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CENTRAL LEAGUE CUP: Rochdale 0 - 5 United

Report from the Tuesday afternoon group game

22 December 2020

United played the second of their Central League Cup fixtures against Rochdale at Spotland on Tuesday afternoon, with the fixture reversed as an away game late last week.

And a tight first half saw both teams take their time to settle, with United closing down in numbers every time the Dale tried to build from the back.

Carlisle created the first half chance when Bell found Birch, who had space to cross from the left. It sailed over Obiero and Scott who had made late moves into the area.

An error in midfield from Brierley saw the orange shirts pounce, and Obiero combined with Scott to make a way through. Wade parried the initial effort from the trialist and the back line regrouped to snuff out the danger.

Charters headed wide from a Dixon free kick as things remained tight, and Bell sent a cross wide from deep as he dropped a shoulder when he bent his run from the touchline.

Rochdale struggled to mount anything meaningful, with the offside flag a constant enemy, and the visitors started to find more gaps as they kept possession well.

A run from Obiero gave Charters an invitation, and he shot from distance when he received the pass. It was too close to Wade and he gathered it up.

More good work came from Obiero on the halfway line when he lost his man before feeding it to Furman. A clipped pass from him put Scott into the box and his volley from an angle was battered away by the alert keeper.

It was a short-lived reprieve as Bell looked up to slot a pass through to Scott.following a weak kick from the keeper. The forward was forced away from the nets but he made no mistake as he rolled a neat strike under the advancing glovesman.

The hosts started well after the break and Norman had to save smartly from Tavares when he beat the offside trap to bear down on goal. It was going in until the keeper pulled off a fine block.

A deep corner followed and substitute Keaton Mulvey should have pulled the scores level when he jumped highest to meet it. He got direction but he put it too close to Birch and the defender got enough on it to guide it wide.

United settled into their stride and Charters was close with a dipping 23-yard free kick which angled just wide.

But he got his goal moments later when Birch controlled a long pass on his instep before beating his man to deliver low. The team captain lost his footing, but not his bearings, and he smashed it home from close range.

It was all about the Cumbrians after that and Charters netted again when Fishburn charged down a clearance before slipping it into the mix. A firm connection from the onrushing midfielder sent the ball zipping past the keeper.

Youngster Sam Fishburn curled a good effort just over as the clock ticked down, but he got his reward late in the day when he took a pass confidently on his toe inside the box. He held off a challenge before spinning to sweep it home.

United rounded off a good afternoon with a thunderbolt from Cedwyn Scott which again left Wade flapping at thin air as the ball whisked into the top corner.

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Goals

Carlisle United - Scott (36, 90), Charters (67, 72), Fishburn (85)

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Bookings

Rochdale - Beesley (45), Mialkowski (62), Done (69)

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Teams

Rochdale - Wade, Mialkowski (Sutton 80), Dunne, Bradley, Hopper, Beesley (Mulvey 46), Brierley (c), Jesus De Souza, Done (Clarkson 64), Tavares (Thomas 80), Pye. Subs - Charlton.

Carlisle United - Norman, Armstrong, Wilson, McDonald (Barnes 64), Birch, Obiero (Fishburn 69), Dixon, Furman (Lightfoot 56), Charters (c), Bell, Scott. Subs - Simons (gk).

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Referee - Mr Andy Sykes

Attendance - behind closed doors


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