Boro were the next to provide a test when Newton was played into space by a neat ball from midfield. He was forced wide and he was disappointed to see his pull back bobble harmlessly across the face of goal.

The hosts went close when a quick corner routine caught the Blues flat-footed. Pett was in space and he thought he’d done enough from the Kennedy clip until his glanced header shaved the outside of the upright.

Stevenage pressed the game high and their determined approach almost forced an error as Brown poked the ball towards his own area. Bonham was alert to the danger and he scampered out to make a timely clearance.

United gave as good as they got and a foul on Bennett brought a discussion between Grainger and Devitt as to who would do the honours. It was Jamie Devitt who sent it over the wall and King scrambled, then looked on in relief, as it whisked past the target.

Chances became few and far between through the middle section of the half but the tense spell was broken when Martin took matters into his own hands from distance. His shot glanced off Hill and spun over the bar.

That sparked a better spell for Boro and Bonham had to be alert when an inswinging corner was met by a guided clearance from Hill. His header looped high and dropped nicely for Kennedy to volley. The nippy forward caught it cleanly but the Carlisle stopper skipped across and showed firm hands as it flew through a ruck of bodies.

The best chance of the game fell United’s way on the half hour when Cosgrove showed good control as a dipping clearance came his way. He kept the ball close, fed it to Devitt, and then called for the return as he beat the offside trap. With just King to beat he went for an audacious chip which left the catch an easy one for the relieved keeper to make.

Defender James Brown supported the forward play late in the half and he found himself with half an opening as a weak clearance fell at his feet. He took time to control it, but he couldn’t keep his follow-up volley down.

Carlisle had the last say of the half when Grainger placed the ball on the ground for a 35-yard free kick. He got pace, power and direction on it and King was in action once again as he went full length to parry it away.

Stevenage started brightly after the break, without quite managing to create any clear-cut chances, and a run of corners were well dealt with despite an increase of numbers inside the Carlisle box.

A miscued shot from Brown was easy for King as things stayed tight, and Bonham raced off his line to steal the ball from Godden’s toes as the ball spent most of its time in midfield.

Pett and Godden put teasing crosses into the mix, but it was much to the frustration of the home fans as the ball rolled past or through the advancing strikers on both occasions.

Carlisle started to look the more likely, but shots from Devitt and Cosgrove were blocked at source as the Stevenage back line showed good determination.

Hallam Hope was thrown into the fray with just over 20 minutes to go and his first touch came when he got onto the end of a lovely through ball on the edge of the area. He went for a shot on the run, but King spread himself to make an excellent save.

The better of the play belonged to United and intricate interplay between Brown and Devitt brought a low cross which had three blue shirts interested. A Boro boot got a touch and that was enough to throw the visitors off the scent.

Direct approach play from Jones took him into the box and King fumbled his shot as it came low at the bottom corner. And that was that as half chances were exchanged with neither defence willing to give up their hard-earned share of the spoils.

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Bookings 

Stevenage - Kennedy (31)

Carlisle United - Bennett (24)

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Teams

Stevenage - T King, Smith, Martin (Vancooten 43), J King, Kennedy (Samuel 73), Pett, Newton (Franks 90), Godden, Henry, McKee, Wilmot. Subs - Fryer, Wilkinson, Conlon, Wade-Slater.

Carlisle United - Bonham, Brown, Liddle, Hill, Parkes, Grainger, Joyce, Devitt, Jones, Bennett (Hope 67), Cosgrove (Lambe 76). Subs - Bacon, Nabi, Ellis, O'Sullivan, S Miller.

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Referee - Charles Breakspear

Attendance - 2,476 (361 away fans)


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