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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 0 - 0 Grimsby

Report from the Saturday afternoon home game

14 December 2019

United hosted their second home game in the space of just five days on Saturday afternoon when the Mariners came to town.

Head coach Chris Beech made just one change from Tuesday night, Harry McKirdy in for Byron Webster [sidelined as he followed the FA concussion protocol], with the team adopting a 4-3-3 formation.

United had the wind at their backs in the first half as they attacked the Waterworks End and Nathan Thomas had an early opportunity to test the keeper when a free kick was awarded 28-yards from goal. He bent it low and round the wall but McKeown got across to claim it.

Hands were on heads at the other end when a deep free kick from the right flank was met by the unmarked Harry Davis. He guided a neat header into the back of the net but the flag was up for offside.

It was a bright start from the away side and Branthwaite had to chop the ball clear as Robson rattled a low cross into the box. It was recovered by Gibson, and his delivery found Hanson on the leap. Collin was beaten but the ball bounced back off the base of the upright and Carroll helped it on its way to safety.

McKirdy turned defence into attack when he latched onto a pass from Scougall halfway inside his own half. He made it into the opposition penalty area but a timely tackle took the ball onto his shin and behind for a goal kick.

Carlisle went close on 19 minutes when Hallam Hope sprung into action on the edge of the box. He dropped a shoulder and went for the shot, but it took a deflection and spun into the side netting. Thomas kept the corner delivery low and Loft sent a touch goalwards as he came under pressure. He was off-balance and the effort went wide.

Striker Hope beat the offside trap to make a wonderful flick from Mike Jones his own and he had McKeown well and truly beaten with a thumping strike from the angle. It smacked off the underside of the bar and Loft was a whisker away from turning it in as he tried to make the rebound count.

A foul on Robson by Carroll gave Grimsby a free kick opening on 28 minutes and it was the away side's turn to hit the woodwork as Robson's attempt spooned off the wall and onto the bar.

Good build up play from the Cumbrians saw Loft hold it up before feeding McKirdy inside the centre circle. He sent it wide to Thomas, and he waited for support as he teased the defenders in front of him. Mike Jones showed for it, and a measured pass invited the shot. The crowd was on its feet but it ran agonisingly just past the post.

Grimsby had luck go their way when Hessenthaler took advantage of two ricochets to leave himself with just Collin to beat. The keeper spread himself to make a save and he reacted quickly to push the loose ball behind as the big man looked to sweep up the pieces.

Teenager Jarrad Branthwaite did well to stop a cross from Robson reaching Hanson as Grimsby came again, and Waterfall nodded the resulting corner high over the target.

Substitute Charlie Vernam came onto the pitch to replace the injured James Hanson a minute before the break, and his eyes lit up as he latched onto an underhit back pass from Carroll. With just Collin to beat he misjudged his first touch as he tried to go past the keeper and he could do nothing as it ran away for a goal kick.

An early chance for Grimsby came in the second half when a kick from Collin was charged down by Robson. Hessenthaler went on the overlap and his driven shot flew across the face of goal with nobody there to add a touch.

The visitors took a more direct approach in their next foray forward as Hessenthaler and Green exchanged passes to create space for Vernam. Collin had positioned himself well and he dropped low to gather it in.

Carlisle had a good attack of their own when McKirdy spun away from a tight situation with his back to goal. Mike Jones swept a crossfield pass to Thomas in the next phase, and the wide man left his man in his wake as he raced towards the box. A shot from the outside of his boot was too close to McKeown.

Safe hands from Adam Collin took care of a bullet of a free kick from Hessenthaler as he tried to use the wind to his advantage, and the keeper plucked a header out of the air from Green after Vernam had overlapped to send a cross into the mix. 

United had Grimsby in a panic when a high corner from Thomas was met by Hayden, but Gibson got there not a moment too soon before Loft could have a go. 

And the Blues stayed forward, with Hope a danger man when he clipped a lovely ball to the back stick. McKirdy met it on the full but his 10-yard volley went high and wide.

Back at the other and and Vernam bundled his way to a tight angle on the right before pinging it past the dive from Collin. The Blues were able to regroup as the shot fizzed just wide.

A swirling free kick delivery from Thomas had Grimsby under pressure again as it was nodded high into the air, but the clearance came just as Hope and Loft looked to get something on it.

Another superb free kick from Thomas gave Loft half a sight when the delivery was nodded down at his feet on the penalty spot. Two defenders converged quickly to put in the block.

The ball wouldn't quite fall for either Thomas or Olomola as Carlisle pushed for a winner in time added on, but another clean sheet meant the unbeaten run under the new boss extended to four games.

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Bookings

Grimsby Town - Robson (10), Green (66), Gibson (75), Wright (80)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Collin (gk) (c), Carroll (Elliott 46), Branthwaite, Hayden, G Jones, M Jones, Scougall (Olomola 79), McKirdy (Sagaf 65), Thomas, Loft, Hope. Subs - Gray (gk), Knight-Percival, Birch, Sorensen. 

Grimsby Town - McKeown (gk) (c), Hendrie, Gibson, Davis, Waterfall, Green (Rose 76), Hessenthaler, Hanson Vernam 44), Robson, Clifton, Wright (Whitehouse 84). Subs - Russell (gk), Ohman, Cardwell, Pollock.

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Match officials

Referee - Marc Edwards
Assistant Referee 1 - Barry Gordon
Assistant Referee 2 - Mark Cunliffe
Fourth Official - James Westgate

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Attendance - 3,653 (217 away fans)


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