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MATCH REPORT: United 1 - 1 Swindon

Report from the Saturday afternoon home game

8 February 2020

Carlisle welcomed table-topping Swindon Town to Brunton Park on Saturday afternoon as they returned to home soil for their latest league fixture.

Boss Chris Beech made two changes to the starting eleven from last weekend's away game at Mansfield with Callum Guy and Harry McKirdy in for Jack Bridge and the injured Josh Kayode.

United started well, with set pieces from Thomas and Watt testing the defence, and defender Byron Webster found himself with an unexpected chance when a half clearance fell on his boot 25-yards out. He connected with a crisp volley but it sailed over the bar.

Huge kicks from Collin had Benda concerned as the away keeper was left to judge the flight and bounce, and he also had the sun in his eyes as he looked towards the Warwick Road End and the bright cloud cover. His centre backs converged on both occasions to help him out.

But it was Swindon who took the lead when a corner hung on the wind before swirling into the box. Edmonds-Green threw a hopeful boot at it, and the luck went his way as it rebounded back off a blue shirt right in front of him. He instinctively volleyed it, and Thomas did what he could to try to stop it from crossing the line. The home wide man was frustrated to see the ball drop down and into the bottom corner.

Carlisle had defending to do on 23 minutes when a near post header from another whipped corner from Doughty rose high into the air. Doyle let fly with a rasper, which Thomas blocked, but the loose ball was picked up by Jaiyesimi who dropped a shoulder and went past his man. Collin did well to stretch his leg and make a save with his boot as the low attempt flew through bodies.

United sprung into life and a raking, crossfield pass was taken on the chest by Alessandra inside the area. He was winding up for the shot but Benda was out quickly to hook it to safety.

Midfielder Mike Jones was next to have a go when he was left in acres of space on the edge of the box. He turned quickly and shot on the spin but the stopper got in the way.

Even better came from the away keeper when Thomas surged through the middle third before picking out McKirdy, who controlled excellently with his instep as he pulled wide of his marker. A blistering toe poke was on target but a firm hand parried it away.

It was a good spell for the Blues and Callum Guy ghosted past two to make room for an 18-yard drive. It had power, but it was always heading wide.

A 22-yard free kick from Watt hit the wall and fizzed behind for a corner, and a good passing move eventually brought an inswinging cross from Thomas, which Benda was happy to watch as it angled by.

Winger Harry McKirdy had to leave the pitch on the stroke of half time as he failed to shrug off the after-effects of an earlier challenge, and he was replaced by new arrival Omari Patrick, who made his senior debut for the club.

Former-Blue Hallam Hope had half a sight in time added on for the period when Doyle delivered a low cross into the area. The forward had his back to goal and the attempted drag back bounced off his boot for Hayden to clear.

Swindon captain Michael Doughty clipped a 25-yard wind assisted free kick over the bar at the start of the second half, but the weather started to have a real impact on the quality on show as the wind pick up its ferocity.

Kicking into the wind tunnel made life hard for the Blues, but they fashioned a chance just past the hour when Guy overlapped and crossed early. Alessandra was ready to strike but Grant got in the way before he could find his touch.

A duo of corners followed and the hosts got back on level terms when Aaron Hayden made a Thomas dipper his own. Benda could do nothing as a precise header hit the underside of the bar and bulged the back of the net.

And the Blues were almost in front when a throw from Alessandra was flicked by Hayden. Benda saw it late but he got down in time to scoop it up.

Up at the other end and a back heel from Jaiyesimi found Muskwe on the move. The substitute wrapped his boot round a shot but Collin had closed the gap and he was able to palm it wide.

A run from Jerry Yates on 75 minutes took him past two and his pull back to Doyle invited a strike. It was a thunderbolt and Collin did well to tip it over the bar.

Carlisle were close again when Gethin Jones sent a beauty of a cross into the mix. Guy launched himself at it but solid defending meant the moment was gone.

The sides slugged it out through the closing stages, and United almost got their winner when Thomas ran from his own half before sending it low. Blue shirts were in support but it was Hunt who got in the way.

A spill from Benda from a Thomas corner had the crowd interested in time added on, but Swindon saw it clear just in the nick of time.

There was more appreciative applause from the home crowd when the final whistle blew as the unbeaten run extended to five games, and as another committed display was recognised.



Carlisle United - Hayden (62)

Swindon Town - Edmonds-Green (11)



Carlisle United - Collin (gk)(c), G Jones, Webster, Hayden, Anderton, Thomas, M Jones, Guy (Charters 84), Watt, McKirdy (Patrick 45), Alessandra (Bridge 78). Subs - Gray, Iredale, Loft, Hunt.

Swindon Town - Benda (gk), Fryers, Yates, Doughty (c), Hunt, Jaiyesimi (Isgrove 90), Doyle (Woolery 90), Caddis, Grant, Edmonds-Green, Hope (Muskwe 65). Subs - McCormick (gk), Broadbent, Palmer, Lyden.


Match officials

Referee - Graham Salisbury
Assistant Referee 1 - Graeme Fyvie
Assistant Referee 2 - David Plowright
Fourth Official - Andrew Miller


Attendance - 4,620 (531 away fans)

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