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FRIENDLY: United 1 - 1 Livingston FC

Report from the Tuesday friendly

18 July 2023

United's week at St Andrew's University Campus included a Tuesday lunchtime friendly meeting with Scottish Premier League side Livingston FC.

With the weekend Workington game still fresh in the legs it was an opportunity to get 60 minutes for those who had played half an hour at Borough Park as new arrival Dan Butterworth made his first appearance for his new club.

Corey Whelan and Jayden Harris were given the full 90 minutes.

Livi's squad included former Blues Shamal George and Tom Parkes, with the remainder of their first team players alongside a number of trialists.

It was an encounter played at an excellent pace with both teams registering their intent within the first two minutes.

Livi were first to knock on the door when a trialist dipped a free kick into the area. Guthrie got a touch but Holy was there to mop up.

United were immediately on the front foot and a huge kick from the stopper was chested by Garner on the edge of the area. Butterworth was in support but his instinctive volley from distance went high.

Mellish was in the mood and his forceful runs down the left flank became a feature of the first half. 

Stephen Kelly had his first sighter of the day with a 28-yard free kick that went over the target for the SPL outfit, but that sparked a good spell for Carlisle with Charters twice causing problems with set-piece deliveries. They were cleared, but not without pressure from the home side.

United had defending to do when Welch-Hayes overlapped before cutting it back across the face of the target. Mellish had tracked the run and he was there to sweep it clear before Guthrie could finish it off.

Livingston took a lead into the break with a strike that came from nowhere. Possession was overturned and Kelly made up for his earlier miss when he rattled it into the top corner from distance as he looked up and spotted a gap to exploit.

The Cumbrians were denied what looked a certain penalty on 47 minutes when Charters whipped a beauty of a free kick into the mix. Butterworth applied the deftest of touches off the top of his head and there was what appeared to be an outstretched arm to stop it in its tracks, as a line of attackers waited. The officials ignored the appeals.

Carlisle looked more and more in the mood as the clock ticked on and an incisive move was sparked when Whelan won it back inside his own half. Harris took it under control, and a measured through ball found Garner on the run. He clipped it with accuracy off his toe and Butterworth raced onto it. His volley beat the dive from Jack Hamilton but it edged just the wrong side of the upright.

Substitute Bruce Hamilton almost made an immediate impact for the visitors when he turned with the ball at his feet on the edge of the area. It took a touch off Huntington and dipped over the bar.

The same man tried to find the top corner when the inswinging delivery was half cleared but he got his bearings wrong and it curled well wide.

United started to gain the upper hand and the influential Jayden Harris ran from deep, leaving two in his wake. He was chopped to the ground tight by the corner flag, and that left Gibson to line things up. A drilled, low cross from him was met by a lunge from Whelan, but he was denied a goal as it struck a defending thigh and spun away from danger.

Carlisle came again with another slick passing move, with McCalmont on the hunt for options. Harris was an outlet, and he picked out Armer, who wasted no time in getting it into the area. Edmondson finished it off expertly with the side of his foot but the flag was up for a very tight offside decision.

The big forward wasn't to be denied his goal and some determined pressing by Gibson earned a turnover and a move into space. Patience was the order of the day as it was worked from right to left and back again, with Gibson clever with his final pass. Edmondson did the rest with a close-range strike.

Both teams went in search of a winner but the defensive units stayed strong to see the game out with neither keeper troubled any further.


Carlisle United - Holy (Langley 60), Whelan (c), Lavelle (Huntington 60), Mellish (Kilsby 60), Barclay (Ellis 60), Harris, McGeouch (Guy 60), Charters (McCalmont 60), Robinson (Armer 60), Garner (Edmondson 60), Butterworth (Gibson 60). 

Goals - Edmondson (73)

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