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RESERVES: Sunderland 3 - 0 United

Summary of the Tuesday afternoon reserve game

26 February 2019

United's second reserve game of the month was a trip to the north east to face a strong Sunderland side.

A mix of experience, youth and trialists for the visitors gave a decent Black Cats outfit a good test, with the teams locked at 0-0 as they headed into the half time break.

The Blues ended the game with six scholars on the pitch, a great learning experience for first and second years alike as they pitted their wits against the League One promotion chasers.

First team coach Paul Murray said: "Although we lost 3-0 we’re quite pleased because we've played well against a very strong team.

"The team they had out was unbelievable but we kept them quiet for 65 minutes and we did really well shape wise. 

“They probably had 90% of the ball but they couldn’t break us down, so I was really pleased with the work we put in and the shape the lads kept.

"Louis [Gray] had a couple of saves to make in the first half but we should have gone into the break 1-0 up. We had a great chance where Connor [Simpson] had an easy knock down for JK to tap it in, but it didn’t come off." 

“They’ve got a great squad so they played a lot of the players who haven’t been playing for them recently," he continued. "When they scored the first goal you could see our lads were tired because they’d worked really hard up to that point. 

“We finished the game with six of the youth team on the pitch and the effort was there from all of them. Being criticial, there were stages when we needed to show a little bit more in the way of composure, but they had a lot of experience in their squad.

"That came through in the latter stages of the game, which was when they scored their goals. The lads will learn a lot of good lessons. JK got another hour of football and we did a lot of work without the ball, which will be good for him.

"I always ask for maximum effort and commitment and we got that from them all. Like I say, we just needed to add that little bit of composure." 

“It’s a good learning curve for the young lads, especially with the quality of the players they played against," he concluded. "I said to Connor Simpson, in a game like that he might only get the ball five times in a half, because of the team we’re playing against, but he’s got to hold it up four of those five times.

"That was a massive difference in the game. When they got the ball they were keeping it and moving it fast.

"Overall we come away having had a very worthwhile fixture and with plenty of positives. That's the main thing for us to take from it."

Carlisle United - Gray, Kelly, Branthwaite, Grant, Brockbank, Glendon, Kennedy (Charters 60), A Trialist, Eshun (Birch 50), Simpson (Kerr 65), B Trialist. Subs - Ward, Lightfoot.

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