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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Stevenage 2 - 1 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

20 August 2022

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Stevenage 2 - 1 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

20 August 2022

It was a much sunnier climate that greeted the Blues on their weekend trip to Stevenage following the drama of Tuesday night's rained off affair in Grimsby.

There was one change to the midweek starters, with Jayden Harris in for his first league start for Jamie Devitt, and new arrival Duncan Idehen was straight onto the bench.

An early chance was fashioned in the opening minute by the hosts when a long throw was flicked into the box. It came back to Read, via Guy, but his shot was deflected by the midfielder. The resulting corner dipped into the box but Holy was comfortable as it came off Ellis's boot and into his hands.

Boro came again on six minutes when Smith and Norris worked their way down the right flank. The cut back found Read on the edge of the box, and he went for it with a curler of an effort. Holy was beaten, but it struck the base of the post and rebounded to Norris. The offside flag went up as he struck the ball.

United carved a way through at the other end when a weak clearance from Vancooten was snaffled up by Dennis. He slid Patrick through, and there were loud appeals for a penalty as Vancooten lunged into the forward. That was ignored, and Armer was disappointed when he flashed the loose ball over the target.

An unlucky ricochet as Armer and Whelan tried to clear their lines presented Smith with an unexpected opening in what was a bright start from the home team. He curled one with the outside of his boot but it was always going high.

And there was more luck that went Boro's way on 16 minutes when Smith volleyed as a high ball was nodded out of the box by Mellish. It took two deflections on its way past the stranded stopper and into the bottom corner.

Good work from Mellish and Harris stretched the home back line with 22 minutes on the clock, and Patrick curved his run to make a gap. His shot had power but Ashby-Hammond gathered it in.

Stevenage surged forward on the break, and Ellis guided a delivery from Roberts away to safety. The corner found Sweeney on the move, but he couldn't implement any kind of control and the shot went wide.

Lively movement from Patrick saw him beat the offside trap to bear down on goal as the Blues looked to find the spark in their play. He was pushed wide, and his toe poke was charged down as he looked to find a finish.

Holy was right behind a Rose header on the half-hour after Clark had clipped one into the mix, and Norris blazed over from 14-yards as Stevenage came again with another move down the left wing.

Carlisle had a spell of possession in the home half ahead of the break, with Gibson heavily involved, but Ashby-Hammond was off his line to clutch the whipped inswinger from Armer as he popped it in after the ball had been shifted from right to left.

The lead was doubled ahead of the break when Smith skipped past a tackle before whisking it low and hard behind the reversing back line. Max Clark was well advanced and he thumped his close-range volley into the waiting net.

The Cumbrians gave themselves a ladder back into the game in time added on when Gibson showed real skill with a feint followed by a beauty of a cross. Kristian Dennis equalled Alan Ashman's record of scoring a goal in each of his first five games of the season with a pinpoint header.

Patrick and Dennis combined right from the kick-off with the latter bursting through to cross the through ball from a tight angle. The keeper went low to parry it away. Whelan met the corner that followed on the full but his header flashed just wide of the post.

Norris was close at the other end when he muscled his way onto a high hooked ball that bounced awkwardly inside the area. His first attempt was blocked by Holy and Mellish dealt with the second.

Right-back Fin Back started a move when he wrestled the ball away from Clark on the halfway line. A raking pass was intercepted just before Patrick could make it his, but Armer followed up by sending it long. Back was at the rear stick to pop it across the face of goal, but it was just too far in front of the forwards.

United had defending to do on 55 minutes when Roberts went past Ellis. Norris called for it but Mellish and Whelan got in the way. It spun to Smith, but Armer was on his toes to make a vital touch, and Guy was able to mop things up with a smashed clearance.

The mobile Jordan Gibson was instrumental in earning his side a corner when he linked up with Whelan, and his delivery brought a second penalty appeal of the day when Harris went crashing to the floor. Guy didn't wait for a decision as he chested it before shooting through bodies. It was too close to Ashby-Hammond.

Dennis sent one into the stands from distance as the Blues kept plugging away, and manager Paul Simpson decided to shake things up with the introduction of Paul Huntington, for his club debut, and Jack Stretton. Huntington was immediately involved with a great block from Reid as he let fly.

Defender Duncan Idehen was on for his first appearance with 20 minutes to play, and that took Mellish into midfield as part of the reshuffle.

Gibson was a whisker away from an equaliser after Mellish had been fouled 24-yards out. His thumping free kick was going in until Ashby-Hammond threw himself at it. A fingertip was enough to take it past the post.

Vision from Dennis brought a volleyed crossfield pass that found Armer on the left flank as the away team continued to sit high. He stepped inside a challenge, onto his right foot, and kept his grasscutter on target. The keeper was once more equal to it.

Holy saved from Reid late in the day, after Taylor had fed it to his fellow substitute, and Taylor rattled a skipping volley wide when he latched onto a clearance from Idehen.

Boro saw added time through to the frustration of the travelling support, who had seen their team lose a league game for the first time this season.



Stevenage - Smith (16), Clark (42)

Carlisle United - Dennis (45)



Stevenage - Norris (89), Ashby-Hammond (90)

Carlisle United - Harris (69)



Stevenage - Ashby-Hammond, Clark, Reeves, Piergianni, Sweeney, Norris (Bostwick 90), Roberts (Taylor 76), Smith, Vancooten, Read (Campbell 76), Rose (Reid 59). Subs - Chapman (gk), James-Wildin, Earley.

Carlisle United - Holy, Ellis (Huntington 66), Whelan (c), Mellish, Back, Harris (Idehen 72), Guy, Gibson, Armer (Hilton 89), Patrick (Stretton 66), Dennis. Subs - Kelly (gk), Bollado, Devitt.


Match officials

Referee - Craig Hicks
Assistant Referee 1 - Paul Kelly
Assistant Referee 2 - Andy Bennett
Fourth Official - Stephen Brown
Observer - Brian Curson


Attendance - 2,514 (331)

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