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Match Previews

Preview: Carlisle United (a)

18 April 2019

The Imps can secure the SkyBet League Two title this Friday as they travel to play-off hunting Carlisle United.

The Imps gained promotion to the third tier for the first time since 1999 last Saturday with a 1-1 against Cheltenham however, a win this weekend would see City take the title home with them to Sincil Bank.  

Northern Ireland international Shay McCartan scored the decisive goal for Danny Cowley’s side after 18 minutes, putting his tally up to seven for the season.

Highly rated youngster George Lloyd tried to ruin Lincoln’s party with his second goal in five SkyBet League Two games coming in the 83rd minute. 

However, thanks to other results going Lincoln’s way the Imps secured promotion going 12 points clear of MK Dons in fourth place.

Recent Form

Currently just outside the play-off places, Carlisle finished sixth during the 2016/17 season losing out to Exeter City in the play-off semi-finals 6-5 on aggregate. 

The Cumbrians have won just one game in their previous six beating Bury 3-2 at the start of the month. Carlisle finished the game with 10 men after having Mike Jones sent off just before half time.

Hallam Hope scored the winning goal a minute before full time bringing his total to the season to 14 in all competitions. 

United lost their last game 3-0 away to Stevenage with Kurtis Guthrie scoring a brace within 10 minutes. Arthur Iontton scored Boro’s opening goal after just 12 minutes. 

 

Last six league games:LWLDDL

League position: 8th        

Manager Comments

Former Scotland international and current Carlisle boss Steven Pressley spoke to press ahead of Good Friday’s game. The 45-year-old explained how he knows his side are in for a tough match against the Imps.

“We’re now four points away from the play-offs, so we know it will be difficult, but we can’t give up hope,” said Pressley. 

“We’ve got four cup finals and we have to believe we can still sneak in there. If we take 12 points from four games I think we will sneak in there.

“We lost some ground but it doesn’t mean we give up hope. We have to keep working hard, keep believing and keep trying to do the things to ensure we pick up points between now and the end of the season.

“We cannot throw the towel in. We must keep looking to get the 12 points between now and the end of the season. We know Lincoln will be a tough game. They’ll be coming to us looking to secure the title, but we have to ensure we’re the team who stops them from doing that.

“There’s nothing worse than seeing another side celebrate at your own stadium and I don’t want to be involved in that on Friday. I want us to do our jobs for our needs and I’m looking to us to win that game well.”

 

Previous Meetings

The pair have met twice this season with a second-round FA Cup clash being added to the schedule in December 2018. 

The Imps won 2-0 thanks to an early goal from Matt Rhead before John Akinde added a second four minutes from full time. City were rewarded with a third-round trip to Premier League side Everton.

When Carlisle travelled to Sincil Bank in October for their SkyBet League Two clash the two sides could not be separated as the game finished 2-2.

24-year-old striker Ashley Nadesan opened the scoring six minutes into the game before a long-range strike from Michael O’Connor levelled the score just seven minutes later.

Nadesan added a second just before the half-an-hour mark, however, Bruno Andrade secured the Imps a draw just before half-time with a left-wing free-kick.

 

One to Watch –  Hallam Hope

Following Ashley Nadesan’s return to Fleetwood at the end of his loan, Hallam Hope has stepped in to provide the goals for Carlisle. 

With 14 strikes to his name this season, Hope is the Cumbrians top scorer in front of Jamie Devitt who currently has 11 goals.

Hope has also had his hand in creating the goals this season registering a total of 10 assists, two more than fellow forward Devitt. 

A Barbados international, the 25-year-old came through the youth setup at Manchester City before moving to Everton in 2005 where he eventually turned professional in 2013.

Hope spent time away from Goodison Park on-loan at a number of sides including Bury where he scored five league goals in eight games. 

This earnt the striker a permanent move to Gigg Lane in 2015 where he made an immediate impact, scoring a debut goal against his former club, Northampton Town.


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