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CUMBERLAND CUP: United 3 - 0 Bransty Rangers

Report from the semi-final tie

19 March 2019

United played their home Cumberland Cup semi-final tie against Bransty Rangers at Frenchfield Park on Tuesday night - home of Penrith AFC.

First team keeper Louis Gray and popular midfielder Jason Kennedy were in the starting line-up alongside first and second year scholars which included 16-year-old defender Jarrad Branthwaite, the most recent to graduate and make it through to a professional contract. 

Bransty created the first chance of the night when Adam Smith got on the end of a good move 30-yards from the target. He put his boot through a shot but it was always heading wide.

Carlisle started to edge on top as the minutes ticked on and Casson and Galloway found a way through the stubborn defence as they exchanged passes in midfield. Brockbank called for it but his shot was deflected and that made the save easy for Brady to make.

Casson and Charters tried their luck from distance as Rangers kept things tight, and Kennedy had a shot on the spin which had Brady concerned. McCann got his leg in the way and the stopper was able to gather it up.

The Blues took the lead ahead of the break when a touch from Kerr sent Charters clean through. Brady raced off his line to make an excellent initial save but Charters kept his eye on the loose pieces before stroking it into the empty net.

United doubled their advantage when Charters missed his kick as Kelly rasped a great free kick into the mix. The ball spun free and Keighran Kerr pounced first to volley it into the bottom corner.

And it got even better for the home side on the stroke of half time when when a short corner routine left Galloway in space. He unleashed a thunderbolt of a drive from the angle of the box and Brady had no chance as it skimmed off a defensive head and into the roof of the net.

Bransty defender Liam O'Pray felt he should have done better when he lost his man to get a head to a corner early in the second period. He got plenty of power on his effort but he could only direct it wide.

Keeper Jamie Brady parried a stinging piledriver from Charters as the game opened up, and Galloway was denied what appeared to be a certain penalty when he fell to the floor inside the area following a positive run. The referee took a look but waved play on.

Carlisle looked the more likely as the game wore and both Brockbank and Lightfoot had goal bound shots blocked just as they were set to celebrate.

A very quiet spell was punctuated with just 10 minutes left to play when Lightfoot got on the end of a corner just four yards out. His header was a thumper but he somehow sent it over the bar.

Louis Gray was called into action late in the day when Louis O'Pray volleyed instinctively for the top corner. A firm hand and an acrobatic dive produced a superb save.

A late flurry from Rangers brought a corner and a goalmouth scramble, but it was job done for the Blues as they booked their place in the final.

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Goals

Carlisle United - Charters (37), Kerr (39), Galloway (45)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Gray, Kelly (Soper 74), Lightfoot, Branthwaite, Brockbank, Birch (Papa 62), Kennedy, Casson (Barnes 70), Galloway, Charters, Kerr. Subs - Ward, Armstrong.

Bransty Rangers - Brady, McCann, L O'Pray, B O'Pray, T Smith, Garroway, Callan, S O'Pray (Fisher 70), Thursby, Sim (Relph 54), A Smith (Dobinson 86). Subs - McGuinness, Graham.

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Referee - Mr Kevin Mulraine

Attendance - 160


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