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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 1 - 1 Crawley

Report from the Saturday afternoon home game

15 January 2022

United were back at Brunton Park for a second weekend on the trot as they welcomed Crawley Town to Cumbria.

The Blues were looking to register their fourth consecutive league victory, with the previous three wins having been earned with clean sheets.

Keith Millen stuck with the starting 11 he'd used against Bradford last weekend, and that meant that Tyrese Omotoye made his second start.

Lewis Alessandra was a welcome return from injury, and he took a place on the bench.

Crawley sparked an attack from the kick off with a ball over the top that Nadesan kept in, tight by the left hand touchline. His low cross was touched on by Tsaroulla and Whelan hooked it clear. 

United responded with a decent move of their own when Dickenson put Armer on the overlap. His cross was challenged for by Gibson and Mellish but Lynch got a vital touch.

The Blues almost split the defence when Dickenson cut inside moments later. Omotoye dummied as it came his way and Armer, who had sprinted from deep, looked to control. It spun off his toe and Morris gobbled it up.

The Red Devils hit the woodwork on nine minutes when a training ground corner routine somehow made its way to Tilley. Francomb had completely sliced the initial 20-yarder, but that allowed Tsaroulla to bring the midfielder into play. A fierce effort from distance curled onto the post and the rebound was swept away to safety.

Another patient home build-up saw Gibson combine with Guy to feed Dickenson. He won a corner, and he cleverly sat deep to sprint from the halfway line when Guy rolled it out. The shot had power but it was always high.

Both teams tested and probed, but there was a scrappy period where passes went astray and touches were heavy.

But Crawley were gifted a goal on 25 minutes when Feeney miscontrolled on the edge of the area, with the ball stuck under his feet. Nadesan was on it in a flash and he left Howard with no chance as he smashed it into the bottom corner.

United looked to bite back and Dickenson robbed possession in his own half to set another attack in motion. Gibson received it, and he spun on the spot to find Mellish. Dickenson arrived on the edge of the box but he was under pressure and he dragged his snapshot wide.

Midfielder Jon Mellish looked to take matters into his own hands when he ran 40-yards with the ball at his feet along the left flank. He angled past the defender and let fly, but a block kept the keeper untroubled.

A superb save from Howard stopped Nadesan from doubling his tally when he got on the end of a cut back from Nichols. The first-time volley was heading for the top corner until a fingertip touch sent it onto the upright.

Nadesan then headed the ball a foot over the bar and into the Warwick from a Tilley cross from 10-yards out, in what was a good spell for the away team, but the Cumbrians had a half chance when Omotoye beat the offside trap to latch onto a ball over the top.

Morris was off his line, but the striker hesitated, and it was the red shirts who took the advantage into the dressing rooms.

A thunderbolt from Brennan Dickenson at the start of the second half brought a roar from the crowd. He took a touch, 28-yards from the target, and put his laces through a screamer of an attempt. Morris was beaten and relieved to see it strike the top of the crossbar.

Omotoye then showed good control when he backheeled a raking pass from McDonald into space. He beat his man and dinked a delivery, but Morris jumped to gather.

Matthews drilled a toe poke from a tight angle into the side netting when he went on an overlap, and the visitors won a corner as they stayed up in numbers. Matthews got on the end of it, but he swiped it over the target from close range.

Omari Patrick's introduction almost produced an immediate return when he took a high ball on his chest before turning his man. He stumbled, and that gave Craig the time he needed to mop things up.

Dickenson brought another save out of Morris on the hour when he sat deep to take over from Patrick. It was low, and arrowed, but the stopper parried and the rebound skipped just past Gibson, who was looking to snaffle up the loose pieces.

Tenacity from Tilley earned Crawley a corner as the game remained tight, but it came to nothing as the blue shirts regrouped.

A free kick from Guy bounced around inside the box, with Dickenson twice thwarted when shooting, and a cross from Patrick brought a frantic scramble when Omotoye trapped it with his back to the target. He went down, under pressure from three defenders, but the appeals for a penalty were ignored.

There was potential disaster on 73 minutes when a powerful shot from Tilley was parried by Howard. He hesitated as he expected Armer to clear, and Tilley skipped in to try to nick it. An outstretched leg from the left back caught the heel, sending him to the ground, and a spot kick was awarded.

Nadesan placed it, and he was left with his head in his hands as he crunched it high and wide.

Gibson split the defence to put Patrick into the area with just under 10 minutes left to go and a delivery with the outside of the boot took a red shirt by surprise. It ricocheted off a chest but straight into the hands of the keeper.

Abrahams and Alessandra came on late in the day as the hosts looked to take something, and it looked like it had paid off when Alessandra timed a great run to meet a flicked through ball from Dickenson. He chested it down and had just Morris to beat, but the keeper spread himself to make a vital block at close range.

Dickenson had another piledriver deflected in the second minute of time added, and Alessandra made immediate amends for his miss when he glanced his header from the resulting corner past the keeper to level the scores.

Mellor had to shadow a break from Grego-Cox with seconds left on the clock, and he closed the door well to help to make sure his side earned a point.

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Goals

Carlisle United - Alessandra (90)

Crawley Town - Nadesan (25)

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Bookings

Carlisle United - Whelan (42), Omotoye (45)

Crawley Town - Nichols (41), Payne (68)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Howard, Mellor, McDonald, Feeney, Armer (Alessandra 85), Gibson, Guy (c), Whelan (Patrick 56), Dickenson, Mellish, Omotoye (Abrahams 85). Subs - Norman (gk), Devine, Riley, Senior.

Crawley Town - Morris, Francomb (c), Craig, Powell, Nichols (Grego-Cox 72), Nadesan, Tilley, Matthews (Watts 63; (Davies 81)), Tsaroulla, Payne, Lynch. Subs - Seymour (gk), Frost, Marshall. 

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Match officials

Referee - Darren Bond
Assistant Referee 1 - Andrew Dallison
Assistant Referee 2 - Geoffrey Liddle
Fourth Official - Darren Handley
Observer - Simon Snartt

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Attendance - 4,350 (76)


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