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YOUTH: City 1 - 2 United

Report from the Wednesday evening friendly

15 July 2021

Carlisle City were the Wednesday evening hosts as the under-18 pre-season schedule continues to motor on.

And it was a keenly fought contest which saw both sides create chances as they went toe-to-toe in a bid to claim the bragging rights.

City showed first when a ball over the top from Olsen was collected by Black. He turned it inside to Irving, but his drilled effort smashed into Earl on its way to the bottom corner. Barnett recovered quickly to hook it clear.

Defender Dan Kirkup was next to go close for the hosts when he met a deep corner on the leap. Boyd skipped across to claim it from beneath the bar.

United started to settle and they turned defence into attack when Nugent strode forward before bringing Garvey into play. He spotted Watt on the run, but the forward smashed it into the side netting as he bore down from a tight angle.

A half-cleared free kick from the right flank presented the next opportunity when it bounced up in front of Studholme on the edge of the area. His volley struck a visiting shirt and it spun away for a corner.

That delivery was met on the stretch by Kirkup, beyond the back stick, but he couldn't find any direction and it rose high and over the bar.

United broke from the goal kick and Watt beat his man as he pushed into the box. Murray stood his ground and he did well to hold onto a stinging thunderbolt.

City were the architects of their own downfall midway through the first half when a poor kick from Craig Murray handed Ryan Carr a clear run at the target. He kept his cool as he picked his spot, with the keeper frustrated at having given the ball away so cheaply.

The away team enjoyed a good spell of pressure following the goal, but the sky blue shirts dealt with a run of corners with some resolute defending. 

Nugent forced a two-handed diving save out of Murray just before the break, when he tried his luck from distance, and Boyd had to do the same at the other end when Palmer broke clear. His low attempt was heading in until the young stopper got down to beat it away.

Assistant head coach Gav Skelton took a place in midfield for the second half and his influence could be seen as he started to spray the passes around.

But it was a huge kick from Boyd that created the first real opening of this period as Nic Bollado shrugged off his man to get to it first. His lob 19-yard took Murray out of the equation but it dropped agonisingly over the bar.

Dan Kirkup thought he'd squared things up just before the hour when he got on the end of a well delivered free kick. His header was low, and it had power, but Boyd had watched it and he gobbled it up.

But the scores were levelled on 71 minutes when a fantastic pass from Atkinson found Jordan Irving on the move. His first touch allowed him to dip inside the defender, and he looked up quickly before rattling it into the bottom corner.

United looked for an immediate response and an inch perfect through ball from Watt took Bollado one-on-one with Murray. A dinked effort got the slightest of touches from the keeper, and that was enough to take it on the post. Liam Studholme had tracked the move and he made the clearance before the spinning ball could cross the line.

The away side restored their lead with seven minutes left to play when Garvey spread the ball for Bollado to chase. The big striker somehow wriggled his way between Atkinson and Hartley to leave himself with just Murray to beat. A shift of his body opened things up and he calmly popped it into the net.

That proved to be the winner, but the visitors had been made to work hard for victory with Carlisle City having pushed them every step of the way.

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Carlisle City - Murray, Olsen, Allison, Kirkup, Black, Studholme, Irving, Earl, Palmer, Atkinson, Kerr. Subs (used at different stages in the second half) - Dixon, Newton, Hartley, Johnstone, Reay.

Carlisle United - Boyd, Potts, Kilsby, Nugent (Hill 46), Barnett, Ellis (Bollado 46), Taylor (Gordon 73), Carr (Nugent 46), Watt, Garvey, Bell (Skelton 46). Subs - Simons.

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Goals -

Carlisle City - Irving (71)

Carlisle United - Carr (23), Bollado (83)

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Referee - Tony Whitfield
Assistant - Ben Whitfield
Assistant - Graham Turner


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