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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Stevenage 3 - 1 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

20 March 2021

United were back down the A1 on Saturday afternoon for an early kick off against Stevenage as the games continued to roll on thick and fast.

Forward Gime Toure was the only change from Tuesday night's away draw at Mansfield, as he came in for Lewis Alessandra.

Keeper Magnus Norman kept his place, with Paul Farman on the bench having recovered from his thigh problem.

Carlisle should have been ahead within the first 30 seconds of the game when Tanner bounced the ball off Dickenson as he worked his way into the box. His initial shot was muffled, and a low drilled cross was blocked by Prosser, but Zanzala was there to cause problems. The clearance spooned up and Toure stretched, but he could only nod it onto the roof of the net from close range.

An incisive pass from Guy gave Toure room to work in what was a good opening period for the Blues, and the big forward angled a run towards the edge of the box. He shot, but it rose high and over the stand.

Boro responded with a slick move of their own which saw Read pull into space. He used Osborne as a ruse, before pulling the trigger and aiming for the bottom corner. It hit the base of the post but Armer was on hand to sweep the rebound to safety.

Stevenage were mobile again down their left flank with Read at the heart of it. List took good control close to the byline, and his cut back was met by Osborne who tried to guide a volley at the near post. He succeeded only in finding the side netting.

United's task was made harder on 18 minutes when Elliott List broke through, having latched onto a measured ball. Rod McDonald got in the way, and the referee showed an immediate red card for denying a goalscoring opportunity.

Callum Guy dropped deep to take the role of a centre back until Aaron Hayden came on, with Gime Toure the attacking player to be sacrificed as part of the reshuffle.

The afternoon got worse for the away side midway through the half when Norris sent a free kick from wide on the left straight at Pett, who had taken up a position on the edge of the area. He used a touch with his instep to bring it close and that was followed by an instinctive volley which flew through bodies and into the bottom corner, with Norman unsighted.

Carlisle were on the front-foot as they settled into life with 10-men and Dickenson went past his man to cross low and hard. Zanzala swung a boot at it but he missed his kick and Coker hooked it away.

A corner from Pett was volleyed over by Coker as he met it on the rise, and Stevenage were close just before the break when Norris pulled off his man to cross. Read recovefed it as it dropped deep, and he had time to pick out List, but a wayward shot took the effort away from danger.

Dickenson and Mellish worked in tandem to earn a corner in time added on for the half, but the Dickenson inswinger somehow evaded everybody as Prosser got the slightest of defensive glances.

The second period took an age to get going and United boss Chris Beech looked to inject a spark as he replaced Jon Mellish with Omari Patrick early in the piece.

Carlisle were back on terms on 55 minutes when Zanzala showed great strength to hold the ball up with his back to goal. He was dragged to the floor, but referee Brett Huxtable played the advantage. Dickenson took over, and he let fly as he dropped a shoulder. It took a wicked deflection and Cumming could only watch as it found its way past him.

Norman had to be alert moments later when List burst through before checking back. His grasscutter was going in until a strong hand from the diving keeper turned it away.

Stevenage restored their lead just five minutes later when a strong clearance somehow deflected the way of Norris. He crunched it first time from the angle of the box and it arrowed into the net.

Tanner had an effort from distance charged down as the Blues looked to bounce back again, and there was a fantastic save from Norman at the other end as Norris was once again sent clean through. He tried to place his attempt but a low dive brought a firm contact from the Carlisle keeper.

The home spell of pressure was made to count when Read beat the offside trap to bear down on goal. He tucked it under Norman, as he spread himself, and the attacker wheeled away to celebrate.

Alessandra, Anderton and Charters came on for Armer, Riley and Tanner with 15 minutes left to play, but it was the hosts who went close when Osborne curled a potshot past the post when he ghosted into the area.

United switched the play from right to left when Patrick rolled it to Charters in response. He gave it to Dickenson, and his delivery was there to be touched. Alessandra and Zanzala challenged but Prosser did enough to see it behind.

Lines had a toe poke from 14-yards deflected wide when he timed a run to meet a pull back from Read, and Patrick rattled one just an inch the wrong side when he aimed low with the click ticking down. A nick off Coker helped to send it past it's intended target.

A header from Anderton was cleared as it headed for the nets with a minute to go - that came after Hayden had nodded a Guy corner his way - and Stevenage shut the door through time added on to claim their three points.

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Goals

Stevenage - Pett (24), Norris (60), Read (71)

Carlisle United - Dickenson (55)

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Bookings

Stevenage - Lines (64)

Carlisle United - Tanner (45), Guy (45)

Sent off - McDonald (18 - professional foul)

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Teams

Stevenage - Cumming, James-Wildin, Coker, Prosser (c), Osborne (Aitchison 86), Vancooten, List, Read, Pett, Norris, Lines. Subs - Johnson (gk), Vincelot, Cuthbert, Hutton, Smith, Stevens.

Carlisle United - Norman, Tanner (Charters 77), McDonald, Bennett, Armer (Anderton 77), Riley (Alessandra 77), Guy (c), Mellish (Patrick 51), Dickenson, Zanzala, Toure (Hayden 22). Subs - Farman (gk), Walker.

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Match officials

Referee - Brett Huxtable
Assistant Referee 1 - Adrian Tranter
Assistant Referee 2 - Simon Shaw
Fourth Official - Dean Treleaven

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Attendance - BCD


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