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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Tranmere 0 - 2 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

29 October 2022

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Tranmere 0 - 2 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

29 October 2022

This will all seem very familiar when these teams meet again at Brunton Park in the Emirates FA Cup first-round next week.

But, for now, the focus was the on the three points and another important league fixture.

There were two enforced changes for manager Paul Simpson from Stockport on Tuesday night, making four in total, with Jordan Gibson missing out to suspension having picked up his fifth yellow card, and Fin Back absent through illness. Jack Stretton and Jack Ellis were in as replacements. 

Fit again Paul Huntington returned to the heart of the defence and Taylor Charters made his first league start of the season to make it four changes in total. Jayden Harris and Corey Whelan took a place on the bench.

That meant the side had four Cumbrians starting (Charters, Ellis, Huntington and Moxon), and a Cumbrian manager and assistant manager, giving it very much a local feel.

The last time there were four home grown players starting was back in April 2015 when Patrick Brough, Kyle Dempsey, Danny Grainger and Steven Rigg helped the Blues to a 2-0 win over Plymouth, a result that kept the club up. 

It took just 39 seconds for the Blues to open their account when Stretton got onto the end of a superb ball forward from Guy. It was a raking, 60-yard pass and the striker put it on a plate for his partner, who had followed the move, with a fizzing delivery. It was goal number nine of the season, this one from close range, for Dennis.

Midfielder Guy tried the same type of pass moments later, but Stretton's cut back was stopped by Merrie as he backtracked.

It was a really bright start from the away team and Mellish raced out of defence to control a touch from Charters on his chest with everyone looking to get onto the ball. Armer took over, and he quickly fed Mellish into space. A low cross was met by Dennis on the penalty spot but it was blocked by Simeu.

There was another half chance on 11 minutes when Feeney floated a free kick from deep into the mix. Charters nodded it down, and Dennis looked to connect on the volley. He was closed down just as he spun to hit it.

United thought they'd doubled their lead on 13 minutes when Charters, making his first league start since Newport away in October last year, got his head down to attack the box. He used Dennis as a bounce board, but his grasscutter was parried by Doohan. Stretton popped it over the line but the flag went up for offside.

A huge kick forward had Hawkes interested at the other end as it spun his way. A fierce shot hit Huntington on the chest and spun past the post.

More good football saw Moxon spread it wide after Ellis had recovered possession. He got it back from Armer, and Guy pulled off his man to make an option. He had two defenders on his case and the shot skewed off the top of his boot.

Carlisle were on their game through the early stages and Ellis linked up with Dennis to get to the byeline. His cross fizzed across the face of the target as Armer and Stretton launched themselves at it.

A firm interception in his own half from Moxon sent Stretton through as the ball sailed high. He was suddenly up against Doohan, with the keeper getting a boot to it just in the nick of time. 

The home side struggled to make an impact, but Morris demonstrated fleet of foot when he dropped a shoulder to ghost past two defenders. He pulled the trigger on the run but Feeney lunged in to get in the way.

United were dominant, and Guy was masterful in the way he wriggled away from three opponents before putting it into the box. Dennis had his back to goal, and he tried to bring Stretton into play with a light touch. The forward was muscled out of it before he could shoot.

Mellish was on hand to clear when Hawkes tried to cause problems with a clipped reverse pass inside the area, with Tranmere attacking in fits and starts, and Holy showed an excellent reaction when Morris got on the end of the resulting inswinging corner. It was going into the roof of the net until fingertips diverted it over.

The visitors came again when Stretton touched off a high ball for Guy to latch onto. A sprint opened things up but his curler could only find the side netting.

Hawkes tried his luck from distance just before the break, but Holy was able to dive comfortably to gather it in.

Moxon then bullied his way onto the ball from the clearance, and he looked for Armer with the teasing cross. The referee decided there was a push just as he tried to get a toe on it.

There was a Tranmere corner to deal with in time added on for the half, and Guy was flattened by Hemmings as he got the first contact. That was that at the end of what had been an immense 45 minutes from the away team.

A quick throw from Ellis put Dennis beyond the backline at the start of the second period, but he had to cross under pressure and Doohan took it in.

Guy had to be replaced by Harris when he went to ground on 52 minutes, and the substitute was involved immediately as he got the ball out to Ellis. A foul on the youngster brought a free kick, and that was delivered low by Moxon. Stretton was pushed to the floor by Nevitt as he looked to get there, and the whistle subsequently blew for a penalty. Kris Dennis took himself into double figures with an excellently placed finish.

United had long throws and crosses to contend with through a tighter spell of the game, but Huntington and Mellish met everything, and Feeney chimed in with a storming run from the edge of his own box to relieve the pressure.

Bristow was up to take a free kick from a dangerous area at a difficult angle midway through the half, but Holy came off the line to make it his.

Rovers came again as Dacres-Cogley overlapped, but Nevitt got his bearings wrong with the shot and it climbed wide.

Jack Ellis brought the away fans to their feet when he nutmegged Bristow and battled his way into the box right in front of them. He popped it across the goal line but it was agonisingly just in front of Charters.

Morris fired wide with a snapshot as Tranmere were kept out of the area, and Simeu put a cross straight at Holy as the home crowd started to turn and lose their patience.

Holy was commanding at the back, punching and catching as required, and he was backed up by a 'whole team' performance through every area of the pitch. 

Jon Mellish picked up his fifth booking of the season in time added on, meaning he'll miss a game, but even that couldn't put the dampeners on what was as good an away display as we are likely to see.



Carlisle United - Dennis (39 seconds, 54 pen)



Carlisle United - Dennis (66), Mellish (90)



Tranmere Rovers - Doohan, Dacres-Cogley, Bristow, O'Connor, Merrie (Nolan 46), Morris, Hemmings (c), Hawkes, Turnbull, Nevitt (Burton 72), Simeu. Subs - Hewelt (gk), McAlear, Hughes, Jameson, Byrne.

Carlisle United - Holy, Feeney (c), Huntington, Mellish, Ellis, Moxon, Guy (Harris 52), Charters (Whelan 86), Armer, Dennis (Sho-Silva 83), Stretton. Subs - Kelly (gk), Carr, Bollado, Idehen.


Match officials 

Referee - Carl Boyeson
Assistant Referee 1 - Abbas Khan
Assistant Referee 2 - Jake Topp
Fourth Official - Nik Barnard
Observer - Muhammed Matada


Attendance - 6,756 (905)

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