Cambridge United unbeaten run brought to an end by Carlisle United in Sky Bet League Two
Cambridge United's unbeaten run in February was brought to an end with a 2-1 defeat to Carlisle United in Sky Bet League Two.
The U's had won four and drawn one of their five matches since Mark Bonner had taken interim charge, and were out to preserve their record for the calendar month at the Abbey Stadium. However, the Cumbrians had only lost one of the past eight matches.
And in a match that struggled to get going for the U's until the last 10 minutes, goals from Lewis Alessandra and Nick Anderton proved decisive for Carlisle.
In fairness, the conditions made for tough and unpredictable going.
The first opening fell to Carlisle in the 12th minute.
Lewis Alessandra broke the offside trap and fired a low shot across goal that U’s keeper Callum Burton palmed out into the path of Jon Mellish, but with an open goal, he fired wide under pressure from Greg Taylor.
United’s first half-chance fell to Victor Adeboyejo, whose side-footed effort was easily gathered by Carlisle keeper Adam Collin.
The breakthrough came in the 26th minute. Burton saved a 25-yard shot from Elliott Watt for a Carlisle corner which was not dealt with properly in the United area.
Harry McKirdy’s shot deflected into the path of Alessandra, whose shot on the swivel beat Burton.
You always sensed that United would be a greater force with the wind in their favour after the break, but despite starting with intent and endeavour, they were unable to fashion any opportunities.
The first meaningful goalmouth action of the half led to Carlisle doubling their lead.
A free kick into the area was headed back across goal by Aaron Hayden and Burton did well to save from Byron Webster, but Nick Anderton was on hand to tap home the rebound.
It was almost a double whammy in a minute as Burton then had to dive at full stretch to thwart Omari Patrick's shot across goal and, this time, the rebound was cleared to safety.7
Hope of a comeback was provided in the 82nd minute.
Harry Darling saw a drive from the edge of the area palmed out by Collin, and Paul Mullin kept the rebound alive, with the ball eventually falling to Reggie Lambe on the edge of the box to half-volley home.
It lifted the atmosphere inside the Abbey and raised the prospect of United getting a point.
Samir Carruthers lashed a drive from 25-yards out that Collin had to push over the bar, but United were unable to do anything from the corner and despite a number of set pieces, they could not trouble Collin any more.
Cambridge United: Burton, Knoyle, Taylor, Darling, Dunk, Davies, Maris, Carruthers, El Mizouni, Mullin, Adeboyejo.
Substitutes: Lambe (El Mizouni, 15), Dallas (Adeboyejo, 70), Roles (Davies, 70). Subs not used: Mitov, Taft, Norville-Williams, Worman.
Carlisle United: Collin, Mellish, Hayden, Alessandra, McKirdy, Watt, Jones, Webster, Anderton, Patrick.
Substitutes: Charters (Watt, 72), Olomola (Alessandra, 81),Bridge (McKirdy, 88). Subs not used: Dewhurst, Iredale, Charters, Loft, Hunt.
Referee: Charles Breakspear.
Booking: Cambridge - Roles (foul, 79); Carlisle United - Hayden (foul, 60), Webster (foul, 63), McKirdy (foul, 80), Bridge (foul, 89), Olomola (unsporting behaviour, 90+3).
Attendance: 4,122 (away 339).
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