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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Cambridge 1 - 2 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

29 February 2020

Two sides in good form came together at the Abbey Stadium as Cambridge, unbeaten thus far through February, went up against a Carlisle United team who had lost just one of their last eight league outings.

And Storm Jorge, the latest weather front to batter Britain, was defeated despite dumping a significant amount of water on the pitch in the hours leading up to kick off.

Head coach Chris Beech was forced to make one change to the starting eleven, with Harry McKirdy in for the injured Nathan Thomas, and Ryan Loft stepped onto the bench to plug the vacant gap.

United looked lively from the off, with the wind at their backs, and a crossfield pass from Anderton gave Patrick something to chase. His cross was blocked and hooked long and out of the box as the hosts cleared their lines.

A long throw from Alessandra then caused problems when Hayden trapped it and clipped it to McKirdy. He won a corner and he was involved again as the clearance from the delivery came his way. His volley whipped just past Alessandra as he tried to get a touch with his head.

The Abbeymen had half a sight when Carruthers took charge of a 23-yard free kick. He looked for runners, but it caught on a sudden gust of wind and Collin had to show good hands to pull it in.

The Cumbrians thought they'd done the trick on 12 minutes when a lobbed pass over the top brought a fantastic volley from Alessandra, who had pulled off his man at a tight angle. Burton could only parry, and it appeared to be set up for the late arriving Jon Mellish as he streaked into the area. A last-ditch tackle prevented a clean strike and the ball spooned off a toe and bent wickedly past the angle of post and bar.

Cambridge responded with an attack down the right flank which brought a cross from Lambe. Gethin Jones kept his eye on it and he did well to guide it over his own bar.

Excellent football followed from Carlisle, sparked by a run from Patrick which took him past two men on the halfway line. Mellish overlapped, but his first-time cross was cut out at the front stick before the supporting players could make an impact.

The hosts fashioned their first really testing move of the day on 20 minutes when Carruthers and Adeboyejo ran at the heart of the defence. The striker took over as it opened up in front of him but his attempt at finding the bottom corner made it easy for Collin to save.

Carlisle continued to look the more likely and a precise pass from Gethin Jones released McKirdy in the opposition final third. He dropped a shoulder, but his piledriver was blocked. Elliot Watt followed up with a rasping drive which Burton could only touch over the target.

The corner delivery from Watt was excellent, and the ball stuck inside the box as away shirts converged. Lewis Alessandra kept his cool before picking his spot to register his first goal for the club.

And the visitors almost doubled their lead moments later when Mike Jones ran from deep with the ball at his feet. They were suddenly inside the opposition area and Mellish was disappointed when he crunched a thunderous shot over the bar.

Patrick sent another drive wide as the away side continued to dominate, but there was a scramble inside the Carlisle box just before the break when Dunk popped a deep free kick into the box. A trio of blocks were needed as Lambe, Adeboyejo and Taylor tried to send it through bodies, and the mint shirts did well to guide it away.

Cambridge stayed forward, but teasing crosses were dealt with as United took their one-goal advantage into the break.

A superb block from Hayden with just five minutes on the second half clock kept his side in front as he matched Adeboyejo stride for stride. The forward thought he had half a yard until the challenge came in.

Quick thinking from Watt released McKirdy at the other end when he popped a free kick down the wing, but the cut back was sent behind by Taylor before it got into the box.

Watt was heavily involved in what was another good spell from the away side, but he was disappointed when he sent a 22-yard effort beyond the far post as Patrick rolled it into his path.

Mullin gave Collin work to do when he went for it as he spun on the ball 20-yards out. The keeper was well positioned to claim it. 

A free kick for a foul on Dunk gave Cambridge the chance to cross, but it was wasted as Carruthers had a rush of blood to the head with a blazed wild swing which rose high and wide.

Great footwork from Patrick earned him half a yard when United came again, and his cross had purpose until Taylor got his head in the way to take it away from Alessandra.

Carlisle deservedly doubled their lead when Hayden peeled away at the back post to nod a flighted free kick from McKirdy towards Webster. His volley was saved by Burton, but Anderton was on hand to sweep it into the net and celebrate in front of the sizeable away contingent.

Patrick then had a volley saved as the Cumbrians turned the screw, and Charters drilled a 20-yarder high when he found space.

Collin saved at the feet of Mullin as he broke through the back line, with the stopper keen to protect his clean sheet, but the hosts were back in it on 82 minutes when former-Blue Reggie Lambe stayed alert as an initial effort from Darling was saved by Collin. It eventually came out to the midfielder and the keeper could do nothing as it arrowed past him.

Cambridge threw men forward, and a free kick from Roles was a whisker away as it zipped past the post with home players throwing themselves at it.

Collin tipped another decent attempt over the bar in time added on, and the visitors had to deal with set pieces as the clock ticked slowly down, but they deservedly held onto their lead to claim a hard-earned three points.



Cambridge United - Lambe (82)

Carlisle United - Alessandra (27), Anderton (72)



Cambridge United - Roles (78)

Carlisle United - Hayden (59), Webster (63), McKirdy (80), Charters (89), Olomola (90)



Cambridge United - Burton (gk), Knoyle, Taylor (c), Maris, Dunk, Mullin, Darling, Davies (Roles 71), Adeboyejo (Dallas 71), Carruthers, El Mizouni (Lambe 14). Subs - Mitov (gk), Taft, Norville-Williams, Worman.

Carlisle United - Collin (gk)(c), G Jones, Webster, Hayden, Anderton, McKirdy (Bridge 88), M Jones, Watt (Charters 72), Mellish, Alessandra (Olomola 81), Patrick. Subs - Dewhurst (gk), Iredale, Loft, Hunt.


Match officials

Referee - Charles Breakspear
Assistant Referee 1 - Paul Yates
Assistant Referee 2 - David Hunt
Fourth Official - Garry Maskell


Attendance - 4,122 (339 away fans)

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