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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 2 - 1 Rovers

Report from the FA Cup first-round fixture

5 November 2022

United hosted Tranmere Rovers in the first-round of this season's Emirates FA Cup competition having faced them at Prenton Park just one week earlier.

The injury curse struck again with Kristian Dennis and Jack Stretton ruled out. The latter had rolled his ankle in training earlier in the week, with the in-form Dennis rested as a precaution after feeling a tightness after the weekend game.

That brought Jordan Gibson back into the team, having served his one-match suspension, with Tobi Sho-Silva also in for his first start of the campaign.

Both teams edged their way into it, but a through ball from the halfway line on eight minutes from Feeney brought things to life. Sho-Silva went beyond Bristow, but Doohan was off his line to scoop it up before Moxon could get there.

Tranmere responded with a move up the right flank in front of the Paddock that saw Dacres-Cogley centre from deep. Hemmings had just Holy to beat but the keeper spread himself to make an excellent save.

Carlisle picked up the baton and Ellis was excellent when he turned Bristow inside out. He got to the byeline, checked back, and slipped it back for Guy to strike. The midfielder kept it low, and it was bang on target, but a defending boot got in the way.

Sho-Silva did all the hard work on the quarter hour when he shrugged Bristow off the ball as the pair tussled for the right to come away with it. It was a tight angle, and his cut back was shepherded away. Gibson retrieved it and there was suddenly a blue shirt overload as Armer and Mellish kept it alive. O'Connor stayed deep and he got the delivery to safety.

Teenager Jack Ellis was was having a fantastic game, and he once again robbed Bristow before stepping into the opposition area. It pinged around after he centred, with efforts from Gibson twice blocked, and Mellish was a whisker away from opening the scoring with a stunning 12-yard volley that edged just wide.

A foul on Dacres-Cogley by Guy midway through the half gave the visitors a set piece 24-yards out, on the right hand quadrant of the Carlisle box. It was dropped into the six-yard area by O'Connor but Mellish was there to get rid of it.

There was more good pressing from the Blues as Feeney reacted first to a pass out of the depths by Bristow. It was touched onwards to Gibson, and he left Jameson for dead with a neat dink through his legs. The pull back begged to be struck, but Merrie intervened.

The deserved goal came on 29 minutes thanks to a lovely touch from Guy in midfield. He took it on his toe, stepped forward, then fed a precise pass into the path of Sho-Silva. The big forward got his head over the ball and Doohan could only parry as a low rifled effort came low. Jordan Gibson said thank you very much as he swatted it into the roof of the net from close range.

Home tails were up and Moxon swept a teasing free kick towards Feeney after Ellis had been tugged. It was put behind, and the corner came off Davies to the lurking Gibson. It was a difficult volley and it screwed off towards the corner flag.

Sho-Silva was next to cause problems when he bullied Davies off a huge kick over the top. He tried to readjust for the lob but he was off balance and Doohan gratefully gathered it in.

Timing in the tackle from Huntington set United on the move again when he reached out a leg poke the ball away from Hemmings. Gibson spotted Sho-Silva on the move, and the big striker used pace to bear down on goal. He was taken to a tight angle and Doohan watched the shot into his hands.

The dangerous Ellis was a handful on the right wing and his cross just before half time, when he found himself in unexpected space, was as good as they come. It was just too high for Sho-Silva and Davies put in the clearing header.

Simeu had the ball in the back of the net for the away team with just two minutes on the second half clock, but the referee blew immediately for a foul, cutting short the celebrations.

Davies went into the book when he steamed through Armer over on the left flank, but O'Connor cleared Moxon's delivery. Ellis stayed deep as the resutling inswinger of a corner was nodded high, but his volley lacked direction.

It was still all about Carlisle, and a Charters free kick had to be nodded into the Warwick once again as Feeney arrived at the back stick.

Tranmere juggled with their shape and they got more joy after a double substitution on the hour. Morris jinked inside to cross, and Hawkes earned a corner as his volley from the penalty spot took a deflection and fizzed over the bar.

But nerves were settled temporarily on 66 minutes courtesy of yet more superb home football. A high press turned over possession, and a slick interchange of passes with Charters left sub Jayden Harris with the ball at his feet. A drag back put Doohan on his backside and Simeu could do nothing as the midfielder stuck to the task to force the loose ball over the line.

Harris was purposeful once again on 78 minutes when he ran beyond a challenge to pick out Moxon. He turned his back to the target and brought Guy onto it but the shot from distance lacked the power it needed.

Tranmere were back in it from nowhere with eight minutes left to play when the Cumbrians fell asleep at a free kick. Hemmings was put clear, despite the penalty area being packed, and Holy had to dive long to parry. Byrne reacted first to head the looping ball over the line.

Rovers sent men forward, and there were deliveries to be dealt with as the clock ticked down. Feeney, Mellish and Armer worked hard, and Huntington had to step in to intervene just as Nevitt looked to latch on to a scrambled through ball.

The corner from McAlear was met by Feeney, and it was hooked long and high by Mellish to the delight of the noisy Blue Army.

It was a nervy ending to the encounter, but keep an eye out for ball number 14 in Monday night's draw - 7pm on BBC 2.


Match Sponsor - Story Homes
Match Ball Sponsor - 



Carlisle United - Gibson (29), Harris (66)

Tranmere Rovers - Byrne (82)



Carlisle United - Harris (73), Armer (85)

Tranmere Rovers - Davies (50)



Carlisle United - Holy, Feeney (c), Huntington, Mellish, Ellis, Guy, Moxon, Armer, Gibson (Bollado 75), Sho-Silva (Harris 60), Charters. Subs - Kelly (gk), Hilton, Whelan, Back, Idehen.

Tranmere Rovers - Doohan, Dacres-Cogley, Bristow, O'Connor (McAlear 60), Davies (Byrne 78), Merrie, Morris, Hemmings, Jameson (Hawkes 46), Lewis (Nevitt 60), Simeu (Taylor 90). Subs - Hewelt (gk), Hughes.


Match officials

Referee - Declan Bourne
Assistant Referee 1 - Chris Isherwood
Assistant Referee 2 - Lewis Raper
Fourth Official - Helen Conley


Attendance - 4,154 (261)

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