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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 1 - 0 Stags

Report from the Tuesday evening home game

15 December 2020

A second home game in the space of four days saw the Blues host Mansfield Town at Brunton Park on Tuesday night.

The home side were looking to make it four consecutive league wins and to continue their impressive run - a run which has taken them into the automatic promotion places at this early stage of the campaign. 

Joe Riley, fresh from scoring his first ever senior goal on Saturday, was back into the first eleven's line up with Jack Armer also drafted in to make his first league start for the club. Danny Devine and George Tanner were the injured duo replaced. 

The Stags were first to attack as they came at the Warwick Road End in numbers down the right flank. Lapslie won a corner but it was well defended and United cleared their lines.

A free kick was awarded tight by the touchline when Armer got too close to Bowery, but the Benning outswinger was dealt with by Guy at the front stick.

The visitors stayed forward and Clarke sprinted through when a clearance from Hayden was stopped by Lapslie in the middle of the park. The midfielder angled his run but his shot from his left boot was always heading wide.

Carlisle responded with a quick move down the right wing when Guy robbed possession with a superbly timed challenge. He found Alessandra, and his ripped pass was touched by Kayode as he turned his man on the penalty spot. His shot was blocked and it spun just wide of the target.

A 23-yard free kick was awarded at the other end and set piece specialist Mal Benning appeared to take control as he placed the ball in readiness for the strike. It was a double bluff as Maris took over, but his attempt was deflected high by the wall.

Keeper Paul Farman turned defence into attack with a ranging kick from his gloves and Sweeney had to guide it behind before Alessandra could do anything with it.

United almost picked the lock when tenacity from Riley saw him retrieve possession before sending Alessandra on a run. He bypassed the back line with a clipped through ball, and Patrick was on the overlap to cut it back. Mellish had made a move but it was swept away before he could finish it off.

Unbelievable defending from Sweeney prevented a certain goal on 16 minutes when Patrick sparked a move as he won the ball in his own half. It was fed to Alessandra, and his intelligent through ball left Riley with just Stech to beat. The keeper was taken out of it by a powerful volley but the Stags centre back somehow got there to make a stunning clearance off the line.

Farman had to tip a cross that turned into a shot from Lapslie over the bar as he found himself back tracking, but Alessandra was alert from the resulting corner and he went on a break. Patrick was with him, and the forward appeared to have done everything right as he wound his way into a shooting position. It had power, but it hit Kayode on the back sparing the stopper from some lively work.

Time seemed to stand still on 27 minutes when a corner from Guy spun up off a defender. It bounced and twisted for an age inside the six-yard area as both Hayden and Bennett tried to get a boot on it. The stopwatch was eventually restarted and Benning wafted it away.

Patrick sent an effort from distance right at Stech as both teams played their part in a lively encounter, and the forward was immediately back to help out with the breaking up of an away attack as yellow shirts flooded the home area.

Callum Guy wasn't too far away when he charged down a clearance 25-yards out. He set himself to shoot as he took control of the loose ball and Stech was relieved to see it bullet past the post.

Good work from Mellish saw him bring Patrick into play 23-yards out, as United picked up the pace, but an outsretched toe from Sweeney was enough to bend his attempt away for a corner. There were loud screams for handball as Anderton recovered it with a cross, but referee Peter Wright showed no interest.

The Blues took the lead just before half time with what can only be described as a stunning goal. Jack Armer marked his first league start with a telling through ball and Omari Patrick initailly trapped the ball with a perfect first touch and with his back to the target. He took everyone by surprise with his second touch - a crisp volley on the turn which whistled its way into the back of the net.

Jon Mellish found the side netting when a back heel from Alessandra invited him to go for it from a tight angle, but that was that for the first period as the Blues took their one-goal advantage into the break.

A flurry of shots came from Alessandra and Kayode at the start of the second period but the first two efforts were blocked, with United's number nine off balance as he miscued his second volley into the stands.

Pace and power from Anderton saw him sprint 40-yards with Charsley in his wake. His cross was cut out, and Mansfield responded with a good pass from Benning to Reid. He rolled it back for Lapslie to strike, but Hayden closed it down.

Skill you needed to see to believe came from Alessandra on 50 minutes when he dragged the ball back, spun it on his heel and left two markers for dead inside his own half. He was able to relieve the pressure as he sent Patrick up the right flank.

Confidence seemed to flow through the home side as they tried all kinds of tricks, and Riley wasn't afraid to shoot when the ball came his way. It hit a thigh and curled away to safety.

The Stags attacked with Reid in space on 55 minutes and a low cross bounced for Bowery to strike. He caught it well but a solid block was made.

Riley was almost the man of the moment again when Armer nudged a pass his way. He was at distance, but he dropped a shoulder before letting it go. Stech had to dive low to make the two-handed save.

A heavy challenge from Clarke on Kayode caused concern, and he was booked, as was Bennett as the home team vented their frustration.

The decibel levels were lifted and Patrick looked for glory again as he angled a run past his man. His shot touched Sweeney and bulged the side of the net.

Riley had another stinger deflected wide, and a run from Mellish kept the pressure on as he strode into the box. He pulled it back, but Riley had yet another instinctive fizzer beaten away.

Another great home move was sparked when Anderton went on a run tight by the touchline. He found Mellish, and he dug deep to take two out before pulling it back. Riley was there again, but another block meant he was thwarted. 

Substitute Gime Toure curled a long range punt at Stech as the clock ticked down, and United had to work hard through the closing stages to protect their goal.

They did just that and the winning run was extended to four, with three of those victories complemented by clean sheets, with the Cumbrians receiving another huge ovation as soon as the final whistle blew.



Carlisle United - Patrick (39)



Carlisle United - Hayden (26), Bennett (65), Guy (68), Farman (70), Riley (87)

Mansfield Town - Clarke (65)



Carlisle United - Farman, Armer, Hayden, Bennett, Anderton (c), Riley (Furman 88), Guy, Mellish, Patrick (Toure 79), Alessandra (Reilly 90), Kayode. Subs - Dewhurst (gk), Hunt, Dixon, Obiero.

Mansfield Town - Stech, Benning, Sweeney, Rawson, Charsley, Clarke (c), Bowery, Maris (Cook 68), Gordon, Reid (Sinclair 79), Lapslie. Subs - Stone (gk), O'Keefe, Menayese, O'Driscoll, McLaughlin.


Match officials

Referee - Peter Wright
Assistant Referee 1 - Barry Gordon
Assistant Referee 2 - Chris Isherwood
Fourth Official - Andy Haines


Attendance - 2,000

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