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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 1 - 2 Rovers

Report from the Tuesday evening home game

2 February 2021

United were back at home for the rearranged visit of Forest Green on Tuesday night.

Heavy snow in the region was followed by persistent rain but the Brunton Park playing surface dealt with the lot, with the game never in doubt.

The only change from Saturday's home win over Exeter was striker JJ Kayode stepping up to start, with Ozzy Zanzala taking a place on the bench.

It was a fast-paced opening to the encounter with challenges flying in, and Alessandra was heavily involved as he became a focal point for the home team's forward movement.

And United ripped a path through the middle on 5 minutes when Riley got on the end of some good work from Anderton and Kayode. He surged forward, beating his man, and Armer showed for it as he arrived late. A lovely ball into the box from the right back was just an inch too far for Kayode, who had made up the space, and it drifted agonisingly past his toe.

Forest Green showed next with a quick move that had Davison interested on the left flank. He angled his run before shooting, but it took a deflection and was eventually put behind for a corner.

That went deep, and Sweeney did well to guide it back into the six-yard box. Head tennis followed, but it dropped kindly for Cargill to nod into the waiting net from close range. His celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.

Keeper Paul Farman placed the ball quickly and he sparked a counter-attack with a neat kick out. Kayode found Alessandra, and he rolled a pass across the edge of the area for Guy to strike. It was on target but a touch from Stokes made it easy for Thomas to gather.

A huge throw from Kayode had to be put behind as Alessandra lurked, and the inswinging set piece from Guy brought an error from keeper Lewis Thomas as he missed his punch. The green shirts closed ranks to get the ball away.

Rovers came again when Bailey exchanged passes with Davison. Jack Armer was needed to hook the clearance long as Cadden looked for the loose pieces.

Good football from the hosts saw Mellish win possession in the middle of the park. Kayode fed Patrick, and he went past a tackle before tucking it wide. A low cross spooned high and Riley got there first to clip it into the mix. Cargill got in the way to smother the danger.

A weak misplaced pass from Thomas gave Patrick an unexpected touch as Rovers made a mess of playing out from the back with the clock ticking towards half time. The forward had options, and the away stopper was relieved as a shot from distance came his way.

Bailey drilled one into the Warwick Road End when he got himself in the way of Guy as the United man tried to carry the ball out, following a stuttering but effectve attack, and Collins forced a punched save out of Farman when he whipped a free kick from a tight angle at the target. The big keeper reacted well to protect his nets as he sent the swirling ball over the bar.

Neat footwork from Patrick saw him steal it off Cadden before sending Kayode down the right wing. He dropped a shoulder to make space but the cross had too much on it and it sailed off into the distance.

A cheeky throw from Kayode to Armer brought an attack with just seconds on the second half clock, and Hayden was there to clip the pass from deep into the 18-yard box off the top of his head. Kayode was interested but the keeper got there first.

It was tight, as both sets of players closed gaps quickly, and even the trusty Kayode launches from the touchline met with a stubborn riposte.

Disaster struck on 57 minutes when a United attack broke down and a long clearance left Cadden on the overlap. Guy stretched to make the tackle but he clipped the heels of the Forest man and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.

Collins placed it, and he made no mistake as he smashed it into the bottom corner. 

Carlisle boss Chris Beech reacted with a triple substitution, with Dickenson, Toure and Zanzala introduced to the fray, and they had an input when they each got a touch before Riley shot through bodies. Thomas was well set to deal with it.

Brennan Dickenson had a goal chalked off when Godwin-Malife tumbled as Zanzala popped a pass through, when he turmed with his back to goal. The maraduing midfielder was deemed to have pushed his man over just as he found the bottom corner.

Another good attack came when Armer sent a pass to Zanzala. Riley picked it up, and Dickenson was there once again as it was worked his way. He went for the shot from outside the area but it was always going wide.

The equaliser was all about Joe Riley as he closed down with tenacity to take the ball away from the Rovers man. He stayed calm, and turned the defenders inside out before putting it on a plate for Gime Toure, who made no mistake from just two yards.

But just three minutes later Odin Bailey took charge of a free kick after a foul had been committed just 19 yards out. Farman had no chance as it sailed into the top corner.

Farman was a hero as he spread himself to block Davison with just over 10 minutes left to play, and that moment had come when a long throw was flicked on by Hayden at the other end. Toure got on the end of it, and he couldn't believe his bad luck as it bounced back off the upright, and the visitors used the moment to set off on their break.

An inswinging away free kick landed on the roof of Farman's net as Rovers continued to work on the break, and the home keeper was at his best once again when he got low to stop Davison from adding a third as he cut in from the left flank.

United kept battling, but they couldn't find a way through, with Zanzala having the last chance of the night as he turned a cross from Dickenson at the target, only to find the keeper waiting to sweep it up.



Carlisle United - Toure (72)

Forest Green Rovers - Collins (60 pen), Bailey (75)



Carlisle United - Bennett (73), Riley (76)

Forest Green Rovers - Bailey (76), Sweeney (82), Cargill (90)



Carlisle United - Farman, Armer, Hayden, Bennett, Anderton (c) (Charters 85), Riley, Mellish (Dickenson 61), Guy (Walker 80), Alessandra (Toure 61), Kayode, Patrick (Zanzala 61). Subs - Norman (gk), Furman.

Forest Green Rovers - Thomas, Sweeney, Stokes (c), Cargill, Collins, Cadden, Moore-Taylor, Bailey (Wilson 81), Whitehouse, Godwin-Malife, Davison. Subs - McGee (gk), Bernard, Hutchinson, Young, Wagstaff, Richardson. 


Match officials

Referee - Declan Bourne
Assistant Referee 1 - Paul Newhouse
Assistant Referee 2 - Barry Gordon
Fourth Official - Ross Joyce


Attendance - BCD

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