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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 2-2 Stevenage

23 March 2024

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 2-2 Stevenage

23 March 2024

A brace from Dan Butterworth was cancelled out by two late Stevenage strikes.

United took the lead on 13 minutes following a well-worked passing move, which ended with Butterworth tapping home, before he doubled our lead just past the hour-mark.

Substitute Alex MacDonald reduced the deficit from the spot on 81 minutes, prior to Vancooten levelling the contest at the death.

United started on the front foot with Jack Armer providing a top delivery to Armstrong inside the opening two minutes, but the forward lashed wide.

On 13 minutes we took a deserved lead, Harrison Neal slipped a superb ball into the path of Jack Ellis, the defender could’ve fired at goal himself but instead opted to square to Dan Butterworth, who tapped in from point blank range.

As the clock ticked onto 20 minutes, Stevenage started to apply their first bit of pressure, winning several corners in quick succession, but the Blues’ defence stood firm.

Nick Freeman was the first player to be shown a yellow card after bringing down Taylor Charters on the left, who was looking to catch the visitors on the break.

Before teammate Jordan Roberts was also added to the referee’s book 10 minutes later.

As we approached the interval, Steve Evans’ side continued to search for a route back into the game and forced Neal to send a looping header out for a Stevenage corner after a deep free-kick.

The final piece of action before the break saw Louis Thompson fire from distance following Stevenage’s ninth corner of the first-half, but it went well wide.

Half-time: Carlisle United 1-0 Stevenage

The first opportunity of the second-half fell to the visitors as Nathan Thompson’s attempted effort was cleared.

United then looked to counter through Armstrong with the ball finding its way to Butterworth, but his shot was ultimately claimed by MacGillivray.

The visitors created a few openings as we came towards the hour-mark, but once again, Paul Simpson’s side was equal to it.

On 62 minutes, Guiness-Walker sent a cross into the area with the outside of his boot, forcing United to clear, prior to Lavelle making a strong block after a powerful shot from outside the box.

Two minutes later, Carlisle should’ve grabbed their second. Great work from Butterworth on the left, who had beaten his man and picked out Charters centrally, but the latter was unable to pull the trigger before being closed down.

United’s persistence paid off seconds later, and it was Butterworth again, doubling both his and Carlisle’s tally for the afternoon after hammering a left-footed effort beyond MacGillivray, which struck the far post on the way in.

On 70 minutes, we almost made it three. Butterworth once again proving to be a problem for the Stevenage defence, before he found Armstrong, whose effort was straight at the ‘keeper from the edge of the box.

As we entered the final quarter-of-an-hour, substitute Ben Thompson had a chance to reduce the deficit, but he was unable to do so after receiving the ball at the far post.

On 81 minutes, McGeouch was deemed to have fouled a Stevenage attacker, seeing them win a penalty, which was tucked away by Alex MacDonald.

Diamond had a superb chance to restore our two-goal lead on 88 minutes, but after finding himself one-on-one with MacGillivray, the shot-stopper made a brilliant low save to keep his side in the game.

Stevenage piled on the pressure in stoppage time - Armstrong and Lavelle made vital clearances to keep us ahead.

But the visitors’ hard work was rewarded as they snatched the equaliser at the death, courtesy of Vancooten following Oliver’s initial effort on goal.

Full-time: Carlisle United 2-2 Stevenage



Carlisle United: (Butterworth 13’, 65’)

Stevenage: (MacDonald 82’), (Vancooten 90+6’)



Carlisle United: (Charters 45+2’), (Neal 67’), (Butterworth 72’), (Lewis 77’)

Stevenage: (Freeman 29’), (Roberts 39’)


Carlisle United: Lewis, Ellis, Barclay, Lavelle ©, Mellish, Armer, McGeouch, Neal, Charters, Butterworth (Diamond 79’), Armstrong

Unused subs: Breeze, Gibson, McCalmont, Robinson, Maguire, Emmanuel

Stevenage: MacGillivray, Butler, Thompson, Sweeney ©, Forster-Caskey (Vancooten 15’), List (MacDonald 68’), Freeman, Roberts (Guiness-Walker 46’), Burns, Thompson (Thompson 46’), Hemmings (Oliver 46’)

Unused subs: Ashby-Hammond, Smith


Match Officials

Referee: Daniel Middleton

Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Sowerby

Assistant Referee 2: Lewis Raper

Fourth Official: Thomas Parsons


Attendance: 7634 (232 away)

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