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RESERVES: Kendal 1 - 4 United

Report from the Wednesday night friendly

12 February 2020

United were at the ST&B Accountants Stadium on Wednesday night for a friendly fixture against BetVictor Northern Premier North West side Kendal Town.

United's team included a mix of first team squad members and youth team players, and trialist Callum Harris, most recently with Real Burgos CF, was also in the starting line up having already spent a number of days training with the club.

The Blues had defending to do early in the piece as Kendal probed down the right flank. Max Hunt and Charlie Barnes made timely tackles, and a drilled shot from distance raised the spirits of the noisy home crowd as it sailed over the bar.

Carlisle started to settle and a good passing movement saw them spread the play from right to left. It eventually came to Charters but he leaned back as he struck his shot and it raised high over the target.

Jon Mellish, who started the game in a midfield berth, saw plenty of the early ball and a clipped pass from him put Birch in space. He tried to find Armstrong at the back stick but the delivery was slightly overhit and the wide man had to watch as it fizzed behind to safety.

United went close to opening the scoring on 14 minutes when they broke with purpose from inside their own half. Harris and Chikukwa were involved in the build up and it was Harris who tried his luck from the edge of the area. It took a heavy deflection and the keeper was able to watch it wide.

The away side took the lead from the corner when Taylor Charters sent his delivery low along the ground. Jon Mellish was completely unmarked and he had the simple task of tapping it over the line from close range.

Carlisle looked confident and Charters unleashed another long range effort after Harris and Chikukwa had once again done the legwork. It had power but it lacked accuracy.

Winger Jamie Armstrong was almost gifted a chance when a moment of miscontrol left him with just the keeper to beat. The ball bobbled off the uneven surface and the moment was gone.

Things quietened down through the remainder of the half but Kendal went close when a high cross looped towards the target. Gray watched closely as it landed on the roof of his net.

And United almost notched again at the other end when Mo Sagaf came away with the ball at his feet on the halfway line. His inch perfect through ball was taken well by Chikukwa but the stopper closed the gap down on the sprint to make the save.

Carlisle pushed again when Barnes overlapped and his first time delivery was met on the volley by Jamie Armstrong. It was heading for the bottom corner until the keeper dived long to make a two-handed parry.

And former-Blues keeper Morgan Bacon was in the way again in time added on for the half when Harris found himself clean through. He kept his shot low but an outstretched boot was enough to prevent the goal.

The away side had the first chance of the second half when Sagaf tussled to regain possession just inside the area. His shot was blocked but it spun across to Harris, who let fly with his right boot. It had plenty behind it but it was always spinning away.

Stopper Marcus Dewhurst showed good hands at the other end when he got himself behind a 25-yard free kick. It bent over the wall but the young keeper had it in his sights from the second it was struck.

Jamie Armstrong and Charlie Barnes had efforts blocked in quick succession as the Blues kept the pressure up, but the hosts were back on terms when Pat Allington cut inside as he worked his way into a shooting position. Dewhurst could do nothing as it angled into the far corner of his nets.

A sliding challenge was needed from Wilson to prevent Kerr from putting his side in the lead, but Bacon had to be at his best at the other end when Chikukwa burst clear for the visitors. The striker appeared to have done everything right but a leaping one-handed touch took it away from the top corner.

United survived a scare with 15 minutes left to play when Kendal sent men forward in numbers. Dewhurst was the man of the moment as he followed up an initial excellent save with fast reactions and a stunning second block. There was a clearance off the line amongst the scramble, with the keeper once again needed when a third follow up header came his way.

It proved to a pivotal moment as the Blues regained the lead following excellent work from Mellish in the centre of the park. He spread it wide to Armstrong, and his touch found Harris with his back to goal and just 12-yards out. He moved his body and picked his spot with a low, rasping drive.

Jon Mellish doubled his tally for the night, and created a two-goal cushion, when he got on the end of a dipping delivery from Leslie. Bacon got hands to the ball but it somehow squirmed through and he was disappointed to see it drop over the line.

Mellish wasn't done there, and he found himself with a hat-trick to his name when he pulled off his marker with the ball at his feet. A thunderbolt of a shot from a tight angle flew past the keeper and bulged the net.

Chikukwa almost had the last say when he turned on a sixpence before popping it towards the bottom corner. Bacon spotted it early and showed fast feet to make the stop.

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Goals

Kendal Town - Allington (58)

Carlisle United - Mellish (15, 78, 80), Harris (76)

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Team

Carlisle United - Gray (gk) (Dewhurst 46), Barnes, Hunt (c) (Day 76), Knight-Percival (Wilson 46), Mellish, Birch, Sagaf (Leslie 67), Armstrong, Harris, Charters (Lightfoot 46), Chikukwa.

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Referee - Mr Malcolm Bellamy

Attendance - tbc


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