All the Tuesday Night action from the D3D4 Correspondents…
MATCH REPORT: Bury 3-0 Oxford United
Oxford made it an unwelcome three defeats in a row as they lost to a Bury side that had not won since the opening day of the season. There were some familiar faces in the Bury team including fan favourite Chris Maguire. The first half started like many oxford fans expected, with the Oxford looking to get on the front foot following disappointing performances in the last two outings. But with the set piece maestro that is Maguire on the pitch, the U’s defence had to be on it’s toes.
In Jermaine Beckford Bury have a 20 goal a season striker and he has been one of the positives for the Shakers so far this season. He forced a good save out of Simon Eastwood in the 11th minute and at the other end, just a minute later, James Henry hit one over the bar. Maybe it is just me but I am not keen on seeing Oxford play without a recognised striker, we are no Arsenal and to be honest they are no good at it either. Give me a Paul Moody any day!
In Matt Smith, Bury have got a big strong target man and he crashed an effort against the bar after 25 minutes! The first choice keeper for Bury is Joe Murphy but he was replaced by Fasan due to injury and his replacement did really well to save first from Van Kessel and then Alex Mowatt.
The second half though was a completely different story and Oxford were clearly second best all over the park. Williamson had to make a goal saving tackle on Maguire before the big defender and Mousinho sandwiched Beckford to give away a penalty which Maguire (who else) duly slotted home. He refused to celebrate which was a nice touch but you could sense it was not going to be Oxford’s night.
Now I make a point of not drinking tea near my laptop ever since I spilt some on it and broke the keyboard, hence why I am typing this on an external keyboard that is so small that I have to use binoculars to see the keys! But I thought I would be safe having brew whilst listening to the game on ifollow against a Bury team that have been as inept as Spanish waiter in a Torquay hotel. But I found myself desperately wiping down my laptop as Bury made it 2-0 just six minutes later when Matt Smith bundled the ball home from a Beckford cut back and I spat PG Tips all over the screen! Just one minute later, tea back in hand the Oxford defence decided to leave Beckford free to head home the third and rather than exhaling I instead inhaled and collapsed in a coughing spree as I inadvertently breathed in half the contents of my mug!
Another pathetically poor display from the boys in Yellow but I tip my hat to those hardy 287 that made the trip up to watch it live. Still we have Peterborough away next and they haven’t done anything worth noting so far this season now have they!
words James Richards D3D4 Football
MATCH REPORT: Carlisle United 0-2 Stevenage
Carlisle United were full of confidence following a resounding victory at the weekend, but couldn’t dwell on it for long. It was Stevenage up next for the blues. The Boro travelled up to Cumbria, as Darren Sarll’s men faced off against Keith Curle’s, to stop Carlisle gaining another positive result. More importantly, lovely & cold Tuesday night league matches returned to Brunton Park – not too much to the delight of most the wrapped up fans. The 10-game milestone was achieved in the league on the night and both sides had gotten rid of sour tastes after weekend wins; that they were hoping to help fuel midweek magnificence.
As the teams were switched ends to kick-off, an unusual occurrence at Brunton Park; it was a fast opening period. Stevenage had the stronger start, with precise ball movement and overall sharp play giving Carlisle an early sign of who they were up against. Boro’s centre-back Fraser Franks was dominant in the air and stopped any hope of the Cumbrians capitalising on any aerial lapses, in contrast to last weekend’s win. With winger Tom Pett and striker Matt Godden showing early signs of quality, big central defensive pairing Clint Hill (who was making his home debut) and Tom Parkes had their work cut out. Home goalkeeper Shamal George had to be vigilant but it became clear as the half went on, Stevenage couldn’t create the clear-cut chances they needed.
Following that pressure, the blues calmed the match down thanks to the good work of Mike Jones in midfield and started getting chances of their own. Hill and Parkes had the two best, both heading wide & over respectively when they’d beaten their men and had options in the air. Shaun Miller was picking up any scraps and the work of James Brown, Danny Grainger, Kelvin Etuhu and Reggie Lambe was admirable as Curle’s side tamed Sarll’s. With nothing too much worthy of note in the first-half, it concluded with both teams welcoming the break with the score level.
The second-half started in similar fashion, as the two sides cancelled each other out. However, from an away corner, George confidently came to collect on the edge of his 6-year box and in a scramble, the ball fell from his grasp. With an opportunity, the ball was smashed into the back of the net by Ben Kennedy. All eyes turned to the referee despite subdued appeals (and a restrained George by his teammates), but it was to the away side’s joy as the goal stood.
Carlisle got their heads up and started to get into the game but there was more drama; with George playing the lead role once again. Luke Joyce’s failed headed clearance on the edge of the penalty area came straight back at goal from Pett and George looked to have it all covered but the Liverpool-loanee flapped the ball against the post and in! It was amazement all around Brunton Park as it was another obscure goal for Stevenage.
The pressure was on the home side now and attacking substitutions came rapidly. Richie Bennett, Jamie Devitt and Hallam Hope all came on to add firepower and a change of system; making it an interesting last period of the match. It didn’t work (frankly). Long balls, hopeful passes and failed tricks showed the difference in quality. Severe and blatant time-wasting tactics were employed by Stevenage due to their late injury plague; and as the second-half fizzled out, 8 minutes of added time was initiated. Those dying minutes were full of scuffed kicks, needless fouls and frustrated shouts from the crowd. The referee finally blew his whistle to a roar of boos and jeers from the home faithful.
