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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

14 November 2020 Venue Brunton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Carlisle United

13 November 2020

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Following two consecutive cup fixtures it's a return to League Two action this weekend with a long journey north to Carlisle United (kick-off: 3pm).

Back-to-back wins over South Shields and Norwich City under-21s have set things up nicely for a tough outing at Brunton Park in what will be a 5th against 6th clash for matchday 12 of the League Two season.

Having not won away from home in the division since a 2-0 victory at Southend United in mid-October Michael Duff's side will be aiming to come back down the M6 and M5 with something to show for their efforts.

You can watch Saturday's match online with iFollow. Purchase a match pass and enjoy the game from home.

Team news

West Bromwich Albion loanee Finn Azaz is back in contention having returned to training so could be a part of the matchday squad.

Fellow West Brom loanee Josh Griffiths is set to miss out on as he's on international duty with the England under-20s squad. As a result Scott Flinders or Max Harris are expected to play in goal.

Sean Long is out through injury and George Lloyd is now back in contention after returning following his concussion protocols.

Watch Michael Duff's pre-match press conference looking ahead to the game, and Reuben Reid has also been previewing the trip north.


Carlisle United manager Chris Beech is approaching his one year anniversary as manager of the Cumbrians. The current campaign is his first full season in charge and he will be delighted with how it's gone so far.

Heading into Saturday they sit 5th in League Two having accumulated 20 points from their 11 games so far.

They are also into the second round of the FA Cup, albeit in tense circumstances, as they squeezed past Southern Premier South side Hayes & Yeading United in a penalty shootout last weekend to secure a second round tie against League One Doncaster Rovers.

After a couple of years of having Penrith born Adam Collin as goalkeeper they now have former Lincoln City man Paul Farman as their go to between the posts.

In defence the physically imposing Aaron Hayden offers presence in their back-line, while Nick Anderton, former Manchester United youngster George Tanner, Max Hunt and Rhys Bennett, who has signed this week on a short-term deal, are options.

Jon Mellish's goals from midfield have been crucial so far this season for them and the South Shields born 23-year-old will offer a goal threat from midfield this weekend.

In that area of the pitch they can also turn to the likes of Joe Riley and Callum Guy, while South Africa international Dean Furman provides good experience too.

Their forward line features a familiar face in Scotsman Gavin Reilly. The nimble attacker spent the first half of last season on loan at Cheltenham and always has an eye for goal.

His fellow front men include Omari Patrick, Joshua Kayode who is on loan again this season from Rotherham United and teenager Micah Obiero who is also on loan.

The manager: Chris Beech

This is Chris Beech's first permanent managerial role and it is just under a year since he was officially appointed to the position.

Previously the 46-year-old was a part of the coaching staff at Rochdale, which was also the club where he ended his playing career where he operated as a midfielder.

He was a long-term part of the Rochdale backroom staff before he had the opportunity to become number one in the dugout with the Cumbrians.

As well as playing for Rochdale he also turned out for the likes of Blackpool, Hartlepool United and Huddersfield Town in his playing days.

One to watch: Lewis Alessandra

A player who boasts bags full of Football League experience, Lewis Alessandra is a threat going forward and can perform in a number of attacking positions.

The 31-year-old has featured regularly for Carlisle this season, making 15 appearances in all competitions, and has got three goals to his name so far.

After breaking through at Oldham Athletic, Alessandra has gone onto feature for the likes of Morecambe, Plymouth Argyle, Rochdale, York City, Hartlepool United and Notts County.

Watch on iFollow

Saturday's game is available to watch online if you purchase a match pass to view on iFollow.

You can subscribe online to watch the full 90 minutes. A match pass is available for £10.


Stay up to date with action from Brunton Park by following @CTFCofficial on Twitter. Team news and goal updates will also be on the club's Facebook page and Instagram account.

Post-match visit the club website to read a match report and to see reaction from the manager and a member of the playing squad.

You can also watch extended highlights from the match on iFollow.

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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Carlisle United 1-2 Robins

14 November 2020

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Cheltenham Town produced another fine performance on their travels to secure victory in Carlisle, their second in 2020.

They became the first team to win the league at Brunton Park this season and more than deserved their maximum haul in Cumbria.

Unlike the recent defeats by Port Vale and Oldham Athletic, the Robins showed their ruthless streak to convert their chances and seemingly carry a two-goal advantage into the interval.

However the Cumbrians halved the deficit in the last action of the opening 45 minutes to make their task slightly tougher after the break.

The second half saw both teams create chances and the Robins had to show plenty of character and resilience in the closing stages to repel the pressure by Carlisle, who threw everything at it to try and protect their perfect home record.

They rode their luck at times and were indebted to Scott Flinders for a fantastic save in the closing stages to preserve the narrow advantage and catapult his side into the top three tonight.

"You can't always be an open, expansive team and I asked the players for a dogged performance," said Michael Duff.

"We showed another side of us today. It's an attritional league so we told that lads to get back to basics. Let's get back to what last season was built on, the horrible part of the game. 

"I thought we gave ourselves the platform and I'm delighted with the win."

Duff made three changes to the side that lost at Oldham Athletic last time out, 11 days ago.

Flinders made his return to league action after two appearances in this season's Papa Johns Trophy, most recently on Tuesday evening against Norwich City Under-21s with Josh Griffiths unavailable on international duty with the England Under-20s.

Meanwhile the boss kept faith with Ellis Chapman after his first two appearances for the club against South Shields and the Canaries in the past week. Matty Blair was the third player to come in with Chris Clements and Reuben Reid dropping to the bench.


Boyle opened the scoring as early as the 15th minute, meeting Ben Tozer's long throw with a powerful header that Paul Farman, the Carlisle number one, couldn't keep out.

Thomas doubled the lead from the spot nine minutes before the break after Tozer had been pulled down in the box. The cool midfielder dispatched it with aplomb, sending Farman the wrong way and beating him to his right.

The Robins look good value for their advantage at the half-way point but deep into added on time, Jon Mellish picked up a cut back from Omari Patrick and beat Flinders with a scruffy shot from 12 yards out to change the complexion of the contest.


Flinders saved from Joe Riley, shooting from 20 yards, as Duff's side came under some early pressure from there restart.

Some fantastic play by Andy Williams down the right carved a 55th minute chance for Alfie May, who tried his luck from 20 yards but Farman tipped it over.

The game flowed from end to end during the second half with both sides creating opportunities to add to their tally.

May and Patrick exchanged long range efforts with 25 minutes remaining while Tozer's arcing throw caused more problems a few moments later, Charlie Raglan flicking it into the path of Boyle. The defender though couldn't force it over the line from close-range.

The decisive moment of the contest arrived seven minutes from time, Flinders producing a phenomenal save to deny former Robins loanee Gavin Reily from close-range, which amounted to his side's best chance to salvage a point at League Two's most northern venue.

CARLISLE UNITED (4-3-3): Farman; Tanner, Hayden, McDonald, Anderson (c); Riley (Obeiro 74), Guy, Mellish; Alessandra, Reilly, Patrick. Subs not used: Dewhurst (Gk), Devon, Hunt, Charters, Malley, Bennett.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Flinders; Raglan, Tozer, Boyle; Blair, Thomas, Sercombe, Chapman; Reid, May (Lloyd 84). Subs not used: Harris (Gk), Clements, Reid, Addai, Addai, Freestone, Sang.


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