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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: United head to Cheltenham

We look ahead to the midweek game

26 April 2021

United know exactly what they have to do as they head to Whaddon Road to face table-toppers Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night.


  Carlisle wins Draws Cheltenham wins
League 10 8 9
FA Cup 0 0 2
Total 10 8 11

The fixture brings to an end a run of what will be 11 consecutive Tuesday night games for United - as gruelling a schedule as the club has ever known - and they know that a win is the best way to keep their play-off hopes alive.

For Cheltenham, a promotion winning season (pretty much guaranteed) also almost brought one of the greatest FA Cup stories in recent memory.

The Robins came within nine minutes of one of the biggest shocks of the year before Manchester City staged a dramatic late rally to crush the dreams of the gallant League Two side.

Cheltenham were some 72 places below City, who were second in the Premier League when they headed to Gloucestershire back in January, and time was running out for Pep and his superstars after Alfie May put the hosts ahead, just before the hour, when a trademark long throw from captain Ben Tozer caused chaos in the box.

Three late goals spared City their blushes, but the home side deserved the accolades they received for their determined performance.


Conor Thomas struck late in the weekend home game against Colchester, and his goal meant that Cheltenham are all-but assured League One football next term due to their superior and impressive +20 goal difference.

They need just one more point, or for results to go their way elsewhere, to make their step up the leagues a reality.

The joint highest number of league wins (23) is backed up by the fewest number of defeats (11) and a mean defence that has conceded just 36 goals this term - so it's little wonder that they also have the title in their sights.

Their last six games have brought them four wins, one draw and one defeat, a run which was much-needed after they'd stuttered their way through March with some unexpected defeats.

Top spot can still go one of three ways, with Cambridge and Bolton hot on the heels, so there's no doubt they'll be looking to take one step closer with this game in hand.

who watch

Club captain Ben Tozer has experience and close to 115 appearances for the club he joined back in the summer of 2018.

He tackles hard and works the middle of the park well, always looking to provide a link.

He also has a huge throw. And it's accurate. And powerful.

There are others with a long throw in their armoury, so it isn't just him, but he's definitely one to watch.


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William Boyle and Conor Thomas (penalty) gave the Robins a two-goal cushion in the first half at Brunton Park in November 2020, but Jon Mellish gave the Blues hope when he pulled one back on the stroke of half time. 

It was nip and tuck for the remainder of the game, but Cheltenham held out to take the points back down the M6.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

The 2019/20 season bragging rights went the way of Cheltenham, as they headed north just before the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown was imposed to register a one-goal victory courtesy of a first-half strike from Reuben Reid.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

The Blues were at Whaddon Road earlier in that campaign, in August 2019, when a certain Mr Gavin Reilly set the home side on the road to victory with an early goal. Luke Varney doubled the lead on the stroke of half time, and that's how it stayed.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

Carlisle United 2 - 0 Cheltenham Town, Saturday 19 January 2019

Cheltenham Town 0 - 1 Carlisle United, Saturday 18 August 2018


Referee - Kevin Johnson
Assistant Referee 1 - Christopher Husband
Assistant Referee 2 - Greg Read
Fourth Official - Lee Swabey
Observer - Stephen Tanner

Our match referee this weekend is Mr Kevin Johnson.

He has been in charge of 25 games so far this season showing 75 yellow cards and five reds.

We had Kevin as our man in the middle for our first trip to Salford in February 2021. George Tanner ut us ahead in the first half, but the Ammies grabbed an equaliser with 11 minutes to go. Jon Mellish and Rhys Bennett were booked for the Blues.

Prior to that it was just over three years since we last saw Mr Johnson, and that was for our December 2017 visit to Forest Green. Richie Bennett bagged the winner and Tom Miller and Danny Grainger were the visiting names taken on the day.

He was also the man in the middle for our eventful visit to Crawley in September that same year. Hallam Hope scored the only goal, but Richie Bennett (two yellows) and Tom Parkes (a straight red in time added on) were both given their marching orders. Josh Yorwerth was also sent off in the injury time incident with Parkes. Clint Hill and Mike Jones were shown yellow cards for good measure.


This is a behind closed doors fixture. 

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