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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Rovers 3 - 0 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

22 January 2022

United were back on the road on Saturday afternoon for the long away trip to Forest Green.

And it was a meeting of two of the division's form teams with both outfits enjoying respective unbeaten runs.

For United it was five, and they made just one change from the Hartlepool game with Joel Senior in for the injured Kelvin Mellor. 

Zach Clough and Sam Fishburn were drafted onto the bench, with the remainder of the squad unchanged.

United started on the front-foot but it was Rovers who created the first opening on three minutes when Cadden made space to cross. Stevens ran to the front stick to meet it but Feeney shadowed him, and the defender made a timely intervention.

There was a slick move from the hosts moments later when Matt waited for Wilson to support. He pulled wide and crossed low, and Cadden was there to shoot as he entered the area. It didn't quite get the power it needed and Howard dropped to make the save.

Carlisle were passing and moving the ball well but they were twice thwarted on the edge of the box. Patrick was shut down, as was Omotoye, just on the brink of letting one go.

The blue shirts came again when Omotoye used pace to get beyond Wilson. He crossed low as he reached the byline, but it was hooked clear as Patrick shaped to connect.

Midfielder Callum Guy stole possession as the hosts struggled to clear their lines, and he had Mellish in close attention as he came from deep. He took a touch, but he was disappointed as his long-range effort sailed high.

There was disaster for the visitors on 16 minutes when Wilson angled a run from right to left. He used Cadden, and his driven centred ball had Stevens interested. Morgan Feeney stretched a leg out and he watched in horror as it skimmed off his boot and into the bottom corner.

Skipper Callum Guy was at the heart of trying to get his team going again when he took over after Patrick and Mellish had shepherded it into the corner. He sprinted clear, and Senior was brought into play. A feint and a flick of the boot took him past Cargill, and a fizzed delivery had to be dealt with as Patrick steamed in.

An incisive United move saw Gibson find Dickenson with Forest light at the back. A great touch from the left winger was followed by an inch perfect through ball, but Gibson got his bearings wrong and he sliced wide from six yards. A glance at the assistant confirmed that he was in an offside position.

Matt nodded a free kick from Moore-Taylor straight at Howard, but it was the away team who were seeing most of the ball as they looked for parity. Armer did well to pass up the line to release Gibson, and the ball went for a corner when he tried to feed it through legs.

Howard had to watch a punt from Stevens closely as the league leaders attacked sporadically, and he was in action again when Cadden tried his luck from wide. A dive and a gather were enough to do the job.

United had knocked on the door prior to that second attempt as the ball pinged around inside the area from a Guy free kick. It wouldn't settle and the moment was gone.

Jake Young found unexpected space just before the break when a long ball forward bounced his way, but he rushed his shot and it was pulled past the upright.

Pace from Patrick, Armer and Mellish then sliced Rovers apart, and Omotoye was suddenly free and clear. He went for it as he was pushed ever tighter but he could only find the side netting.

Joel Senior showed his defensive awareness on 43 minutes when he stopped Young in his tracks. The home side had broken but the right back came across to cancel out the move.

A spin from Omotoye took him away from two at the beginning of the second period and he immediately spread it to Dickenson. His centre was cleared, but Patrick recovered it and beat his man. The resulting corner fell to Armer, but his 18-yard volley skewed off target.

Carlisle looked comfortable but they were caught short on 52 minutes when Young was picked out in acres of space. He wound his way into the box, and luck was on his side when his shot on the run ricocheted towards the dangerous Matt Stevens. The prolific forward made no mistake as he stabbed it into the net.

Rovers grew in confidence and Young tried to take matters into his own hands when he latched onto a shielded pass from Matt. He twisted to shoot but it curled over the bar.

Senior got forward to support a Patrick burst as United huffed and puffed, and he dropped a shoulder to beat his man as he approached the danger area. Moore-Taylor charged it down and McGee cleaned up afterwards.

It was Senior who won a corner through sheer tenacity just after the hour, and McDonald was up to meet Guy's dipper at the far stick. Feeney challenged but it was headed away.

Fishburn and Alessandra came on for Dickenson and Omotoye as the Blues looked for a spark, but Howard had to handle safely from Matt and Cadden in quick succession. 

Stevens then somehow conspired to miss when he had time to get on the end of a cross from Wilson. His 10-yard header was always too high.

Mellish played a one-two with Fishburn as he bullied his way into the area but McGee closed the gap as the shot came in.

There was then a great ball from Patrick which curved across the face of the target, in what was a good period for the visitors, but Alessandra was on the stretch and his volley sped behind.

Jamille Matt made sure of the points on 77 minutes when a one-touch move involving Aitchison and Stevens left him on his own and with just Howard to beat. He kept it low as he bulged the net.

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Goals

Forest Green Rovers - Feeney (og 16), Stevens (52), Matt (77)

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Bookings

Forest Green Rovers - Cargill (36)

Carlisle United - Armer (62), Guy (90)

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Teams

Forest Green Rovers - McGee, Wilson, Cargill, Stevenson, Stevens, Cadden, Matt (c) (Sweeney 80), Moore-Taylor, Young (Aitchison 64), Hendry (Diallo 85), Godwin-Malife. Subs - Thomas (gk), Bernard, Edwards, March.

Carlisle United - Howard, Senior, McDonald, Feeney, Armer, Gibson (Clough 78), Guy (c), Dickenson (Fishburn 68), Mellish, Omotoye (Alessandra 68), Patrick. Subs - Norman (gk), Devine, Riley, Whelan.

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Match officials

Referee - Craig Hicks
Assistant Referee 1 - Lisa Rashid
Assistant Referee 2 - Andrew Hendley
Fourth Official - Ravel Cheosiaua
Observer - Mick Brown

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Attendance - 2,864 (267)


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