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[Archived] Carlisle United, Away, League Cup


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Travelling to this game? Check Out the BRFCS Away Guide

Blackburn’s League Cup campaign kicks off against league one side Carlisle. Having spent 4 years in Carlisle, they became my second team who I managed to see sporadically which hopefully gives me a bit of an insight into the club!

The Club

Carlisle are definitely one of the smaller teams in League 1. They have some of the smallest gates (just over 4000) having seen crowds drop significantly over the last 3 or 4 years. This contributes to them having one of the smallest budgets in the league, which often sees their best players move on. In the past few years; Ian Harte (promoted recently with Reading), Kieran Westwood (formerly Coventry now Sunderland) Vincent Pericard (formerly of Juventus, Stoke and Her Majesty’s Pleasure) Gary Madine (now Sheffield Wednesday) Danny Graham (formerly of every bottom half premier league club) and Francois Zoko have done very well for Carlisle before moving on to bigger clubs. Due to being a small club Carlisle rarely have star players who can (cue cliché) “change games” and “make things happen”, relying on team endeavor and everyone performing to get results.

Carlisle are consistently inconsistent. On their day they’re as good as anyone in the league – which has contributed to two Johnstone’s
Paint Trophy finals in the past 3 years (losing and winning one). However theirday doesn’t come often enough and they’re just as capable of turning in a woeful performance as they are of performing well. Carlisle have for the last few years had solid mid-table finishes, with the odd whiff of a promotion push or relegation scrap – neither of which really materialise. Mid-table is pretty much a good summary of where the club is in terms of quality and realistically where they can hope to be for the future.

The Ground: Brunton Park

Putting it politely it’s a typical lower league ground. The two ends (Warwick End and Petteril End) are low-grade terracing, one side is an
old hotchpotch of terracing and tacked on upper-tier seating, whilst the other (the Story Homes Stand) is fairly new with modern seating. Typically a third of this stand is given to away support – the good news is that the stand is modern and under cover, the bad news is that part of the away section literally faces onto the Petteril End (they were meant to move the pitch and Petteril End to line up with the Story Homes Stand but never got round to it.)

On a more helpful, practical note the stadium is very accessible. The stadium is literally on the main road into Carlisle, a 5 minute drive from
Junction 43, so is both easy to find and easy to get to. There’s not loads of parking but in the evening you should be able to find street parking nearby - make sure you check the permit times though as the traffic wardens are very zealous. From the train station (in the centre of Carlisle) the ground is a simple 15-20 minute walk away. Both in the city centre, as you come off the motorway at junction 43, and by the ground there are places to eat and grab a drink. As away trips go it’s very simple.

The Team:

Carlisle had a good summer, keeping hold of all the players that they offered new deals to. Most significantly they kept hold of lead
striker former Scotland international Lee Miller (24 goals in 60 appearances for Carlisle), energetic left sided player Matty Robinson, club captain midfielder Paul Thirwell and powerful centre half Danny Livesey. All four are first choice key players to the club, and losing these players would have meant Carlisle would’ve effectively been starting from scratch.

However, the team has let go a lot of experience in defence – including club legend (and former Rovers youth and thoroughly good egg) Peter
Murphy, as well as first team goalkeeper Adam Collin and experienced first choice right back Frank Simek. It remains to be seen how much of a loss these three will be.

Transfer wise as United continue to work within their limited budget relying on free transfers of players not wanted by other clubs and the
loan market. The most significant signing of the new season getting in Man Utd youngster Reece James – who was formerly on Rovers books. Carlisle have done well in getting good youngsters in on loan in the past: most notably Newcastle keeper Tim Krul had a successful loan spell with Carlisle shortly before breaking into the Newcastle team.

Links and Connections

Eric Kinder has recently moved from being head of youth development at Carlisle to joint team GB as part of the U21/reserve team set
up. Under Kinder’s input Carlisle currently have 8 youth who have signed their first professional deals with United. Two of whom are impacting the first team – keeper Gillespie who is likely to be number 1 next year after deputising well during Collin’s injury, and striker Beck
who has an excellent record at youth and reserve level. Although only a few of the players are likely to make significant contributions in the short term, having 8 players in or on the fringes of the first team is a huge step to Carlisle. Prior to this only one player (Gary Madine) has broken into the first team in the past 4 years.

Peter Murphy – a genuine Carlisle legend, controversially released this summer. Murphy came through Rovers youth ranks but couldn’t break into the team, making no appearances for Rovers. Murphy moved to Carlisle becoming a mainstay in the defence as a cultured centre-half. Started over 250 games for the club in an 11 year spell, scoring the winning goals in both the conference play-off final and league trophy final, as well as being part of the League 2 title winning team, Murphy is assured of his place in United’s history.

