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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 2 - 0 Tranmere

Report from the Good Friday home game

7 April 2023

United's month-long #10for10 ticket promotion brought 12,694 home fans through the gates on Good Friday.

There were two changes to the team that faced Leyton Orient last weekend with Ben Barclay and Jack Ellis in for the unfortunate Fin Back and Morgan Feeney, who had picked up hamstring injuries a week ago.

The experienced Paul Huntington was handed the captain's armband, with the Blues looking to end a four-game run without finding the back of the net.

Good pressing early in the piece brought just reward, with Patrick sharp and on his toes on two separate occasions. Keeper Mateusz Hewelt never looked comfortable, with Ellis and McCalmont also snapping at heels.

It was a poorly directed pass from Hewelt that had Davies and Turnbull in a flap, as Patrick nipped in to take control. He kept his head as he rolled it to Kris Dennis, who notched league goal number 18 of the season (19 overall) with a dinked finish in front of the home fans who were gathered behind the nets in the Waterworks End. 

It looked like Dennis had doubled his tally for the day on nine minutes when Armer was up to contest a huge kick. Patrick caused more confusion with his movement, and Dennis was a whisker away with a stunning volley from 19-yards that shaved the upright.

There was excellent football from the Blues when Armer pulled wide into space. His controlled touch invited Mellish to stride forward, and Patrick suddenly found himself with space to work in. He dropped a shoulder and let fly, and Hewelt had to get down to beat it away.

Rovers tried to hit on the break but Hawkes was greedy as he sprinted onwards with the ball at his feet. He had options left and right, and he had some explaining to do after he'd dragged a poor attempt well wide.

Armer tried his luck from distance as the Blues continued to dictate, but it was diverted behind by Bristow. The deep corner from Moxon was recycled by Mellish, who chipped it back into the mix. The white shirts stayed compact as they worked hard to get it away.

The lively Dennis won his side a corner midway through the half, and the delivery from Armer was decent. Huntington met it with a firm header, but luck wasn't on his side as it hit a shoulder and rebounded to safety.

Carlisle's approach play was intricate and eye-catching, with neat passing the order of the day, and it was built from a bedrock of solid defending from the back three.

Tranmere had half a chance when a free kick from the right from Hawkes was headed out by Ellis. Saunders went for a volley but he couldn't keep it down.

It was a better spell for the away team and an overlap from Dacres-Cogley brought another corner just past the half hour. A dipping delivery caused confusion until Ellis and McCalmont calmed things down.

Bristow was then on a charge on the left flank, and Huntington did well to get in the way of his cut back. Patrick was lively from the clearance from that outswinger and he turned defence into attack as he forced a corner at the other end. Barclay challenged when Armer swung it in, as did Dennis, but the avenue was shut before the trigger could be pulled.

The lead was doubled on 39 minutes with another wonderful passage of play. Patrick and McCalmont were supported by Moxon and Ellis, and it was Moxon who put a boot on the ball before sending a peach of  cross to the back stick. Armer leaped highest to meet it, and Dennis finished it off with a thunderbolt of a close-rage finish into the roof of the net.

Carlisle were denied a third just before the break when Patrick beat the offside trap to latch onto an inch perfect through ball from McCalmont. Hewelt was off his line to make a vital save, with his body then an outstretched arm. The corner was won by Barclay, with Dennis having a header cleared off the line, but the excitement was brought to an end when the referee spotted an infringement.

United asked the first question of the second period when Moxon played Armer into space on the left. He waited for Devitt to arrive and the substitute wasn't too far away with a curler of a connection.

Devitt was at the heart of it again when he rolled Armer on the overlap moments later. It was a whipped delivery this time and Dennis lunged on the slide to try to make the touch. Hewelt got down to smother in the nick of time.

There was a confident air about the hosts and an expansive exchange of passes gave Devitt time to pick a cross. 

It was one-way traffic towards the Warwick and Mellish was accurate with a run and cross that had to be turned behind. The corner was cleared as Dennis tried to make it his.

At times the home football was breathtakign to watch, as seen from a break with Patrick, Devitt and Armer at the spearhead. It eventually worked its way to Ellis and tested Hewelt with a rocket of a volley that the keeper could only parry.

Armer needed treatment when he blocked a cross with his cheek as the Blues dominated possession and territory, but Holy had work to do when Mumbongo arrowed a shot from the angle of the area. He dived to make certain of the save.

Back at the other end and Devitt lofted a lovely looking ball into the six-yard with his left peg. It was begging for a finish, but it bounced across the face of the nets unhindered. 

Devitt then put a pull back straight at Hewelt as he tried to guide his shot into the bottom corner, and Armer was then unlucky as his low drive was charged down and hooked away.

Logan Chalmers had the goal at his mercy deep into time added on when Mumbongo broke free to centre, but he got his touch wrong and he could only send it well wide.

Gibson went for it with his left foot as the Cumbrians swept forward again, but it came off the top of his boot and ripped into the Warwick.

The appreciative home support raised the roof when the final whistle went as they celebrated what had been an extremely professional and complete performance.


Match Sponsor - Mitchell Dryers
Match Ball Sponsor - Seavor Chartered
Match Ball Sponsor - Mitchell Dryers



Carlisle United - Dennis (3, 39)



Carlisle United - McCalmont (69), Garner (84)

Tranmere Rovers - Hemmings (61)



Carlisle United - Holy, Barclay, Huntington (c), Mellish, Ellis (Gibson 82), McCalmont (Robinson 90), Guy (Devitt 46), Moxon, Armer, Patrick (Garner 74), Dennis (Edmondson 74). Subs - Kelly (gk), Whelan.

Tranmere Rovers - Hewelt, Dacres-Cogley, Bristow, Davies, Merrie (Hoti 79), Hemmings (c) (Taylor 79), Hawkes (O'Connor 65), Turnbull, Hughes (Mumbongo 46), Hendry, Saunders (Chalmers 54). Subs - Burton, Turner-Cooke.


Match officials

Referee - Thomas Kirk
Assistant Referee 1 - Darren Williams
Assistant Referee 2 - Anthony Moore
Fourth Official - Lewis Raper
Observer - Clive Oliver


Attendance - 13,410 (716)

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