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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Cambridge 1 - 0 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

28 October 2023

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Cambridge 1 - 0 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game

28 October 2023

It was the second of three consecutive Saturday away games for the Blues on Saturday as they headed to the Abbey in Cambridge for their latest League One fixture.

United were heading into the game unchanged from their midweek success over Burton until Fin Back pulled out of the warm-up when he signalled that he had felt a tightness at the top of his thigh.

That brought Ben Barclay into the starting eleven, with Corey Whelan drafted onto the bench.

Carlisle started brightly and their high tempo approach put a nervy looking host outfit on the back foot with a series of early attacks.

And the team in blue should have taken the lead inside the first two minutes when Gibson and Armer linked up down the left flank. The latter pulled the ball back into a dangerous area but Butterworth got his angles wrong and was disappointed to see his effort bend wide.

Striker Joe Garner put himself about and he made space for himself on five minutes, with Maguire in support. The through ball was neat but the attack was stopped in its tracks when the keeper rushed out.

The Cumbrians kept knocking and Gibson was next to find room after Armer and Mellish worked hard to make space. He cut it back into the mix and it pinged about after Morrison had smashed his clearance against Ryan Bennett. Maguire and Butterworth tried to finish it off but the U’s survived the scramble.

Cambridge started to show as more of an attacking force midway through the half but the edgy crowd started to moan and groan as crosses from left and right went too high and too far.

Carlisle continued to look the more likely, but they couldn’t quite find the target, with a looped Barclay header from a Maguire cross that landed on the roof of the net typical of their fortune in front of goal.

Both Gibson and Butterworth saw half chances deflect away from the target, and Holy was needed at the other end when Kaikai bent his run before delivering low. It was going in until the big stopper got there with his feet.

The dangerous Gibson, making his 100th league start for his team, wanted to celebrate the landmark with a goal, but he was frustrated by a resolute wall when he went for the top corner from a 23-yard free kick. The touch from Morrison sent it over the bar.

Cambridge upped their game after the break, and Ahadme almost capitalised on unexpected space after Digby had got forward with purpose. Lavelle got in the way, but the rebound was met by a thundering strike from Liam Bennett. Holy was relieved to see it flash past his upright.

There were loud appeals for a penalty when Andrew slid towards Maguire, determined to stop any kind of cross. He appeared to drag it behind with his arm, but the shouts from the players and the 661 strong travelling contingent behind the goal were ignored.

Holy was down smartly to palm a Brophy grasscutter away from his bottom corner, and the keeper opted to leave a fizzer from Liam Bennett that dipped late and almost made into the roof of the net.

Just as it seemed that things were starting to settle, a misplaced pass gave Cambridge an opening they used to full effect. Liam Bennett guided the ball towards Substitute George Thomas and, completely unmarked, he had time to pick his headed spot.

There was a very good chance to level things up when Moxon fed Ablade, who used pace and strength to his advantage. He slid it back for McCalmont to strike but, with the goal at his mercy, he missed his kick and the moment was gone.

United’s afternoon took a horrible twist on 83 minutes when Jack Armer tugged Kaikai as he shaped to break through. Having already been booked it was inevitable that a second yellow would follow.

Ten became nine on 92 minutes when McCalmont was shown a straight red after he’d raised a boot to volley an awkward ball, only for it to connect with Digby’s chest.

Carlisle threw men forward through the remaining nine minutes of added time, and they felt aggrieved when Ablade was twice felled in dangerous set piece positions, only for referee Sam Purkiss to tell him to get up on both occasions.

The Abbeymen held on to claim their win, with Carlisle left to lick the wounds of what had been a very bruising day.



Cambridge United - Thomas (74)



Cambridge United - Lankester (30), R Bennett (37)

Carlisle United - Armer (47 & 83 - sent off)

McCalmont - straight red (90+2)



Cambridge United - Stevens, L Bennett, Andrew, Morrison (c), R Bennett, Digby, Brophy (Gordon 78), Lankester (Thomas 65), Cousins, Kaikai (Janneh 65), Ahadme (Okenabirhie 65). Subs - Rossi, May, Haunstrup. 

Carlisle United - Holy, Barclay, Armer, Lavelle (c), Mellish, Guy, Moxon (Robinson 84), Butterworth (McCalmont 61), Gibson (Plange 75), Maguire (Ablade 61), Garner (Edmondson 75). Subs - Andresson (gk), Whelan.


Match officials

Referee - Sam Purkiss
Assistant Referee 1 - Scott Williams
Assistant Referee 2 - Ryan Whitaker
Fourth Official - Leigh Crowhurst
Observer - Michael Brader
Coach - Michael George


Attendance - 6,513 (661)

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