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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 2 - 1 Stevenage

Report from the final home game of the season

30 April 2022

United rounded off 2021/22 at Brunton Park with a home game against Stevenage.

And there were three changes to the starters from last weekend with Kris Dennis, Jack Ellis and Corey Whelan in for Lewis Alessandra, Danny Devine and Dynel Simeu.

Kendal-born youth second year Jack Ellis went into the game knowing that he had a two-year professional deal already secured, but what a way to make his senior debut as part of the defensive back line.

Dynel Simeu had dealt with a family bereavement during the week, so he stood down, with the group having a really fresh feel to it ahead of kick off. 

United hit the bar with just 90 seconds on the clock as Ellis hooked a clearance from a Gibson free kick back into the mix. Patrick controlled, with his back to goal, and Gibson was there to go on the overlap. His delivery curled over Pym and the keeper was relieved to see it graze the woodwork and skitter away.

The Blues fashioned an excellent attack as Ellis moved out of defence to go wide on the right. His inside ball was initially cut out, but the Blues recovered with Patrick in attendance. Armer tried to break through, but Pym was off his line to provide a blanket.

Boro got forward with menace in what was an entertaining opening with Prosser diving to meet a dipping cross. Howard was beaten, but it hit the upright and bounced nicely for Reid to volley. Feeney lunged to make a vital block.

A corner from Gibson found Armer on the leap at the back stick and he cushioned a header towards the six-yard box. Mellish and Dennis were there, but Cuthbert atoned for the error that had led to the set piece with a timely swipe.

United showed patience just past the quarter hour when they switched play from right to left, and Armer's delivery was, just for a moment, there for Patrick to hit. He was closed down in the nick of time.

There was a scare for the home defence when Norris somehow bundled an awkwardly bouncing ball past Mellish and Armer, leaving just Howard to beat. He completely miskicked as he tried to finish it off and the stopper was able to gather it up.

Elliott List then skied a volley onto the advertising logos on the facia of the roof at the Warwick Road End, as the game struggled to find the heartbeat that had been threatening to burst through in the opening 10 minutes.

Better movement from the hosts earned a corner on 37 minutes, but Pym was out smartly to pluck the inswinger into his gloves.

Patrick tried to inject something when he pounced on a weak pass from Taylor, but his snapshot was charged down on the edge of the area.

There were a series of half-chances in what was a scrappy lead-up to the break, with United going closest when Gibson popped the ball into the box from deep. It whisked over a jump from Dennis and ripped just past the upright.

Riley had an effort blocked and Dickenson headed at Pym in time added on for the period, but it was into the dressing rooms all-square and with the bragging rights still up for grabs.

It was Riley who provided a spark on 53 minutes when he was there to snaffle up a clearance from a Dickenson cross. He beat his man, then unleashed a stunner from distance to register his third goal of the season.

Stevenage looked for an immediate response and they turned possession over to put Upson almost clean through. He took a touch and dropped a shoulder, but Howard had closed the angles and that allowed him to make a much-needed save.

Lewis Alessandra was on to replace a struggling Joe Riley just before the hour, and United were on the attack from the restart with Ellis, who surged into space. He fed it inside to Patrick, who then found Dickenson, but his shot was always going high.

The home lead was doubled just past the hour when Armer came up in support of Dickenson, with the away defence pulled out of shape. His low delivery was expertly measured, and Lewis Alessandra was there to slide it into the net after Patrick had also stretched to get a touch.

Stevenage looked out of it, with the more incisive stuff coming from the men in blue, but Prosser got on the end of a wicked free kick, only to see his goal bound header hit Carter and spoon high into the air.

Carter then nodded wide when Wildin picked him out, and Dennis bent one over at the other end with the game steadily ticking along.

The visitors were awarded a penalty when there was a grapple between Cuthbert and Whelan - which took everybody by surprise - and Norris rammed the spot kick into the back of the net to give his side a chance.

Teenager Jack Ellis left the field to a standing ovation having completed an excellent debut, and Omotoye was prevented from restoring the cushion when he was quickly closed down at the end of the game.

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Match Sponsor - Unwin Jones

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Associate Sponsor - Kingmoor Park

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Goals

Carlisle United - Riley (53), Alessandra (63)

Stevenage - Norris (88 pen)

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Bookings

Stevenage - Taylor (33)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Howard, Riley (Alessandra 57), Ellis (Mellor 88), Feeney (c), Mellish, Armer, Gibson, Whelan, Dickenson, Patrick, Dennis (Omotoye 86). Subs - Norman (gk), Devine, McDonald, Simeu.

Stevenage - Pym, Wildin, Cuthbert (c), Prosser, List (Carter 62), Taylor, Norris, Upson (Lines 62), Reid, Barry, Bostwick. Subs - Walker (gk), Coker, Andrade, Daly, Read.

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Match officials

Referee - Darren Drysdale
Assistant Referee 1 - Paul Newhouse
Assistant Referee 2 - Darren Williams
Fourth Official - Richard Woodward
Observer - Roy Pearson

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Attendance - 5,701 (98)


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