The Manager Greg Abbot

Previously assistant manager to his predecessor John Ward, Abbott was not a popular appointment as caretaker manager in 2007, after a horrible run of form saw Ward sacked. Abbott managed to arrest Carlisle’s bad form (which given the quality of the team at the time was not that great an achievement) leading to him getting his first management position as manager of United.

Abbott appears to be a solid lower league manager. Since his permanent appointment then he has led Carlisle to successive mid table finishes, and, to his credit, two league trophy finals, winning one of them. It’s unlikely he’ll be head hunted for another role, but he could not be accused of doing badly with United.

Known for being uninspiring and producing the longest and dullest interviews in football, Abbott has shown a ruthless streak of late,
most notably in not offering club legend Murphy a new deal. Abbott’s team like to play attractive football, but when they face tough opposition or are struggling, panic very easily and resort to aimlessly hoofing it forward.

Key Battles

Rhodes vs. Livesey

Not the quickest or most technically gifted of footballers, Livesey is a powerful lower league defender who is good in the air. He’ll
easily outmuscle Rhodes, or Campbell, Rochina or whoever else we play up top. A lot will depend on the service that Rhodes gets. If balls are pumped forward to Rhodes, he’ll have a tough time against Livesey, but balls to feat and down the channels could see the Rovers striker have a fruitful day.

Kane vs. Robinson

Matty Robinson is a quick player, who started out on the wing, but in the last year or so has been played and developed into an
attacking full back. In either position he loves to get forward and run at the opposition. As both Kane and Robison love to bomb forward, both will have to be careful not to leave their side of the defence exposed, especially since they're facing an attacking full back who is just as capable of seizing on that opportunity as the wide midfielder in front of them. Both may have to work hard, especially as their opposite number is capable of joining in the attack potentially leaving the defending fullback outnumbered. The defender who completes his attacking
and defensive duties the best may have a big say n the outcome of the match.

Gillies vs Morris/Kilgallon

Gillies is a bit of an unknown quantity signing from non-league Gateshead. However he comes with a strong reputation, both for
scoring goals and whipping in crosses. Capable of playing behind the main striker or out wide Gillies could cause problems for Rovers. Given neither Morris or Kilgallon are natural full backs, they could be in for a tough time. Rovers haven’t coped too well with balls into the box for the last few years, so it is imperative that our left back be on top of their game to stop the flow of crosses into the box. Having said that both Morris and especially Kilgallon have the edge in terms of experience, which should aid them in keeping Gillies quiet.

Prediction

So long as Rovers put out a strong team we should win this comfortably.

None of the Carlisle strikers are that tough physically so our centre backs should be in for an easy ride. Dann shouldn’t be dominated
despite Miller’s enthusiasm, and Carlisle don’t have many areal threats.

Offensively big question-marks remain about Carlisle’s defence. Granted we’ve not been great at scoring (bar Rhodes) but Carlisle’s
defence now lacks both continuity and experience. It’ll take time for the defence to get used to playing together whilst the loss of experience could equally prove decisive. Rovers really ought to capitalise on this.

So I’m going with a comfortable 2-0 win for Rovers in what is hopefully the start of a good cup run.



I’ve messaged a few Carlisle fans some questions so will
post the answers when they get back to me.


Travelling to this game? Check Out the BRFCS Away Guide

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The incident began with a hail of bricks and bottles thrown by Carlisle fans at Rovers fans. Its just that a few Rovers idiots threw them back.

Carlisle fans were heavily involved in the riot at Dublin when England played there. They have often attacked Scottish fans when theyre on route to Wembley over the years.

Watch yourselves folks on Bothergate before the match, cumbrians dont like us.



Don't they have a hooligan issue there? Because they've got no real rivals so just love a scrap with anyone?

Hartlepool is about as good as it gets for the them.

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Good preview good read. I like previews when someone has an insight into the oppo whether it be through living in the town, mates that support them, etc.

As for the game if play best team 2-1 to us a mix 1-0/2-0 to them. More optimistic this year than when went to Milton Keynes this time last year. Super stevie played best side he could and we got smashed off the park and Chadwick had us in his pocket.

Few of us taken day off so think will head off drinking in botcher gate unless anyone knows anywhere specific that's decent. (Carlisle decent).

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Good preview good read. I like previews when someone has an insight into the oppo whether it be through living in the town, mates that support them, etc.

As for the game if play best team 2-1 to us a mix 1-0/2-0 to them. More optimistic this year than when went to Milton Keynes this time last year. Super stevie played best side he could and we got smashed off the park and Chadwick had us in his pocket.

