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YOUTH: United 1 - 1 Walsall

Result from the Friday afternoon home game

13 December 2019

A recent run of excellent form has seen the young Blues climb to third in the table as they've added goals to their  good performances.

And they were back at home at Creighton on Friday afternoon for a tough meeting with Walsall.

It was a tight encounter, and both sides created chances that could have won the game, but in the end they had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Carlisle stopper Isaac Robinson was called into action with just 52 seconds on the clock when a thunderbolt came in from the edge of the box. He got down well to deal with it.

But it was United who took the lead when Charlie Birch curled a corner delivery at the front post area. Liam Lightfoot ran across his man and his lively movement was enough to distract the keeper as he found himself rooted to the spot. The ball sped unhindered into the net as Birch started his celebrations.

Walsall had appeals for a penalty turned down as they tried to build up a head of steam with two volleys in quick succession inside the area. The referee ignored the shouts, and the corner delivery was half-cleared by Day as red shirts converged. Another snapshot whistled through legs but Robinson was comfortable as he watched it go wide.

The midfield area became congested but Barnes showed alertness when he stepped forward to take control of a kick from the keeper. He had options in support but he went for an early strike and his effort was blocked.

Openings were exchanged as Robinson gathered a low, firm 23-yard free kick at one end, and Day headed high when he got on the end of a cross at the other, but it was the hosts who thought they'done enough just before the break when Major touched the ball for Armstrong to chase. He showed good strength to get into a shooting position but the keeper spread himself to make an excellent save at his near post.

Armstrong tested the keeper with another long-range effort as the game got back under way, and the Saddlers were a whisker away when a clipped free kick was met at the near post by an intelligent run. The slightest of touches took it just over the angle of post and bar. 

That sparked a good spell for the away side and a low volley was sent into the side netting as space was found. Robinson did well to block twice in the follow-up, and he was at his best when he tipped a fierce effort over the target as it dipped late on its way into the back of the net.

The equaliser came with 15 minutes left to play when the ball dropped on the penalty spot as the home defence appeared to have dealt with an inswinging corner. A crunching drive took a wicked deflection and Robinson had no chance as it spun over his head and over the line.

Carlisle looked the more likely to take the points through the closing stages, as they upped the pace of the game, and Armstrong was unlucky when he curled a beauty of a free kick round the wall. The keeper got there just in time to beat it away.

And Day met another good delivery with a thumping header which had just too much on it as it whipped the wrong side of the upright.

United - Robinson, Barnes, Wilson, Day, Leslie, Walton, Lightfoot, Armstrong, Birch (Soper 46), Major (Swailes 63), Bell. Subs - Steele, Rooks.

Goal - Birch (9)

Booking - Swailes (83)

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