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MATCH REPORT: United 2 - 0 Southend

Report from the Saturday afternoon home game

19 September 2020

United hosted Southend United in their first home league fixture of 2020/21 and it saw the welcome return of 1,000 season ticket holders with the club being chosen, along with six others across the EFL divisions, to stage Covid-19 test events.

An opening day defeat against Harrogate had left the Shrimpers licking their wounds, and Carlisle also had a point to prove following their frustrating result at Cambridge.

United boss Chris Beech made one change from the previous week, with midfielder Dean Furman stepping in for Lewis Alessandra.

Southend kicked off, attacking towards the Warwick, with experienced campaigner Alan McCormack added to their ranks just 24-hours before the game. 

The Blues fashioned a good attack when Patrick robbed possession midway inside the opposition half. Toure took over, and he pulled the ball inside as he reached the edge of the box. Ralph got a boot in the way and Oxley was able to scoop it up.

A low driven free kick from the right flank was the response from the Shrimpers but Anderton stood tall to divert it behind. 

United almost found a way through when McDonald turned the defence with a magnificent crossfield pass. Tanner took a touch and his cut back was blocked at source. Kayode sent a long throw into the mix but the yellow shirts did just about enough to clear the danger.

Hustling from Mellish had Hobson retreating and Patrick pounced to execute a snapshot. It hit Ralph and the moment was gone.

Carlisle stayed forward and Mellish took control of the ball in acres of space. Kayode and Patrick combined, but the delivery was too close to the stopper and he dropped smartly to make his claim.

The Kayode long throw was a useful tool and it had defenders scrambling once again midway through the half. But a kicked clearance from Oxley had the hosts turned and Kelman looked up to spot Hutchinson in support. McDonald did well to put his body in the way.

Southend caused themselves problems of their own making when an underhit backpass from Hobson had Oxley wrongfooted. Kayode was on the chase but the stopper got just enough on it to prevent a clear run at the target.

Carisle were an excellent save away from taking the lead just past the half hour when Kayode launched another throw at the penalty spot. Aaron Hayden did everything right, but Oxley dived high and long to get his hands to it.

A trip on Guy 24-yards out brought United's next opportunity, but the free kick was thwarted by Kelman as he ran out of the wall to get in the way.

Tails were suddenly up and the deftest of touches from Mellish on the halfway line put Guy into space. Patrick immediately sent a beauty of a grasscutter across the face of goal, and Toure had the presence of mind to pull wide to stop it from drifting out. He dropped a shoulder and forced a corner with a bullet of a shot.

Callum Guy took charge of that and it pinged around before eventually sitting up in front of Patrick. He was just outside the area, but he left Oxley with no chance as a deflected rasper skipped into the nets.

The shackles were off and the lead was doubled just three minutes later when a slick through ball from Toure, following a wonderful run from the big forward, sent Kayode on his way. He had people to beat, but he didn't let that bother him as he swept a crisp finish into the bottom corner.

United were reminded that there was still work to do on the stroke of half time when Egbri went for broke from distance. Farman parried it and Hayden ran across to get it away.

Carlisle picked up where they left off at the start of the second period with a corner, industriously won by Toure, which found Kayode on the jump at the back stick. It was a downward header but it was always heading towards the side netting.

A direct run from Goodship at the other end deserved better as he overlapped before angling his pass across the face of goal. McDonald got a vital first touch and Tanner did the rest.

The Cumbrians were denied a third when yet another long throw from Kayode was flicked by Hayden. Anderton had just Oxley to beat, but the keeper somehow got there to beat it away. The offside flag went up as United tried to make the loose pieces count.

Hayden popped a header wide as the Cumbrians continued to threaten from set pieces, and Toure sprinted after what appeared to be a lost cause as Hobson dallied inside his own box. Mellish called for it but his volley was wild.

More determination, this time from Anderton, saw him steal it off Bwomono before racing towards the target. He disguised his pass to Mellish and the midfielder was a whisker away as he clipped a first-time effort over the bar.

There was some very good football on display from the blue shirts as their combinations and passing movements came off, with Toure and Guy at the heart of much of the forward play. Supported by energy and neatness from Patrick and Kayode, it kept the heavily worked Southend back line busy.

Wide man Egbri didn't give up for the Shrimpers, but his attempts at picking the lock rarely found anything of purchase.

Substitute Lewis Alessandra brought the crowd to its feet with a thumping shot on the spin as the game settled into one of comfortable possession for the Blues. The keeper was rooted to the spot and mightily relieved to see it flash past the angle of post and bar.

There was real quality on show from Oxley between the uprights on 75 minutes when he twisted his body to pull off a fine one-handed save from a Hayden header. The ball was behind him when he got his palm to it and the big centre back had already turned away in readiness to start his celebrations.

Furman then sent one straight at Oxley, as he lost his footing at the optimum moment when he struck his shot, and Toure's last contribution was to have a header cleared off the line as he reacted first to a dipping inswinger.

A link up between Alessandra and Anderton took the skipper to the byline late in the afternoon, but his cut back was cut out as Reilly cut across to make it his.

And a perfect defence splitter from Furman had Reilly on the twist in time added on, but the Shrimpers gratefully cleared their lines as they accepted their fate.



Carlisle United - Patrick (36), Kayode (39)



Carlisle United - Anderton (16)



Carlisle United - Farman, Tanner, Hayden, McDonald, Anderton (c), Mellish (Alessandra 70), Furman, Guy, Toure (Reilly 84), Kayode, Patrick (Walker 74). Subs - Dewhurst (gk), Devine, Hunt, Riley.

Southend United - Oxley (c), Bwomono, Ralph, McCormack (Gard 60), Hobson, Green, Goodship (Kinali 81), Egbri, Hutchinson, Taylor, Kelman (Clifford 71). Subs - Seaden (gk), Phillips, Rush. 


Match officials

Referee - Graham Salisbury
Assistant Referee 1 - Mark Cunliffe
Assistant Referee 2 - Graeme Fyvie
Fourth Official - Andrew Miller


Attendance - 1,000

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