Few of us taken day off so think will head off drinking in botcher gate unless anyone knows anywhere specific that's decent. (Carlisle decent).

I'd say keep out of the Caledonian Pub on Botchergate, it used to be a hooligan pub. Saying that the Carlisle numpties will be out hunting for Rovers fans anywhere in the City centre.

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Surprised no one mentioned the train crash. i was on the football special organised by Paul Astley returning from the game at Carlisle in 1986 when it crashed into a parked train at Preston station. It was pure luck no one was killed. I smashed my kneecap on the train track jumping out of the carriage about 15 feet in the air in pitch darkness.8 weeks off work and £1500 compensation from British Rail ! Managed to get to Everton away in the FA cup the week after and had to cut my jeans off as my leg had swollen so much!!

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Surprised no one mentioned the train crash. i was on the football special organised by Paul Astley returning from the game at Carlisle in 1986 when it crashed into a parked train at Preston station. It was pure luck no one was killed. I smashed my kneecap on the train track jumping out of the carriage about 15 feet in the air in pitch darkness.8 weeks off work and £1500 compensation from British Rail ! Managed to get to Everton away in the FA cup the week after and had to cut my jeans off as my leg had swollen so much!!

I remember it being on the Northwest news and in the paper. Did the cause ever get revealed ? I recall the talk of it being Carlisle fans who had tampered with the brakes in revenge for what happened to that guy.

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As far as I remember British Rail gave us the crappiest train they had in stock as we were "football fans" therefore animals all 3 brake systems failed on the steep descent from Shap to Preston. When I was kept in hospital someone from Rovers came to see me and told me to keep quiet about it with the press, I think it was Bancroft. Terry Gennoe was the only player to visit and to be fair he was very concerned and was chatting for 15 minutes or so. We all later went to a meeting at Ewood with the barrister who dealt with the Manchester air disaster and left thinking we would all be millionaires !!

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As far as I remember British Rail gave us the crappiest train they had in stock as we were "football fans" therefore animals all 3 brake systems failed on the steep descent from Shap to Preston. When I was kept in hospital someone from Rovers came to see me and told me to keep quiet about it with the press, I think it was Bancroft. Terry Gennoe was the only player to visit and to be fair he was very concerned and was chatting for 15 minutes or so. We all later went to a meeting at Ewood with the barrister who dealt with the Manchester air disaster and left thinking we would all be millionaires !!

Terry Gennoe, top fella. Well it could have been worse i suppose and i hope you spent your compen well :) Does sound like a bit of a cover up though. Me and my mate wanted to go on the train but the owd fella wouldn't let us after hearing of what happened before. Bit of a lucky escape by the sound of it.

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Surprised no one mentioned the train crash. i was on the football special organised by Paul Astley returning from the game at Carlisle in 1986 when it crashed into a parked train at Preston station. It was pure luck no one was killed. I smashed my kneecap on the train track jumping out of the carriage about 15 feet in the air in pitch darkness.8 weeks off work and £1500 compensation from British Rail ! Managed to get to Everton away in the FA cup the week after and had to cut my jeans off as my leg had swollen so much!!

http://www.brfcs.com/mb/index.php/topic/14248-train-crash-at-preston/

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I lived in Carlisle many a long year and can't remember any hooliganism to speak of.

Minor coincidence: the 1966-67 season began with an away win at Derby and we met Carlisle in both cups. (Lost 4-0 in the league cup and lost 2-1 in the FA cup but we did do the double in the league).

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Just been to get my tickets for this. The lad at the town centre shop reckoned we had sold approx 250 tickets thus far. Hopefully a few more Rovers fans will now be tempted to make the trip given it is only £8.50 for season ticket holders and yesterday's positive performance.

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Just been to get my tickets for this. The lad at the town centre shop reckoned we had sold approx 250 tickets thus far. Hopefully a few more Rovers fans will now be tempted to make the trip given it is only £8.50 for season ticket holders and yesterday's positive performance.

I was going to pay on the gate but at £19 they can stuff it.

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The incident began with a hail of bricks and bottles thrown by Carlisle fans at Rovers fans. Its just that a few Rovers idiots threw them back.

Carlisle fans were heavily involved in the riot at Dublin when England played there. They have often attacked Scottish fans when theyre on route to Wembley over the years.

Watch yourselves folks on Bothergate before the match, cumbrians dont like us.

Hartlepool is about as good as it gets for the them.

your not the jock i know from away days in 80,s.im tomo from preston,there used to be 3 of us from preston,myself,seeky and ray..

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