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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 0 - 0 Vale

Report from the Saturday afternoon home game

17 April 2021

United were unchanged from Tuesday night's impressive performance at Newport as the division's form team Port Vale came to town.

The Valiants were on a run of six victories, with United five games unbeaten, so it was always going to be an intriguing encounter.

Striker Lewis Alessandra made career appearance 500 - coincidentally his 50th league appearance for the club - having started his journey at Oldham as a teenager.

The Blues attacked the Warwick in the first half, and an early heavy tackle on Guy from Joyce handed the hosts a free kick 25-yards out with three minutes on the clock. The midfielder dusted himself down to go for goal, and he bent it round the wall, with pace, and keeper Scott Brown had to dive low to beat it away.

Hayden had to clear a looped cross from Gibbons when Vale got forward after a stagnant spell, and Mellish was on hand to help with the sweeping up of the bits.

The Blues probed at the other end when Alessandra threw long, and Hayden was able to head the ball back into the area as it came his way. It rolled out to Riley, but his effort was charged down. 

Another great ball into the mix followed from Riley, and Hayden and McDonald were both there to challenge. The offside flag was up before the move could develop.

Things became tight, but a raking pass from Alessandra to Patrick earned a corner as Montana got in the way. A short routine brought Riley into play, and his cross was cleared to Patrick. He volleyed, but the slightest of touches off Brisley took it wide.

Another good set piece brought a challenge from McDonald, and the ricochet sat up for Riley to strike. He kept it low from the edge of the area but it was just wide of the upright.

A miskick from Robinson as he raced towards the penalty spot at the other end greeted a drilled corner from Worrall, and McDonald covered until Mellish hooked it long and out of the red zone.

Guy picked out McDonald with another free kick from wide just past the half hour, but he was on the stretch as he jumped and it dropped harmlessly behind.

The Valiants had a real chance to take the lead when an inswinging corner was met by Brisley, just four-yards out. He put his laces through it and it sailed high over the bar.

An overlap from Rodney saw him take over from Robinson as Vale tried to increase the tempo, but his cut back was clipped by McDonald and then Mellish. Worrall picked it up with a corner, but Rodney was off target with a weak header.

United responded with a measured pass from Armer that was taken away from Patrick. But it was a poor clearance and Mellish was onto it sharply. He crossed early, but Smith cleared through his own legs as he lost his balance. The resulting corner saw Zanzala tussle with Montana, but the referee calmed things down with some stern words.

The Cumbrians were close just before the break when Armer used Alessandra and Guy to work space. His cross was perfect for Devine, who had arrived late with an intelligent run. His crunching header left Brown rooted, but it zipped just over the nets.

The second period started with a cross from Gibbons when he was picked out by Conlon, but McDonald did enough to avert the danger. Worrall took the corner, and it was McDonald again who did the defending. The ball was kept alive by Amoo, but Legge guided his header wide.

There was a real scramble in the Vale box as Armer opened things up with a neat through ball. It wouldn't quite settle for Patrick, or Mellish, and Devine was also denied a shooting opportunity when it came his way.

Kayode's long throw was an interesting addition to the attacking repertoire, but both defences were proving to be stubborn with very little in the way of clear-cut chances being given up.

But Farman was needed when Robinson let one fly from absolutely nowhere, when the ball span his way. 19-yards out he got it through legs, but the keeper was able to get a hand to it and palm it wide.

Guy had a 25-yarder smothered before it could trouble Brown midway through the half, and Patrick nearly put himself clean through when he stopped Brisley from clearing. Brown was alert and quickly out to cover.

The Valiants had a moment when a Worrall cross somehow wound its way to Gibbons. His instinctive poke was on target but Alessandra put his body in the way.

And Smith was next to go close as the visitors came again when a short set piece routine drifted into his path. He turned to shoot at close range but Hayden got enough of a touch to divert it away from the top corner.

Striker JJ Kayode launched another bullet of a throw into the box as the home team reasserted themselves, and the flick from Hayden dissected the defence. Toure was there but he couldn't make the connection it needed.

It was tense as the final 10 minutes saw the teams remain in deadlock, but a cross from Riley was begging to be finished off as it pinged around in the box. Toure stayed wide, and it came his way, but he decided to check back before taking the shot. That allowed the black shirts to close the door.

Alessandra tried his luck from distance just before the 90 was up, but it lacked power and Brown was comfortable with the catch.

Toure then delivered on the run, and Kayode was there, but he had his back to goal and he couldn't turn his boot enough to find a way through.

United had all of the possession in time added on, and Toure angled a run from wide to try to get into the area. Mellish crossed, as did Toure, and a corner was won as everyone camped forward.

Guy whipped it in, and it bounced awkwardly, asking to be finished off. The home attackers couldn't get there and that was the last chance of the day.

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Bookings

Carlisle United - Toure (86)

Port Vale - Worrall (52)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Farman, Devine (Toure 68), Hayden (c), McDonald, Armer (Anderton 90), Riley, Guy, Mellish, Patrick (Tanner 68), Zanzala (Kayode 52), Alessandra. Subs - Norman, Furman, Walker.

Port Vale - Brown, Gibbons, Joyce, Legge, Smith, Worrall (Pope 90), Conlon (c), Montano (Amoo 46), Robinson (Cullen 76), Brisley, Rodney (McKirdy 75). Subs - Scott (gk), Burgess, Olagunju.

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Match officials

Referee - Peter Wright
Assistant Referee 1 - Robert Atkin
Assistant Referee 2 - Ivan Stankovic
Fourth Official - Paul Newhouse
Observer - Mick Brown

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Attendance - BCD


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