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YOUTH: United 3 - 1 Bantams

Report from the Tuesday afternoon cup game

4 October 2022

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United hosted Bradford City in the second of their Youth Alliance Cup group games at an extremely damp Creighton on Tuesday afternoon.

Romeo Park had been the hero in the previous cup game against Morecambe, with a brace that secured the points, so it was all to play for with an away trip to Rotherham next in line in this competition.

A strong wind was accompanied by heavy rain for most of the 90 minutes, but two good sides battled it out despite the conditions to produce an entertaining encounter.

Carlisle started brightly and Hardy had an early chance when the ball was worked his way on the edge of the box. He connected cleanly with his effort but it struck a defender and edged wide.

More slick passing from the hosts came when Carr regained possession in midfleld. Hill and Hardy combined, but the keeper was off his line just as it looked that Bollado had been sent clean through.

Things settled down but United came again on 18 minutes when a quick throw put Nugent on a run. He dropped a shoulder and shot as he beat his man but it was too close to the alert stopper.

Bradford started to find their front men with purposeful attacks and Barry had to dive low to save with his legs as a low drive angled at his bottom corner.

But that proved to have been just a warning as an almost carbon copy move gave the visitors the lead. United's keeper could do nothing as the ball was slipped into his nets.

Away tails were up and Barry was needed once again moments later when a snapshot was unleashed after a neat set of touches had picked a way through. Barry got there with a block and was up quickly to pick up the loose ball.

The Blues responded with a more controlled spell of attacking, but they were gifted a chance when a defender dallied before slipping as Romeo Park took it off his toe. He kept his cool before picking his spot to level the scores.

Half chances were exchanged, and the Bantams clipped over when a flick from a long kick opened things up. Both Bollado and Nugent had attempts saved when they tried their luck from outside the area.

Carlisle upped a gear after the break and they started to look the more likely, with an effort after just 10 seconds of the restart from Bollado that needed to be watched.

Jake Allen then romped down the wing to deliver a beauty of a cross that just needed a touch. 

The increase in pressure was almost made to count when Carr spun on the ball before thumping a wicked thunderbolt goalwards. The slightest of nicks off a defender made it even harder for the keeper, but he readjusted to divert it away with an outstretched boot.

Bradford still had a say, and Barry was relieved when a fizzed toe poke shaved the outside of his post from an attack that materialised from nowhere. 

But the deserved home lead was claimed on the hour when Nugent controlled a flick from midfield. He fed it to Bollado, and the striker looked up to weigh up the options before putting it away.

United extended their advantage just six minutes later when a corner from Nugent was kept alive. A third headed clearance looped high and Alex Potts scored his first goal for the team as he bullied his way onto it when it dropped his way. It came off his back and bounced unhindered over the line.

Potts received more praise off his team mates, but this time at the other end, when he lunged in behind Barry to clear what looked to be a certain goal off the line. 

The Cumbrians had the last chance of the day when Bollado bore down on the target, but he was disappointed to see it screw off the top of his boot and sail over the bar.

United - Barry, Potts, O'Brien, Bell, Allan (Fitzpatrick 90), Nugent, Carr (c), Bollado, Hill (Hetherington 63), Park, Hardy (Swinburn 83). Subs - Walsh.

Goals - Park (29), Bollado (60), Potts (66)


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