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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 3 - 0 Doncaster

Report from the Saturday afternoon home game

15 October 2022

United and Doncaster were matched stride for stride going into their Saturday afternoon meeting at Brunton Park, equal on points and side by side in the table.

The early-season injury curse struck again with striking pair Omari Patrick and Kris Dennis ruled out, and Fin Back was also missing having had a minor hamstring injury confirmed.

That meant two changes to the starters from last week's excellent away win at Hartlepool, with Jack Ellis making his first league start since the end of August.

Ryan Edmondson, back from a nasty ankle problem, was into the eleven having featured at the Victoria Ground last week as a substitute. 

It was all seasons in one day weather wise as strong winds and pounding rain before kick off were followed by bright sunshine and calmness.

It was career appearance number 200 for keeper Tomas Holy, and he was almost tested straight away when Miller latched on to a dinked pass from Guy. Huntington slid in to stop him in his tracks, and Biggins blazed over from distance when he volleyed as it came his way.

There was lovely football in the box at the other end from the Blues after Moxon had been urged to shoot when a cross from Mellish deflected into his path. That was charged down, but Moxon and Edmondson kept it alive. It was worked across the face of the area to Stretton, and he forced a parried save out of Mitchell as he aimed for the near post.

A headed clearance on the bounce from keeper Johnny Mitchell gave Edmondson half a sight as he set himself for the lob from distance. The keeper scampered but it was a difficult opportunity and it angled wide.

The big striker did well on 16 minutes when a throw from Armer skipped off the slick surface. He turned and shot in one movement, but the stopper was able to watch in comfort.

Trickery from Gibson gave him room to deliver from the right flank as he got himself involved and it whipped across the face of goal. Stretton recovered it, and Armer's follow up was sent into the Warwick as Clayton closed things down.

It was a good spell of pressure from the hosts, and Mellish put Armer on another overlap. Knoyle closed the space quickly and shepherded it behind. The corner made its way to Mellish, as he sat deep, but his long-range thunderbolt was always on the rise. 

The game really sprang into life on 27 minutes when the visitors fashioned a break from inside their own half. Knoyle's cross was met on the full by Close, but Holy was magnificent as he spread himself to make a one-handed save.

United broke, and Clayton was booked after he'd dragged Gibson to the floor. Carlisle picked things up, and Moxon thought he'd done the trick when he leaped to meet a Gibson dipper. The six-yard firm header was going in until Mitchell leaped to push it onto the bar. Mellish tried his luck on the rebound but he met congestion and it spun to safety.

The set piece caused chaos, and Armer turned away in dismay when his net bound cruncher was stopped by Anderson, with an outstretched boot.

More excellent football, this time orchestrated by Whelan when he broke forward, put Gibson in a very advanced position. He got it under the defender but Mitchell was alert and he scooped it into his chest.

Carlisle stayed forward, thanks to energy from Mellish as he surged out of defence, and Mitchell had to punch as a swirling ball fell out of the sky. Gibson caught it cleanly on the 18-yard line but it skittered wide of the mark.

It felt like the goal had been coming, and it duly arrived on the stroke of half-time thanks to unselfish play from Edmondson and Moxon. A great touch from the striker took him past Williams tight by the touchline, and he checked back to feed it to the midfielder. He could have shot, but he spotted Guy in a much better position, just to his right. A second goal for the club was just as crisp as his first (against Wimbledon last month) and Mitchell had no chance as it buried itself in the bottom corner.

Huntington was booked at the start of the second period as he cleared his lines, but Woltman somehow escaped the same fate after he'd scythed Stretton down. United kept their concentration and Holy took it out of the sky after Mellish had put himself in the way of a Molyneux cross.

The home crowd were incensed on 52 minutes when Stretton was clearly fouled after he'd been set free by a Moxon through ball, but the players kept their heads to come again after nothing had been given their waay. Stretton was the instigator as he used pace to beat his man, and Mitchell had to parry as Gibson found the target from the cut back. The same man volleyed again, and he had a huge smile on his face when it hit Stretton and bobbled over the line. The young forward had earned the celebration, and his first goal for the club, having put in an excellent personal performance up to that point.

United dominated the midfield area and Moxon and Guy combined again to meet what was a piercing run from Stretton. He won his side a corner, and Whelan got on the end of that with a diving header. He was under pressure and it bent its way wide.

Mellish was needed at the back when Hurst clipped a low pass at the front stick. The defender took matters into his own hands to get it away.

And the Cumbrians turned the screw when Gibson skipped himself into the centre circle. His through ball was magnificent, and Jack Stretton showed just how confident he is as he arrowed at the box. Mitchell tried to close the gap, but he could do nothing as it was swept into the back of his net.

The football on show was of an extremely high quality and Mellish was at his best as he danced his way through two challenges. Guy showed for it, but rather than shoot he played it out for Ellis to deliver. Moxon's piledriver skimmed a defensive thigh and shaved the outside of the upright.

Carlisle were hungry and Gibson beat the offside trap to go through at the keeper. He kept it on the ground but it was a whisker away as he released a bullet from a tight angle.

It was almost relentless from the Blues, and Gibson had one charged down after Ellis and Guy had linked high up the pitch. It came back to the right flank, and Moxon was precise as he looked for Harris. Mitchell was off his line to gather in the nick of time.

Harris did well to help Edmondson deal with a corner with five minutes left to play. The pair were right where they needed to be as the ball pinged around.

Whelan needed treatment after he'd made life difficult for Miller in an aerial battle, and he limped off to be replaced by Morgan Feeney, who came on to make his 50th appearance for the club.

The hosts managed the remaining minutes out, and they were awarded a penalty deep into time added on when Harris closed down, only to be fouled as he took the ball off Long. Edmondson took the resulting spot kick, but Mitchell made the block with his legs.


Match Sponsor - Aqua Pura

Match Ball Sponsor - Volvo Trucks

Match Ball Sponsor - McCalls Bakers



Carlisle United - Guy (44), Stretton (53, 67)



Carlisle United - Huntington (47)

Doncaster Rovers - Clayton (26), Williams (70)



Carlisle United - Holy, Whelan (c) (Feeney 88), Huntington, Mellish, Ellis, Guy, Moxon, Armer, Gibson (Charters 90), Edmondson, Stretton (Harris 79). Subs - Kelly (gk), Barclay, Bollado, Idehen. 

Doncaster Rovers - Mitchell, Knoyle, Anderson, Williams, Molyneux (Taylor 69), Clayton (c), Miller, Biggins (Agard 57), Long, Woltman (Hurst 57), Close. Subs - Bottomley (gk), Maxwell, Seaman, Faulkner.


Match officials

Referee - Peter Wright
Assistant Referee 1 - Paul Newhouse
Assistant Referee 2 - Darren Williams
Fourth Official - Peter Gooch
Observer - Edward Tarry


Attendance - 5,600 (477)

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