Second-Half Seagulls Take Centre Stage

The main talk before the match was how ex-United man Liam Atkin, who spent a six-month trial spell at Brunton Park last season, would perform in his new trial spell with Queen of the South. Blues boss Neil McDonald fielded a much stronger eleven, although both senior keepers were rested for the whole match, in the first-half with Carlisle again lining up in the diamond formation, the team that took to the field being :

Danny Carlton - Kevin Gall

Simon Hackney

Jeff Smith - Neale McDermott

Chris Lumsdon

Zigor Aranalde - Dan Kirkup - Danny Livesey - Paul Arnison

Adam Bradley

Good chances were few and far between in a relatively dull contest with a missed penalty for either side seemingly a fitting tribute to the afternoon's entertainment. Carlisle's first chance came as early as the seventh minute when a mistake by that man Atkin allowed Kevin Gall to race in on goal, Queens' keeper Stephen Grindlay making an excellent save as he pushed Gall's shot away from the target.

Little action was going on to be honest as both sides gave the ball away in midfield but around the half-hour mark Jeff Smith blazed over for United before Queens' impressive Scotland Under-20 winger Brian Gilmour caused confusion in the Cumbrians defence with a jinking run, only to chip onto the roof of the net from close range.

Shortly afterwards Neale McDermott shot over from close range for Carlisle before the Blues won a debatable penalty on 34 minutes for a push on Gall in the air by Andy Aitken. McDermott and Zigor Aranalde argued long and hard about who would take the penalty, McDermott showing visible frustration as he watched Grindlay dive low to his left to parry out Aranalde's spot-kick.

An almost completely new team took to the field for Carlisle in the second-half, although the Blues were pushed to the youth ranks to be able to field 21 different players for the game, only Chris Lumsdon playing the full 90 minutes after missing three days training due to a family bereavement, the United team for the second-half being :

Gary Madine - Danny Graham

Stephen Hindmarch

Chris Lumsdon - Luke Joyce

Paul Thirlwell

Matt Duffy - Peter Murphy - Dan Wordsworth - David Raven

Grant Carson

To be honest the only action of an utterly tepid second-half came from two sources, the first being a missed penalty from Queens in the 53rd minute. John O'Neill smashing the ball over Carson's crossbar and out of the ground from the spot after Blues youth-team centre-half Dan Wordsworth had brought down David Bingham in the box for another seemingly debatable penalty.

The second bit of action, if you can call it that, being watching two seagulls wander about on the left-hand side of the Queens penalty area. That showing how much entertainment there was going on on the pitch as the seagulls were able to mind their own business without the interference of a football for the final fifteen minutes. Hopefully Middlesbrough at home on Tuesday night will bring a bit more excitement.

Queens line-up :

Stephen Grindlay, Eric Paton, Liam Atkin (Jim Lauchlan 72), Andy Aitken, Jamie McQuilken, Paul Burns, Neil Scally, Scott Robertson, Brian Gilmour (Mark Whorlow 85), Sean O'Connor (John O'Neill 46), David Bingham.

Unused substitutes :

Jamie MacDonald (GK), Graham Eaglesham, James Baty and Lewis Sloan.

United line-up in first-half :

Adam Bradley, Paul Arnison, Zigor Aranalde, Danny Livesey (c), Dan Kirkup, Chris Lumsdon, Neale McDermott, Jeff Smith, Kevin Gall, Danny Carlton, Simon Hackney.

United line-up in second-half :

Grant Carson, David Raven, Matthew Duffy, Peter Murphy, Dan Wordsworth, Paul Thirlwell (c), Luke Joyce, Chris Lumsdon, Danny Graham, Gary Madine, Stephen Hindmarch.

Unused substitutes :

Chris Howarth (GK) and Keiren Westwood (GK).

Referee - Steven Nicholls.

Attendance - 1,378 (720 away).