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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Exeter 2 - 1 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

20 November 2021

United were back on the road for their latest League Two fixture with a long trip to face in-form Exeter City at St James Park.

There were two changes from the last league game, with Danny Devine and Brennan Dickenson in for the suspended Callum Guy and the recovering Zach Clough.

Lewi Alessandra was missing with a knock picked up during training, and Joe Riley also didn't travel as he continued with his rehab programme.

United attacked from the kick off with Abrahams and Dickenson linking for Armer to cross. That was cleared as Gibson tried to make a near post run to meet it.

A burst from midfield from Dickenson took him into space and he had Abrahams to help beside him. The striker dropped a shoulder to shoot, but it took a deflection and spun away for a corner. Gibson delivered that, but it was swept away from the front stick as Abrahams tussled. Dickenson volleyed the loose ball but it ripped high over the bar.

It was a good start from the visitors and Young spun on a touch from Dickenson before setting Abrahams free. Another low, drilled 18-yard effort was diverted behind to safety.

Carlisle kept the pressure on and Gibson caused problems when he took a deflected clearance out of the sky on his toe. He jinked and crossed low, but Hartridge lunged to get in the way.

The Grecians got forward with intent on 18 minutes with a cross from Daniel that had to be dealt with by Armer. He did well to nod it as he came under the close attentions of Brown. Key did the same from the other flank, but Howard was off his line smartly to pluck it out of the air.

It was better from the hosts and they came again when Nombe pulled wide before before bringing Brown into play. He got his head down and went for the shot as he reached the edge of the area and Howard had to dive to make the save.

An excellent twist from Dickenson at the other end saw him open things up after a throw from Armer came his way. Dawson dived out to parry and Dieng completed the clearance.

The lively Abrahams was suddenly in space once again as the blue shirts pressed high, and he rattled a low attempt towards the back stick. Dawson got down to get his hands to it and to prevent the goal.

United broke in numbers on 36 minutes when Devine recovered to make an interception in the centre cricle. Dickenson pushed on, and he fed it for Abrahams to cross. The keeper was beaten, but Coley did enough to prevent an easy opportunity from developing.

Armer had to be replaced by Charters before the break, as he struggled to shake off a knock picked up earlier in the game, and the young Cumbrian slotted straight in to cover the left back position.

He was immediately in action when Brown worked his way towards the corner flag. A pull back was set for Dieng to strike and he caught it with power as it fizzed through bodies. Howard did well to watch it and claim it.

Carlisle were reduced to 10-men with 43 minutes on the clock when Mellish went in for a challenge with Collins. The referee deemed it to be dangerous and he ordered the midfielder from the pitch.

Exeter had the first foray of the second period when they sent men forward in support of Jay. Howard came out of the box to clear, but Brown was there to claim the second ball. He floated it towards the far post but the keeper confidently gathered.

The blue shirts had to sit deeper than they would have liked, as they dropped Dickenson into the left back role and moved Charters into the middle of the park, and a cross from Key skipped off the surface before pinging around in front of the nets. It was eventually hooked away.

Daniel then whisked one in from the left, but a timely touch from McDonald took it away from Nombe.

Carlisle were undone on the hour when a low ball from the left wing somehow made its way through a ruck of bodies. Nombe couldn't believe his luck as he was left to touch it into the bottom corner from close range.

The away side looked for a response and Gibson covered ground with a sprint from deep. He fed it onwards for Abrahams to strike but it was a tght angle and Dawson was able to punch it behind. Gibson's corner came to Dickenson, but the 26-yard shot angled right at the stopper.

Dickenson then tried his luck with a 30-yard free kick, after Gibson had been toppled, but it lacked power and Dawson calmly watched it in.

United had defending to do as Sweeney saw plenty of the ball, and twice McDonald tracked runners to clean things up as dangerous balls whisked into the box.

Exeter doubled their advantage with 10 minutes left to play when possession was overturned in midfield. Substitute Jake Caprice streaked away with it and he thundered a stinging drive from a difficult angle into the back of the net under the dive from Howard.

Carlisle got themselves a lifeline on 84 minutes when Dickenson was left in acres of space. His cross was magnificent, and it was matched by an emphatic close-range volley from Gibson which left Dawson with no chance.

Both sides had half chances as the clock ticked down, and Carlisle thought they were about to pounce again when a long throw from Dickenson was headed high by Grounds. Dawson was stranded, but the downward header from Feeney hit a red wall and the moment was gone.

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Goals

Exeter City - Nombe (59), Caprice (80)

Carlisle United - Gibson (84)

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Bookings

Carlisle United - Howard (60)

Mellish sent off (43)

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Teams

Exeter City - Dawson, Jay, Collins, Nombe (Amond 81), Key, Dieng, Brown, Daniel (Grounds 54), Sweeney, Coley (Caprice 75), Hartridge. Subs - Brown (gk), Ray, Kite, Edwards.

Carlisle United - Howard, Mellor, McDonald, Whelan (c), Armer (Charters 37), Gibson, Mellish, Devine, Dickenson, Abrahams (Fishburn 81), Young (Feeney 56). Subs - Simons (gk), Dinzeyi, Clough, Mampala.

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Match officials

Referee - Will Finnie
Assistant Referee 1 - Daniel Flynn
Assistant Referee 2 - Louis Marks
Fourth Official - Christopher Wade
Observer - Roger Vaughan

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Attendance - 4,796 - (155)


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