Carlisle United 5-0 Wetheriggs United

Last updated : 29 March 2007 By Thetashkentterror
Two-goal Shaun Vipond
The prospect of a meeting with Workington Reds awaited the two sides before the start of the game with the Blues looking to rescue something from what has been a poor reserve team season to date. At the back and in midfield Carlisle seemed to have plenty of experience in the ranks but it was upfront were they light on paper, the front three comprising of two 16-year olds in Matthew Wood and Gary Madine, and the 17-year old Stephen Hindmarch. Attacking options were few and far between on the bench as well with the United substitutes consisting of four defenders and a goalkeeper.

Talk among the 230 or so strong crowd, with plenty of Wetheriggs fans in attendance, was of the return of Richard Prokas to Brunton Park. Playing at right-back Prokas soon received a taste of his own medicine as James Krause went in hard in a 50-50 tackle with the ex-Carlisle midfielder after two minutes. Chris Lumsdon the next Blue to take his life in his own hands four minutes later with a tough tackle on Prokas.

Sandwiched between those two challenges came the first chance of the game when Hindmarch cleverly flicked a Shaun Vipond ball into him into the path of Arnison 22 yards out, Arnison hitting a first-time shot which flew wide of the Wetheriggs far-post. On 15 minutes Carlisle won a free-kick for a foul on Hindmarch 25 yards out on the right-angle of the box, Neale McDermott's ball in being cleared out quickly. Vipond stuck a cross back in from the left as he picked up on possession but Kirkup's 12-yard header was straight at keeper Chris Walker.

With 20 minutes on the clock Arnison played in McDermott down the right-hand channel, McDermott's low ball in just being claimed by Chris Walker before Madine could get to it, then two minutes later Madine was just unable to get on the end of a slide-rule pass by Vipond into the Wetheriggs penalty area. After 25 minutes Vipond was fouled 35 yards out, McDermott's free-kick in to the far-post being headed down and wide of the back-stick by Blues skipper Kevin Gray.

The first opportunity for the visitors came shortly afterwards when a cross in from the left-wing by Matthew Hutton was flicked on by Andrew Robertshaw to Anthony Rayson on the right-edge of the 'D'. Rayson took a little too long to bring the ball back onto his left foot though and his half-volley was blocked by Blues centre-half Dan Kirkup. It was Carlisle pressing again though on 28 minutes when McDermott played in Wood down the right-hand inside of the Wetheriggs penalty area, Stuart Havery doing well to make a block tackle on Wood's 12-yard shot.

The last action of any note in what had been an utterly tepid first-half in all honesty came on 38 minutes when Gray body-checked Robertshaw to the turf 30 yards out on the right. The break in play seeing Krause receive some treatment on what looked like an ankle/shin problem on his right leg from physio Geoff Haugh, Krause limping around like Long John Silver for the remainder of the half with Wood eventually filling in at the left-back spot. The free-kick, when it was eventually taken, being hacked out of the Carlisle box after a little bit of pinball.

Rather unsurprisingly Blues boss Eric Kinder made an expected change at the interval when Krause was replaced at left-back by Matthew Blake. On 48 minutes a Kirkup cross from the right saw a Hindmarch header look to be drifting past the far-post, Chris Walker wasn't sure though as he helped it on it's way behind. From the resultant corner, worked between McDermott and Vipond, the cross in by Vipond flew across the box and out at the far-post.

Sixty seconds later and Carlisle finally opened the scoring when a ball over the top was chased down the middle by Vipond, the Blues midfielder almost being bundled to the ground before firing a powerful right-footed half-volley into the bottom corner of the Wetheriggs net. Another spell of both sides battling for possession in midfield, while giving it away at the same time, followed before Carlisle scored their second goal just after the hour mark.

Blake making a great run forward from his left-back spot as he beat two Wetheriggs men before laying the ball on into the path if Vipond down the left flank. Quickly cutting in from the wing Vipond struck a right-footed curler from 22 yards out which flew across the penalty area, almost taking a nick off Blake on it's way, as it pinged into the visitors net off the inside of Chris Walker's far-post.

After 69 minutes Hindmarch's goalbound 22-yarder on his left foot was well parried behind by Walker, Kirkup's header eventually being hacked clear after a bit of pinball from McDermott's resultant corner in. Three minutes later Carlisle made their second change of the game when Matthew Brown came on for Wood. The Blues made it 3-0 on 77 minutes and it was Brown who was involved as his deep cross from the left-wing was headed back across Walker by Hindmarch and into the net from 12 yards out.

The goals were raining in now as Wetheriggs began to tire, the fourth coming after 82 minutes when Kevin Walker made a hash at his own near-post of clearing McDermott's low cross in from the right. The ball falling straight to Hindmarch who was left with the simple task of half-volleying past the visitors keeper from just six yards out. Before the resultant kick-off Wetheriggs made a triple substitution as Prokas, Jamie Howard and James Grindbergs were replaced by Chris Clark, Tom Barclay and Martin Tremble.

Carlisle's fifth and final goal of the night came five minutes from time when Madine won a free-kick just to the left of the Wetheriggs 'D'. Lumsdon's direct curled effort looked like one you could throw your cap only for it to deflect off the defensive wall, completely wrongfoot Chris Walker and end up nestling in the far corner of the visitors net. Sixty seconds later though and Wetheriggs were trying to grab a late consolation goal, but Havery's close-range header from Martyn Currie's corner flew over the top of Adam Bradley's crossbar.

Carlisle almost made the final scoreline 6-0 in injury time but Gray's under pressure header, from a McDermott corner, flew straight into the grateful gloves of Chris Walker. The final whistle soon came on a match that had only really come to any life in the last 30 minutes when the visitors began to tire and the goals started flying in. Still, the win for the Blues sets up a potentially cracking final against Workington, although if the Reds are involved in the post-season Conference North play-offs it's tough to work out when the game will be played.

United line-up :

Adam Bradley, Paul Arnison, James Krause (Matthew Blake 46), Chris Lumsdon, Kevin Gray, Dan Kirkup, Shaun Vipond, Neale McDermott, Stephen Hindmarch, Gary Madine, Matthew Wood (Matthew Brown 73).

Unused substitutes :

Grant Carson (GK), Terry Stewart and Dan Wordsworth.

Wetheriggs line-up :

Chris Walker, Richard Prokas (sub 82), Jamie Howard (sub 82), Kevin Walker, Stuart Havery, Anthony Rayson, James Grindbergs (sub 82), Jonathon Green, Martyn Currie, Andrew Robertshaw, Matthew Hutton.

Substitutes :

Chris Clark (sub 82), Tom Barclay (sub 82), Martin Tremble (sub 82), Stephen Hall and Phil Jackson.

Referee - Glenn Lamont (Dumfries).

Attendance - 230.

United's Reserve Team Results : Click here