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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: Cambridge head north on Saturday

We look ahead to the Saturday visitors

26 March 2021

It's the second of three straight home games for the Blues this weekend as we host automatic promotion chasers Cambridge United.


The Abbeymen currently occupy second spot having combined a good habit of scoring goals (55 in the league so far) with a healthy knack of keeping them out at the other end (just 34 conceded in their 37 games).

January transfer window work signalled intent as they set things off with the loan capture of Spurs defender Jubril Okedina, and midfielder Hiram Boateng extended his move from MK Dons as part of the same announcement.

Harry Darling went the other way, switching to stadium:mk for an undisclosed fee, but there was more to be done with Spurs as winger Shilow Tracey agreed a move.

Competition for places at the back was bolstered on the final day of the window when centre backs Declan Drysdale (Coventry) and Aji Alese (West Ham) became part of the mix.


  Carlisle wins Draws Cambridge wins
League 10 14 9
Total 10 14 9

These teams have only ever met in league competition, with a fairly even spread of results. Carlisle have had the best of it in recent seasons, with three wins and three draws from the last seven meetings.

Back-to-back wins have got Cambridge on track again following blips against Bolton and Scunthorpe earlier in the month, and the ability to bounce back following a disappointing result is what has kept them near the top of the pile all season.

That, and consistency in results, demonstrated by the fact that they've lost just four of their 17 league games this year.

who watch

Lively striker Paul Mullin is in the form of his life, with 24 goals from his 39 appearances.

He's bagged six goals in his last 10 outings, and has registered two hat-tricks and four braces in a season that his seen him keep his personal tally ticking over, with plenty of chances coming his way.

Good movement is matched with an ability to keep the ball, but it's that high number of goals that has made him our one to watch this weekend.


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A first away trip of the 2020/21 season took Carlisle to Cambridge and the hosts swept into a two-goal lead with just 16 minutes played. A late Ironside strike wrapped up the victory.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

United were at the Abbey in February 2020 and goals from Lewis Alessandra and Nick Anderton scored either side of the break seemed to put them in a good place. But a late strike from Reggie Lambe kept the fingernails at risk as the hosts tried to claim a point.

It was a deserved victory for the Blues in the end, as they made it just one defeat in nine outings in what was an impressive run of performances.

Watch the highlights from that game here: 

Prior to that Fmeeting [highlights above] the last coming together of these two sides was in November 2019 when the teams battled out a 0-0 draw here at Brunton Park.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

Prior to that we met in March 2019 when United had to recover from conceding a very early goal. Jamie Devitt and Nathan Thomas put the Blues ahead before the break, but Jabo Ibehre came back to haunt us when he netted the equaliser in the second half.

We were at the Abbey in September 2018 for our first meeting with the U's that season, and the teams had some baking hot weather to contend with on what was a lovely late summer's afternoon. A good opening spell from the home side brought a goal for Jevani Brown, but United were back on terms just before the break when Richie Bennett looped a header into the back of the net. The Cumbrians had the better of the second half and they took the points when Ashley Nadesan bagged from close range.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

The 2017/18 season saw United edge in front courtesy of a neat finish from Reggie Lambe, when the sides met at the Abbey in August 17, but Medy Elito levelled from the spot just six minutes later. Carlisle kept going and Tom Parkes scored his first goal for the club, accompanied by a celebratory dab, to earn the visitors all three points.

Watch the highlights of that game here:

Cambridge came to Brunton Park in March 2018 to put things right but the deadlock in a tight game was broken by Richie Bennett when he scored from close range following a cut back from Mark Ellis just after the break. However, the celebrations had barely subsided when George Maris scored the point making equaliser just over 120 seconds later.

Watch the highlights of that game here:


Referee - Tom Nield
Assistant Referee 1 - Anthony Moore
Assistant Referee 2 - Peter Gooch
Fourth Official - Geoffrey Liddle
Observer - Edward Tarry

Our match official this weekend in Mr Tom Nield. He has taken charge of 26 games so far this season and has shown 95 yellow cards and two reds.

He was with us for our first home game of the 2018/19 season when we drew 2-2 with Northampton. Jamie Devitt and Hallam Hope scored our goals, and Devitt also went in the book.

We had him as our man in the middle 12-months prior to that when we made the long trip south to face Cambridge at the Abbey Stadium. Reggie Lambe opened the scoring with just eight minutes on the clock but that lead was quickly wiped out when Medy Elito scored from the spot. A close range volley from Tom Parkes brought an infamous dab celebration and restored the lead ahead of half time, and that was that in terms of goals as the Cumbrians went on to win the game. Gary Liddle and Tom Parkes were the Carlisle names to go in the book on the day.


This is a behind closed doors fixture.

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