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FRIENDLY: Penrith 0 - 8 United

Report from the pre-season opener

13 July 2021

It was the short hop down the M6 for United on Tuesday night as they kicked their pre-season campaign off at Frenchfield Park.

The Blues had two different sides for each half, with youth second years Gabe Breeze, Jack Ellis, Sam Fishburn, Max Kilsby and Scott Simons also involved.

Trialist Manasse Mampala was given a run-out, having trained with the first-team over the course of the past fortnight.

Charters and Bell occupied the wing back positions for the first period with Hayden, Feeney and Kilsby lined up as a back three. Charters, Dixon and Guy contested the midfield areas, with Alessandra, Abrahams and Fishburn leading the line.

It took just five minutes for the visitors to take the lead when Bell floated a lovely pass over the top from inside his own half. Abrahams beat the offside trap, took it under control and calmly slotted it into the bottom corner.

Abrahams was involved again when he latched onto a neat through ball. He appeared to be clipped inside the box but the referee indicated that it was a free kick. The forward dusted himself off but the set piece was charged down by the wall. 

The lively Tristan Abrahams was the recipient of another precise through ball with quarter of an hour played. He allowed it to bounce but his volley on the turn from a tight angle rifled over the bar.

Carlisle asked more questions when Dixon pulled wide on the left flank. A measured delivery from him found Fishburn on the leap but his header hit Johnson and dropped wide of the upright.

Penrith showed midway through the half when Story broke free as he was challenged by Kilsby. The cross had Max Brown interested but Feeney got in the way.

There was another scare for the away side when Phillipson advanced to help to open up the back line. His cut back had Max Brown interested but Dixon had tracked the move and he was there to make an important interception.

United regrouped and a lobbed pass from Guy was collected by Abrahams. He exchanged passes with Alessandra before sending his delivery high from the left touchline. Fishburn met it with a firm header, six yards out, but Forrester dropped low to push it past the post.

A lapse in concentration handed Story possession for the home side half way inside Carlisle territory and he spotted Max Brown in acres of space. The striker had just Breeze to beat, but the stopper spread himself to make a very good block.

Penrith followed that up with a 22-yard free kick from Grandison. He got it up and over the wall but it was always heading wide.

Midfielder Josh Dixon doubled the lead just before the break following a patient bit of build up play. Guy and Alessandra were involved, as was Charters, and Abrahams suddenly found himself with time and space. He let it go from distance and Forrester had to dive long to parry. Dixon had checked his movement and he was there to rattle it into the waiting net as it came his way.

And the visitors extended their advantage further on 44 minutes when Dixon spotted Charters in acres of space inside the area as he readied himself to take a corner. A short pass came in and Charters did the rest with a cute curled finish.

United added their fourth goal courtesy of Zach Clough early in the second half when he used strength to nudge Davidson off a bouncing ball. He set off on a run, with the Penrith captain in his wake, and the keeper had no chance as a spot was confidently picked.

Toure was next to break the lines when he picked up on a through ball from Devine. He had the goal at his mercy but he opted to cut it back. Clough, Mampala and Riley could only watch in despair as it fizzed away to safety.

Clough doubled his tally for the evening when he picked himself up after being chopped to the floor inside the box. He made no mistake with a well struck penalty.

And he completed his hat-trick when he matched a run from Armer. The left back sped down the wing, centred, and watched in satisfaction as the sliding forward connected to volley it home from close range.

New arrival Zach Clough was a real handful, having missed a one-on-one just before his third notch, and he also smashed one wide from distance as his confidence visibly grew.

Clough turned provider with just over 10 minutes left to play when a miscued clearance was gifted his way inside the area. He unselfishly squared it and Gime Toure did the rest as he sold the keeper before sending it into the empty net.

That man Clough was denied what looked a definite penalty on 85 minutes when he once again raced into the box. The referee waved play on as everyone looked on in amazement that it hadn't been given.

An eighth was added just before the final whistle when Clough protected the ball before slipping Mellish in on an overlap. He struck it firmly and his effort squeezed over the line after hitting the keeper's hand.

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Teams

Penrith - Forrester, Faustino (Harker 64), Johnson, Davidson (c) (Law 65), May (Moynan 57), Phillipson, Story, Main, M Brown (Shields 79), Grandison (Winspear 76), L Brown. Subs - Aynsley, Henderson.

Carlisle United First Half - Breeze, Feeney, Hayden, Kilsby, Bell (c), Dixon, Charters, Guy, Alessandra, Fishburn, Abrahams.

Carlisle United Second Half - Simons, Tanner, Whelan, Ellis, Armer, Riley, Mellish, Devine (c), Clough, Mampala, Toure. 

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Goals

Carlisle United - Abrahams (5), Dixon (40), Charters (44), Clough (48, 64 pen, 68), Toure (78), Mellish (88)

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Referee - Scott Henry
Assistant - Mark Hunter
Assistant - Matthew Rogerson

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Attendance - 670


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