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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 2 - 1 Cobblers

Report from the Saturday afternoon home game

12 March 2022

There was a bumper crowd at Brunton Park for the visit of Northampton with ticket prices slashed and positivity the order of the day as the Blue family came together to do #WhateverItTakes to get the points needed to ensure league survival.

A haul of nine points from a possible nine leading into the fixture made it an expectant crowd, but it was never going to be easy with the Cobblers well involved in the hunt for automatic promotion.

It was an unchanged starting eleven for a fourth consecutive outing for Paul Simpson, but the bench brought a return for Brennan Dickenson and Rod McDonald at the expense of Lewis Alessandra and Mitchell Roberts.

United kicked into the wind and the sun towards the Warwick in the first half, but it was the visitors who had the first chance when Lewis nodded a long ball down for Appere to strike. He took a touch but he leaned back and he blazed his 16-yard effort high and towards the horizon.

The Cumbrians thought they'd done the trick on six minutes when Patrick twisted and turned his way into a crossing position tight by the corner flag. Armer chested it down, and Dennis controlled it just eight yards out. His volley had venom but Roberts did well to make the point-blank parry.

Riley supported the next foray forward and his deep delivery invited Armer to look for a header as he arrived late. He was poised to jump but it angled just too high.

An interception and a surging 30-yard run from Mellish took him from defence to attack and he bent his path to bring Devitt into the mix. It was then fed wide to Dennis but the forward slipped at the moment of connecting with his shot. That made it easy for Roberts to claim.

Mellish was there to block an edge of the area punt from Lewis as the game ebbed and flowed, and Feeney was on hand to repeat the feat when the same player latched onto a through ball from Pinnock.

A run from Hoskins took him into space midway through the half but he opted to shoot, from a tight angle, and Howard was comfortable as he watched it go wide.

It was tight for a ten-minute spell, and McGowan summed up the frustration when he rattled a miscued attempt into the ether when Koiki slid it his way.

The Cumbrians conceded a corner on the half hour when a deep cross came off Armer, but Riley was at the front stick to avert the danger.

There was action at the other end when Horsfall initially dealt with two Riley balls into the area. Gibson picked up the second clearance and Roberts had to readjust quickly when a swirling thunderbolt ripped through bodies.

It was scrappy through the 20 minutes leading up to half-time, but there was a scare when an inswinging corner fell at Horsfall's feet. He had time, but he somehow sent it way too high when it looked easier to hit the target.

A slow start to the second period picked up when United bullied their way down the left flank. Armer blocked a clearance, which went to Patrick, and he found Gibson on the edge of the area. A drop of the shoulder took him past one challenge but he couldn't get his shot away.

United probed again when Gibson and Riley passed their way up the pitch, but the delivery from the wide man was met by Guthrie as Devitt tried to get there.

Feeney was excellent when he made sure he got to a free kick that infiltrated the penalty area with a diving headed clearance, and Patrick brought 'ooohs' from the crowd when he tried his luck from 30-yards at the other end.

The Blues were on another attack on 70 minutes when Gibson turned over possession inside his own half. He drifted beyond two, and bided his time before side-footing it to Dickenson. 

Carlisle took the lead thanks to substitute Tobi Sho-Silva who made an immediate impact within 60 seconds of taking to the pitch. Dickenson was superb as he spun out of a tight spot with two expert touches. The through ball was sublime, and the lively front man made it three goals for his new side with a wonderful finish.

Northampton were back on terms just four minutes later when a cross from the right found Lewis unmarked. The eight-yard header whipped past Howard and into the back of the net.

There was a scramble in the home box with five minutes left to go as a long throw caused problems. Ashley-Seal had a volley charged down then Rose smashed one wide as he lost his balance.

Dickenson appeared to have fed Sho-Silva another beauty as the board showed five minutes of added time, but the offside flag went up to bring his sprint to a close. 

Hard work from Sho-Silva brought a free kick, 20-yards out and tight by the touchline, and the inswinger from Guy brought a penalty as a hand was used by Horsfall to guide it away.

Jordan Gibson placed it, and he sent the 8,000 plus home fans into raptures as he rattled it into the bottom corner.

The run was extended to four wins from four in the most dramatic of fashions, and few could deny that it was just what the hosts deserved.

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Match Sponsor - Park Gate

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Associate Sponsor - Cartmell Shepherd

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Match Ball Delivery System - Ascott Transport Ltd

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Goals

Carlisle United - Sho-Silva (74), Gibson (90+4 pen)

Northampton Town - Lewis (78)

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Bookings 

Carlisle United - Riley (80)

Northampton Town - McWilliams (31), Horsfall (57), Pinnock (80)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Howard, Riley, Simeu, Feeney, Mellish, Armer, Gibson, Guy (c), Devitt (Dickenson 61), Patrick, Dennis (Sho-Silva 73). Subs - Norman (gk), Devine, McDonald, Whelan, Omotoye.

Northampton Town - Roberts, McGowan, Sowerby, Guthrie, Horsfall (c), Hoskins (Ashley-Seal 85), Lewis, Pinnock, Koiki, McWilliams (Rose 46), Appere (Lubala 73). Subs - Maxted (gk), Harriman, Zimba, Magloire.

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Match officials

Referee - James Bell
Assistant Referee 1 - Paul Graham
Assistant Referee 2 - Daniel Woodward
Fourth Official - Paul Newhouse
Observer - Jeff Ward

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Attendance - 8,514 (380)


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