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MATCH REPORT: United 2 - 0 Harrogate

Match report from the Bristol Street Motors Trophy game

14 November 2023

Club News

MATCH REPORT: United 2 - 0 Harrogate

Match report from the Bristol Street Motors Trophy game

14 November 2023

United’s final group stage game in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy saw them welcome Harrogate Town to Brunton Park.

And manager Paul Simpson made two changes from the side that narrowly lost to Bristol Rovers as Corey Whelan and Alfie McCalmont replaced Owen Moxon and Paul Huntington.

The Blues also handed youth team players Romeo Park, Aran Fitzpatrick and Josh O’Brien a place in the match day squad for the first time this season as they were named on the bench.

It was the hosts who started brightly, and they took the lead with only three minutes on the clock.

McCalmont played a clever pass around the corner to Joe Garner who in turn threaded in Jon Mellish. He surged into the box and saw a well-struck effort parried by visiting 'keeper Jonathan Mitchell, but Jordan Gibson reacted quickest to arrive and side-foot home from close range.

United continued to look lively and after Garner flicked on a Gibson free-kick, Luke Plange was just unable to divert his header toward goal.

Harrogate remained a threat though, and Tomas Holy had to get down to hold George Thomson’s low strike from 20 yards after a quicker counter-attack from the visitors.

While both teams showed plenty of intent, clear-cut chances were at a premium as the first half progressed.

Rod McDonald did well to steer Dylan McGeouch’s dinked cross away from the lurking Plange before Harrogate’s George Horbury sent an effort high and wide at the other as the Cumbrians retained their lead at the break.

The visitors, though, came out quickly after the restart and Abraham Odoh arched a volley over from edge of the area in the first opening of the second half.

Dean Cornelius then fired high of the target and Thomson’s header met a similar fate as the visitors started to ask more questions of the Blues.

The introductions of Terry Ablade and Dan Butterworth lifted United, and McCalmont forced Mitchell into a stop when he let fly from 20 yards after Harrogate only half-cleared a corner.

And the substitute duo played a key role in doubling the home side’s lead with just over ten minutes remaining. 

Butterworth played Jack Armer into the area and his cross was met by Ablade, whose header was hacked off the line. But just as he had been earlier in the evening, Gibson was on the spot and some neat footwork allowed him to fashion some space before sliding the ball home from six yards.

Stephen Dooley whistled a shot wide as the visitors looked to retaliate, with Holy making a fine low stop to deny Cornelius’ powerful strike moments later as the stopper kept Carlisle’s clean sheet intact.

The result keeps United’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition alive – with progression now hinging on Accrington Stanley’s meeting with Nottingham Forest under-21s next week.

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Goals

Carlisle United – Gibson (3, 79)

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Bookings

Carlisle United – Garner (42)

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Teams

Carlisle United – Holy, Armer, Lavelle, Gibson, McCalmont, Garner (Butterworth 72), Whelan, McGeouch (Ablade 72), Mellish, Barclay, Plange. Subs – Breeze, Edmondson, Fitzpatrick, O’Brien, Park

Harrogate Town – Mitchell, Burrell, Thomson (Daly 72), Cornelius, Odoh, McDonald, Muldoon, Sivi (Armstrong 63), Dooley, Horbury (Ramsay 76), Gibson. Subs – Thomas, Falkingham, Foulds, O’Boyle

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Match officials

Referee – Dale Baines

Assistant Referee 1 – Ollie Williams

Assistant Referee 2 – Ivan Stankovic

Fourth Official – Marc Edwards

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Attendance – 716 (40 away)


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