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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Rovers 2 - 1 United

Report from the first game of 2023

1 January 2023

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Rovers 2 - 1 United

Report from the first game of 2023

1 January 2023

United faced Doncaster Rovers in their first outing of 2023.

And manager Paul Simpson was forced to make two changes to his starting XI with Jack Ellis and Taylor Charters both ruled out with troublesome hamstrings, picked up on Thursday night at Crewe.

Kris Dennis was in for Charters with Joel Senior involved for his first start since he picked up his ACL injury at Salford at the beginning of February.

Doncaster were unchanged from their Thursday night thriller against Rochdale.

The hosts had an early attack when Maxwell clipped one down the left flank. Miller was onto it, but he misjudged his delivery and it curled harmlessly behind.

Biggins then blazed over from distance after Huntington and Moxon had charged down efforts from the edge of the area in what was a lively start from the red and white hoops.

A run down the right from Molyneux earned a corner, but that was met at the front stick by a clearing header from Mellish. The resulting throw brought a goal from nothing as a ball across the six-yard box from Miller appeared to be going nowhere. Senior misjudged the clearance and that left Maxwell with a pop from a very tight angle. It beat Holy on its way into the bottom corner.

More hesitant defending gave Hurst half an opening, but Feeney and Moxon combined to shut things down. The clearance sent Gibson on a sprint, and he beat one before it was taken off his toe as he approached the 18-yard box.

Charlie Seaman was booked for a high challenge on Armer, with the referee consulting his assistant as to the severity of the offence, with a straight red clearly on the table for discussion.

It was a game of sporadic action and a shot from Close from a well-worked home corner whipped over the bar with Holy looking comfortable enough as he pulled his hands out of the way.

The injury curse continued into 2023 with Jack Stretton replaced on 25 minutes after he signalled to the bench that he wasn't feeling right.

Intricate play from the Blues on the half hour saw Senior, Mellish and Moxon make space, but the move eventually ended with a shot from Moxon that bulged the wrong side of the side netting.

Biggins put a 40th minute free kick into the wall, and Maxwell skied the rebound after what had been a tighter spell. Moxon sent a set piece from deep into Mitchell's hands as United battled to try to make a mark.

Jayden Harris was on for Jordan Gibson at the start of the second period, with the Cumbrians looking for a spark to their day, and he was immediately involved as he linked with Dennis. His cross was just too close to Mitchell.

There was work to do at the other end when Close put a corner into the mix. It was cleared as far as Molyneux, and his 22-yard volley had to be blocked by Feeney.

A neat pass forward found Dennis well advanced as the game picked up in pace, and he trapped it before bringing Senior into the equation. A low cross was touched on by Harris, but Sho-Silva saw it late and his volley was miscued.

The away crowd behind the goal was suddenly very noisy as the Blues played much of their game in the opposition half, and they were almost given something to really cheer about when Moxon ripped a beauty of a free kick into the area. Mellish threw himself at it but he couldn't find the touch it needed.

Doncaster got forward in numbers in response and Holy had to parry as a fierce thunderbolt came his way. Hurst had the target at his mercy for the rebound but he was left with his head in his hands as he prodded it high over the bar.

Carlisle were undone on 67 minutes when a quick passing move put Miller clean through. He took it wide, but his centred pass fell nicely for Hurst to strike and finish on the volley from close range.

Rovers slowed things down, but there was a late chance for Moxon after he carried it forward. It had power but it was blocked by two home shirts.

A nod down from Sho-Silva gave the visitors late hope as Dennis got on the end of it. He left Mitchell with no chance as he picked his spot to make it 14 for the season.

And Dennis nearly did it again after Devitt had cleverly played Mellish past two defenders. The striker touched, turned and shot, but Mitchell gathered at the second attempt.

There were loud appeals for a penalty as Dennis fell to the floor in time added on, but the officials showed no interest.

The last chance of the day was a header for Morgan Feeney after Armer had spun to lob the ball high and deep. The skipper was up high but he couldn't keep the header down.



Doncaster Rovers - Maxwell (5), Hurst (67)

Carlisle United - Dennis (87)



Doncaster Rovers - Seaman (12)

Carlisle United - Harris (57)



Doncaster Rovers - Mitchell, Knoyle, Maxwell, Anderson (c), Williams, Molyneux (Woltman 80), Miller (Agard 86), Biggins, Seamand, Hurst (Barlow 86), Close. Subs - Jones (gk), Clayton, Long, Ravenhill.

Carlisle United - Holy, Feeney (c), Huntington, Mellish, Senior, Moxon, Guy (Devitt 82), Armer, Gibson (Harris 46), Dennis, Stretton (Sho-Silva 25). Subs - Kelly, Hilton, Whelan, Carr.


Match officials

Referee - Ben Speedie
Assistant Referee - Alan Clayton
Assistant Referee - Peter Gooch
Fourth Official - Darren Handley
Observer - Philip Joslin
Senior Observer - Clive Oliver


Attendance - 7,143 (1,222)

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