It was ‘typical Carlisle’, as we all like to say. Totally lacking in consistency, a 0-5 away win on the weekend followed by a 0-2 home defeat midweek really does show where Carlisle United under Keith Curle are at. Stevenage, on the other hand, will now feel their poor form is well behind them. If there’s any chance of making something excellent out of this season, Curle and his team must also get this one well behind them and kick on at Crawley on Saturday.
words Nathan Ridley, DD4 Carlisle United Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Lincoln City 2-1 Barnet
Lincoln City emerged from a mini slump to beat Barnet 2-1 at Sincil Bank, with Ollie Palmer and Harry Anderson on target for the Imps, with Shaq Coulthirst grabbing a Bees reply,
In truth, though, City should have been out of sight at half-time, with the Barnet goal being peppered by the hosts, who completely dominated the opening 45 minutes.
Palmer, on his first home start for City, fired Danny Cowley’s men ahead in the seventh minute, although his strike should have put Lincoln 2-0 up, after the unmarked Josh Ginnelly headed Palmer’s cross onto the top of Craig Ross’ net inside the first 30 seconds.
Another Ginnelly effort was deflected over, while the tricky winger’s 30-yard piledriver was then superbly tipped over the bar by Bees stopper Ross, who then denied Anderson after the winger’s first effort was blocked by a defender.
The chances kept coming, with Sean Raggett somehow nodding Sam Habergham’s corner inches wide, before Barnet finally mustered their first shot at goal, with Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s shot easily dealt with by league debutant Josh Vickers in the City goal.
City hit back with Michael Bostwick seeing an effort blocked, before City’s dominance was rewarded with a second goal four minutes shy of the break. Matt Green delivered a ball into the box, which Alex Woodyard hit back across the area and there was Anderson to crash a volley into the net.
Barnet emerged from the dressing room a much brighter side than the one that had trotted out an hour earlier and City defender Rob Dickie did well to get his body in the way of a fierce Coulthirst effort.
Palmer then broke down the other end and fashioned a chance for himself, but his decent curling effort was well saved by the diving Ross, before Mauro Vilhete hacked a Raggett header off the line.
But the visitors repelled the City raids and started to knock the ball around with some aplomb and gave themselves a lifeline when the home defence were caught napping in their own box and Coulthirst took advantage to slam a shot into the top corner.
The goal silenced the 7,000 home fans and an almighty Vickers calamity very nearly gifted Barnet an equaliser as he completely fluffed a pass from Raggett, but Rob Dickie was on hand to clear with no visiting striker able to take advantage.
Anderson could have sealed victory when he was set up by Maguire-Drew at the death, but his powerful effort was tipped over by Ross and despite referee Trevor Kettle somehow finding nearly eight minutes of injury-time, Lincoln clung on for the win.
words Dominic Picksley, one of our D3D4 Lincoln City Correspondents
MATCH REPORT: Cambridge United 3-0 Forest Green Rovers
Cambridge United responded well to defeat at title favourites Mansfield at the weekend, with a dominant performance and victory over current strugglers and Football League newcomers Forest Green Rovers. Jabo Ibehre opened the scoring for the hosts in the first half, before Uche Ikpeazu showed excellent technique with a curling effort from the edge of the box, and then smashing in his second, and United’s third, from close range after Rovers failed to clear their lines.
Forest Green started brightly, and home ‘keeper David Forde was called into action early on, tipping a 25-yard free kick round the post, with Dan Wishart’s long range strike looking destined for the top corner. The U’s had a chance of their own to take the lead early on, but Uche Ikpeazu could only fire a shot wide after he worked himself some space in the penalty area. It would be Cambridge who would score the game’s opening goal, though. George Maris played a defence splitting pass into the path of Medy Elito, who drove into the area, and played a low pass into the path of Jabo Ibehre, who had the goal at his mercy, and fired into the roof of the net to put the home side ahead.
Cambridge had a number of opportunities to increase their advantage, with George Maris coming closest to adding a second for his team. Ikpeazu laid the ball off for Maris, who played a delightful “one-two” with goalscorer Ibehre before lashing a curling effort onto the crossbar. Medy Elito was next to come close to doubling the lead, but could only drag his shot just wide of the post after driving into the penalty area. Shaun Derry’s men couldn’t convert their dominance into more goals, and so went into half-time with the score at 1-0.
It didn’t take long in the second half for Cambridge to eventually make their dominance count. Ibehre played a ball into the path of Ikpeazu, who took the ball in his stride, taking a step into the box, turning his man and then curling a delicate effort into the top corner off the post. Ikpeazu’s second of the night came only six minutes later, putting the result beyond any reasonable doubt. Right back Brad Halliday delivered a cross into the area towards Harrison Dunk, and despite his initial effort being blocked, Forest Green couldn’t clear, and the ball fell to Ikpeazu who slammed home past away ‘keeper Sam Russell to add gloss to the score line for Cambridge.
The result saw Forest Green finish the evening at the foot of the League Two table, and moved Cambridge up to tenth, only two points outside the playoffs.
words Tom Walker, D3D4 Cambridge United Correspondent