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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 2 - 1 Salford

Report from the midweek home game

2 December 2020

United became the first club to welcome fans back following lockdown part two as a monumental effort behind the scenes meant that 2,000 season ticket holders and fans could watch their team in the flesh for the first time since the opening home game of the campaign.

The Blues, of course, had been the last League Two team to play a competitive fixture prior to the first lockdown in March and the first team to kick off a league pilot game in September.

We like a bit of history up north, don't we!

Carlisle had won five of their six home league games leading into the fixture and they were looking to bounce back from the disappointment of an FA Cup exit on Sunday, having taken League One Doncaster close to the wire with another strong performance.

Two changes were made from Sunday's starters, with Devine and Alessandra stepping up for Riley and Toure, and Magnus Norman was back on sub keeper duties.

It was a feisty start, with Callum Guy in the book for a challenge on Andrade with just two minutes on the clock.

Salford sent men forward and Farman had to take care when Touray delivered low. The keeper took the ball off Henderson's toes as the delivery came in.

An error from Hunter gifted Carlisle a corner as the home side settled, and the Guy delivery was dropping for Hayden until Patrick jumped to glance it. Devine recovered it, but Anderton was quickly closed down when he tried to cross.

The Blues stayed forward and strength from Tanner saw him regain possession as Salford tried to push on. It eventually came to Alessandra, but he was disappointed as he delayed his pass only to miscue a punt behind the target.

Another home corner was won when a ball over the top from Tanner was sliced behind. Kayode made first contact, and Hayden was disappointed as he arrived late only to pop a header over the bar.

An excellent move in the middle of the park involving Anderton and Devine saw the latter keep his balance to put Patrick on the overlap. A clipped pass had just too much on it for Alessandra and Lowe was able to clear.

United came again and a hacked clearance from Eastham only went as far as the edge of the box. Tanner drilled it low and Bennett got a heel to it, some eight yards out. It lacked power and Hladky dropped on top of it.

The Blues camped forward and an Alessandra volley had to be blocked as he rattled it low and at the nets. A ricochet took it to Devine, via Mellish, but a blistering strike from him whisked just over the bar.

Salford showed as an attacking force when Bernard used space in the middle of the park. Bennett stopped him in his tracks, but Burgess was there to take over. He tried to place it from distance but Farman was happy to watch it bobble past his post.

Defender George Tanner pulled the trigger from distance once again as Carlisle probed, but it angled wide with Hladky ready to make the save.

The fans played their part, with the two thousand easily sounding five times that number as they called for every foul and tackle, and there was loud applause as Devine twice showed trickery to create good moments.

Captain Nick Anderton sent one over as he wrapped a boot around a shot from long range, but the deserved goal came in some style on 33 minutes when a throw was taken quickly.

Alessandra, with plenty still to do, spun on the edge of the box and an unbelievable roar greeted a sweet, left-footed 19-yard finish that left the keeper with no chance as it bulged the nets at the Waterworks End.

There was almost an immediate response when Turnbull got onto an inswinging free kick. His header from inside the penalty area lacked conviction and it bounced well wide.

United reasserted some authority and Guy had one blocked as Tanner and Anderton went on runs that literally left defenders in their wake.

A careful intervention from Bennett, just three yards out and facing his own goal, saw him clear as Armstrong scampered in, and Andrade smashed one into the side netting when he had men in support with the Ammies looking to gain some kind of foothold.

The Blues almost doubled their lead just before the break when Patrick burst away on a run. He crossed early, and Mellish got there with a good connection from an awkwardly bouncing ball. Eastham got in the way of the snapshot and Lowe completed the clearance.

Patrick also went for it in time added on, as he skipped away from a challenge, but Hladky watched it all the way when the shot came through bodies.

Salford started the second period as they had the first, on the attack, but a dipper from Hunter was easy for Farman to take.

Pushing forward Anderton worked hard to keep hold of the ball and he deftly released Patrick on the overlap. Kayode was there as a cross came in but Clarke did just enough to get it clear.

Wonderful work from Kayode tight by the corner flag followed, and that saw him mesmerise two before he twisted away to deliver low. The cross had power and it took Devine by surprise as it smacked his shin. He couldn't react and the ball pinged away to safety.

United were opened up by the Ammies when a patient build up saw Burgess bounce the ball off two before surging clean through. The angle was tight and a toe poke flew wide of the upright.

Another good move from the away side put Armstrong free and clear, and he had three to choose from as he looked up for the cross. Andrade put it over the line but his celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.

The home lead was doubled and the crowd ignited once again when Callum Guy sent a wonderful free kick into the mix. Rhys Bennett had shrugged his marker off and he dived to head in from close range with Hladky left to flap at thin air.

Josh Kayode showed that he was more than up for it as he got his head down, and he beat Clarke and Eastham as he bullied his way into the box. His cut back found Devine, and he touched it on for Mellish to shoot. Armstrong was back for the visitors and he made a vital block.

United thought they'd added another when Tanner steamed in to regain pssession from a half-cleared corner. The right back had bags of time and he used it well to pick a smart cross. It hit Hayden and it was going in until Touray threw himself at it to stop it on the line.

The impressive Danny Devine put one down Hladky's throat as Carlisle played some excellent football, but there was concern for the Blues when Callum Guy left the pitch after a heavy fall.

Farman was secure between the sticks when play restarted, and a two-handed punch relieved pressure when the ball was swung in late in the day. 

Striker Omari Patrick had the sting taken out of his shot when he went for it from distance, and Furman sprayed one over as the clock ticked down. 

Toure guided a header from a Furman free kick at the keeper, but it was to become a nervy finish as Di'shon Bernard got on the end of a cross to head home his first club for Salford as the clock hit the 90th minute.

Another late away effort was rattled wide in time added on, and there were two corners to deal with as the second hand seemed to drag, but Toure missed the chance to settle the nerves with Hladky committed forward. He broke, and had an empty net in front of him, but he popped his 50-yarder the wrong side of the post.

That was it for chances and the win went the way of the home side.

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Goals

Carlisle United - Alessandra (33), Bennett (56)

Salford City - Bernard (90)

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Bookings

Carlisle United - Guy (2), Mellish (36), Kayode (45), Tanner (66)

Salford City - Touray (64), Bernard (88)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Farman, Tanner, Hayden, Bennett, Anderton (c), Devine, Guy (Furman 75), Mellish, Patrick (Toure 86), Alessandra (Riley 90), Kayode. Subs - Norman (gk), Hunt, Reilly, Dixon.

Salford City - Hladky, Touray, Lowe, Eastham (c), Clarke, Hunter (Dieseruvwe 73), Andrade, Bernard, Burgess, Turnbull (Denny 60), Henderson (Armstrong 21). Subs - Evans (gk), Boyd, Threlkeld, Smith.

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Match officials

Referee - Graham Salisbury
Assistant Referee 1 - Conor Brown
Assistant Referee 2 - Joe Simpson
Fourth Official - Matthew Dicicco

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Attendance - 2,000


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