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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 1 - 0 Bradford

Report from the Boxing Day home game

26 December 2022

It was a big crowd for the Boxing Day home game against Bradford City, with over 7,000 United fans there to cheer the lads on.

There were three changes from the midweek starters at Northampton, with Jordan Gibson in for Kris Dennis and Jon Mellish back from injury as Corey Whelan stepped down to the bench. Ryan Edmondson missed out following his shoulder injury at Sixfields, with Jack Stretton in to lead the line.

United fashioned a half chance when Ellis popped it inside from wide. Gibson and Moxon combined with the latter sending a clipped pass across the face of goal. It went all the way through to Armer but his cutback was swept clear.

Gilliead and Wright linked up at the other end to put Cook on the overlap but his volleyed pass from a tight angle was gobbled up by Holy.

Forward Jack Stretton put Lewis under pressure as he dallied with a clearance at the Waterworks End, and the kick from the stopper was met by Mellish on the halfway line. He strode forward, and a ricochet opened things up. Lewis had to dive to get both hands to the stinging top-corner bound thunderbolt.

Home tails were up and Stretton beat the high line of the offside trap as he was fed through by Gibson. Armer and Moxon streaked into the box but the centre was marshalled by Crichlow.

Excellent defending from Ellis prevented Wright from wriggling free as Bradford looked to make an impact, and the same contest brought a rushed delivery which Holy was once again comfortable to claim.

A lovely footballing move saw the hosts work the ball wide, with Stretton the spark as he won his challenge with his back to goal. A clever touch from Charters invited Moxon to let fly from 19 yards, but that was charged down.

United came again and Guy lurked deep as Ellis and Gibson tapped at the door. The midfielder dropped a shoulder, beat his man and put his laces through the shot. Lewis got his fingertips to it and that was enough to take it over the bar. 

Moxon kept the resulting corner low and Huntington helped it on its way. Feeney connected with an instinctive volley but Lewis saved with a foot, even though he didn't know too much about it.

It was the home team on top and Gibson came out of defence with room to run into. Charters was alongside, and he bided his time before picking out Stretton. Smallwood went for safety first, and a run of two corners followed.

The second, curled in by Charters, evaded everybody but Paul Huntington was at the back stick to  guide his second of the season over the line. It was a deserved lead from the half's dominant side.

The first real shot on target from the Bantams came on 42 minutes when Eisa helped to get an awkward bouncing ball into the mix. Chapman looked to loft it over Holy but it sailed into the Warwick.

Bradford came out of the second half blocks sharply and Chapman delivered into the wind from the right flank. It needed to be touched away from Cook as he jumped. Mellish then had to scamper across to get in the way when another dangerous delivery was dinked into the area.

A burst from Eisa to the 18-yard line was tracked by Charters and he did well to get his toe in the way of what looked like a stinging drive. Huntington then mopped up when Cook attempted to twist and turn his way through.

Cook dragged one wide from 25-yards as the Bantams tried to pick up the pace, but it was the hosts who wasted a gilt-edged opening as they hit the afterburners from deep. Armer cushioned a beauty of a pass to Mellish and he was off on a run into the box. A pull back found Gibson unmarked, but he lost his bearings and he thrashed his attempt high over the bar.

A deep free kick from Moxon was then hooked back to Huntington, and his connection spun up off the grass. Mellish was just four yards out but it was difficult and he looked on in exasperation as his header skimmed the top of the bar.

There was a let-off at the other end when Cook was left in space as Bradford overturned possession inside the centre circle. It came to the big striker, who had the nets at his mercy, but he somehow put it well wide.

The same player had his face in his hands again moments later when he met an outswinging cross from Chapman with his head. At close range he couldn't get it the right side of the woodwork.

Moxon tried his luck from distance with a free kick, and he was immediately awarded another, this time just 19-yards out, as the man in the wall stopped it with his hand. Moxon thundered this one, with a bit of bend, and Lewis had to go full stretch to palm it behind.

Wright was booked for a very late challenge on Guy with three minutes left to play, and United kept things tight, with the home goal well protected.

Substitute Kris Dennis flicked a late lob just a yard too high, and the large home crowd was jubilant when the whistle blew on a very good victory.


Match Sponsor - JJ Electrical
Associate Sponsor - Lloyd Motors
Associate Sponsor - Story Homes & Story Contracting
Match Ball Sponsor - More Handles
Match Ball Sponsor - Arkale Lodge (Cody's B&B)



Carlisle United - Huntington (34)



Bradford City - Chapman (55), Wright (87)



Carlisle United - Holy, Feeney (c), Huntington, Mellish, Ellis, Moxon, Guy, Charters, Armer, Gibson, Stretton (Dennis 71). Subs - Kelly, Hilton, Sho-Silva, Whelan, Devitt, Harris.

Bradford City - Lewis, Halliday, Platt, Smallwood (c) (Sutton 78), Cook, Gilliead, Foulds, Chapman (Banks 77), Crichlow, Eisa (Oliver 73), Wright. Subs - Doyle (gk), Songo'o, Odusina, Pereira.


Referee - Adam Herczeg
Assistant Referee 1 - Graeme Fyvie
Assistant Referee 2 - Ivan Stankovic
Fourth Official - Paul Newhouse
Observer - Barry Sygmuta


Attendance - 8,296 (1,314)

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