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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: Harrogate come to Brunton Park for the first time

Saturday afternoon back on our own turf

23 April 2021

Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: Harrogate come to Brunton Park for the first time

Saturday afternoon back on our own turf

23 April 2021

This is the first time these teams have met at Brunton Park, with Harrogate making club history last season when they marched their way into the National League play-offs to give Notts County a bloody nose in the final, having battled past Boreham Wood in the semis.


Life in the EFL got off to a flying start under the tutelage of Simon Weaver and Paul Thirlwell, with five of their opening seven league fixtures going their way.

A televised away win at Bradford early in the piece had everybody sitting up to take notice as the Town steamed their way to a comfortable 1-0 win.

November brought a couple of speed bumps, with boss Weaver isolated for 14 days with coronavirus.

But the Sulphurites more than found their feet, albeit without quite managing to find their way into the upper reaches of the division for a sustained period of time.

In a bizarre twist to the first ever meeting between these clubs at Wetherby Road, at the end of December, cold weather proved to be too much as the pitch hardened through the warm up, and into the start of the game.

Referee Martin Coy had to put safety first, and the match was abandoned with just eight minutes played. The game was rescheduled for 12 January, but a major power outage in the area brought an eventual cancellation, at around about 8pm on the tonight.

The game was finally played out in the middle of February - and that feels almost a lifetime ago!


Harrogate currently occupy 17th spot with 53 points.

Hence they are out of the reach of the bottom two places, but also sit too far adrift of the play-off places to have any impact, even if they secure victories in their remaining three outings.

They can, however, have an impact on what happens up there with games against pace-setters Cambridge and Cheltenham to follow their meeting with us.

The month of May will also see them finally get to play their FA Trophy final against Concord Rangers, with the pandemic having delayed that for almost a year. 

April has proved to be a difficult month so far with just one win from six games played. That came against Yorkshire rivals Bradford, but they were back down to earth with a bump on Tuesday night when Oldham cruised to a 3-0 victory at their expense.

With just eight draws from their 43 league games they tend to either win or lose, so it should be another entertaining encounter.

who watch

We highlighted Jack Muldoon as the one to watch way back in December, and we see no reason to change that assessment now.

13 goals and five assists from 44 games played suggests a player who can be a threat, be that through scoring goals or bringing others into play.

Former-United academy product Mark Beck is likely to feature at some stage, and he's another who, as we know, can be a real handful.

And, of course, we also meet Paul Thirlwell once again. The assistant boss will be in the dugout, but there's no doubt he'll be looking out across the familiar turf and reminisicing about some of his whopping 265 appearances for the Blues.

The vast majority of those games were with the captain's armband on his sleeve - a role for which he gained a huge amount of respect through his near nine-year stay in Cumbria.

Welcome back Mr Thirlwell.


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Harrogate currently hold the bragging rights from our only meeting with a Josh March penalty in the first half of the game in February 2020 enough to earn the Sulphurites their win.

Watch the highlights from that game here:


Referee - Christopher Sarginson
Assistant Referee 1 - Scott Williams
Assistant Referee 2 - Richard Bartlett
Fourth Official - Martin Woods
Observer - Brian Parry

Chris SarginsonThe referee for this game is Mr Chris Sarginson.

He has taken charge of 30 games so far this season showing 76 yellow cards and three reds.

Chris was at Brunton Park in March 2021 for our 1-1 home draw with Grimsby. Offrande Zanzala bagged a dramatic late equaliser and Aaron Hayden was only Carlisle booking on the day.

Prior to that, we have to go back to April 2019 for our last game with Mr Sarginson, and that was an action packed 3-2 home victory over Bury. Jamie Devitt, Callum O'Hare and Hallam Hope scored the goals, and the Blues saw the victory through despite Mike Jones having received his marching orders on the stroke of half time.

He was also at Brunton Park for our November 2018 victory over Newport. Early goals from Jamie Devitt put Carlisle in the driving seat, but a late Butler strike levelled things up following a first half reply from padraig Amond. Danny Grainger snatched the last minute winner with a goal of the month volley to keep the points in Cumbria, and his was the only name taken on the day.

We saw him three times last season, with our first meeting with him for our Tuesday night away game at Luton last November. The home side scored twice in the first half and once after the break to take a 3-0 win, and Hallam Hope, Luke Joyce and Danny Grainger had their names taken for the Blues.

He was here at Brunton Park in January when a first goal for the club for Sam Cosgrove earned us a 1-0 victory over Crewe. Richie Bennett's name was the only one taken for the home side that day.

The last time we met was for our February away day in Barnet. The Bees took the lead just after the break but Ashley Nadesan [2] and Richie Bennett [1] came off the bench to change the game and make sure United went away with a valuable three points. Richie Bennett also went in the book late in the game.


This is a behind closed doors fixture. 

Please see above for details on how to purchase a live streaming match pass to see all of the action on iFollow.

Alternatively click HERE to go directly to our iFollow United information page where you can also purchase your match pass - match passes cost £10 per game.

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