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Match Previews

PREVIEW: We take a look at our first opponents

Crawley Town head north at the weekend

29 July 2022

It's an early start to the League Two season with the first game - a home meeting with Crawley Town - heading our way this Saturday with July not yet out of the way.

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Crawley appointed Arsenal U23s boss Kevin Betsy as their new manager on an initial two-year deal at the beginning of June.

The 44-year-old replaced John Yems, who left after questions about his conduct were raised.

Betsy previously coached at Fulham prior to taking the lead role with England's under-18 age groups. He joined the Gunners in the summer of 2021 and steered their academy team to a third-placed finish in Premier League 2.

Dan Micciche followed him into the club having had a short spell of management with MK Dons. He worked with Betsy at Arsenal, with the pair reunited under the new ownership of US cryptocurrency investors WAGMI United LLC. Co-founders Preston Johnson and Eben Smith drove that takeover just over three months ago.

Defender Travis Johnson became the new manager's first signing, when he was released by Crewe, and Ash Nadesan extended his stay with a new two-year deal the same day.

Striker Dom Telford left Newport for the People's Pension Stadium on a three-year contract, and he was followed by Swindon defender Dion Conroy, who pennned for two seasons.

Liverpool teenager James Balagizi signed a season-long loan deal, and another permanent deal was made with keeper Corey Addai who marked his return from Denmark with a two-year agreement.

A trial period for trio Ben Wells, Jayden Davis and Moe Shubbar ended in success with 12-month contracts all round, and free agent Milton Mason, a winger most recently with MK Dons, ended his football exile last week when he agreed a two-year stay. 

who watch

We've gone for Ash Nadesan, who was a favourite with United fans through two separate loan spells that covered the whole of 2018 (he netted 13 goals in 43 appearances overall).

He became a real handful, and he ended last season with nine goals from 42 appearances.

There's competition for starting places this time round, so he might not get the nod this weekend.

Fast and strong, he'll be on the shoulders of the defenders as he looks to make things happen if he is selected, and we must remember that he can chip in with goals or assists as well.


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With match commentary provided by BBC Radio Cumbria, this is a fantastic way to follow your team through the season.

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  Carlisle wins Draws Crawley wins
League 10 7 3
Total 10 7 3

Ash Nadesan scored before the half hour when the Red Devils came to Brunton Park in January 2021, and the Blues had to remain patient as they kept knocking on a seemingly closed door. Lewis Alessandra raised the roof with a late, late equaliser.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

United were in Crawley in September 2021 and the hosts took a lead into the break thanks to Tom Nichols. Jon Mellish equalised with just seven minutes to go, but Nick Tsaroulla netted a last-ditch winner with seconds left on the clock.

You can watch the highlights from that game here:

March 2021 brought Crawley to Brunton Park once again and they were put to the sword by goals from Joe Riley and Omari Patrick.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

United's trip to Crawley in November 2020 proved to be productive as a goal just before the break from Rhys Bennett provided a springboard. Josh Kayode and Aaron Hayden made it 3-0, and a bad day became worse for the Red Devils when David Sesay received late marching orders.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

These sides came together down in Crawley just before the lockdown, in February 2020. It was a tight, tense 0-0 draw, with both teams missing chances to snatch it.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

Priot to that the Red Devils headed to Brunton Park for the opening game of the 2019/20 season. Harry McKirdy opened the scoring with just six minutes on the clock, but the Reds were back on terms just 10 minutes later when Beryly Lubala pounced. The lead was restored just before half time by Stefan Scougall, and that's how it stayed with the hosts holding on to take the three points. A feisty encounter saw Luke Young sent off in time added on.

Watch the highlights from that game here: 

Carlisle United 4 – 2 Crawley Town, 27 April 2019

Crawley Town 2 – 3 Carlisle United, 22 December 2018

Carlisle United 2 – 2 Crawley Town, 17 March 2018

Crawley Town 0 – 1 Carlisle United, 30 September 2017


Referee - Thomas Kirk
Assistant Referee 1 - Graeme Fyvie
Assistant Referee 2 - Paul Newhouse
Fourth Official - Matt Corlett
Observer - Clive Oliver

Mr Kirk steps up to life in the EFL this season, having taken charge of some tough encounters in the National League last term.

Probably most enjoyable will have been the play-off semi-final between Solihull Moors and Chesterfield at the end of May. 

The Spireites took an early lead but were put to the sword in what was an entertaining encounter that was allowed to flow by today's man in the middle. 


Don't forget that ticket prices increase by £3 on a match day.

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Alternatively, you can purchase your tickets in-person here at our main ticket office during office hours (Pioneer Stand), online by clicking HERE, or over the phone by ringing 0330 094 5930 (option 1).

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