Carlisle City vs Heaton Stannington

On Saturday 13th January, the Stan travelled to Carlisle City for their third consecutive away game of the new year. A crowd of 145, including a strong contingent of travelling Stan fans, watched a game of few quality chances, somewhat hampered by the effects of recent weather on the Carlisle pitch.

The opening quarter of an hour saw each team receive promising free kick opportunities with Reid firing over for Heaton and Marriott blocking a shot from Carlisle’s Jordan Palmer. Both teams struggled to link passes together or create any real goalscoring opportunities until Reid again shot over the Carlisle crossbar on 28 minutes. Shortly after the Stan were awarded another freekick on the edge of the box. Sayer whipped in a dangerous looking cross and shouts for a foul on Reid in the penalty area were waved away by the referee.

The deciding moment in the match came just 10 minutes later when a neat ball over the top found a Carlisle forward behind the Heaton’s defence. Brass came out quickly to close down the ensuing shot but a scrambled clearance fell straight to Birdsall. His follow up was again turned away by Brass but Jordan Holt was on hand to tap in for Carlisle.

A late corner from Hopper found Reid but he was unable to get the necessary power on his header to trouble Carlisle’s keeper and Sayer was unable to find the target with an effort in 1st half stoppage time. The hosts went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

The second half produced more clear chances for both sides. On 49 minutes Hopper’s cross was punched clear with a strong hand from Carlisle’s keeper before a scramble in the area led to Carlisle firing against Heaton’s bar. Hopper caused more problems for the Carlisle defence, beating a couple of players before shooting high and wide.

The 65th minute saw Lashley subbed on for Sayer and he almost immediately had an opportunity to shoot from distance. Once again, however, the Carlilse keeper wasn’t forced into action. Carr played in Lashley again minutes later, this time resulting in a corner but the Carlisle defence stood firm.

On 80 minutes Holt played in McCartney for Carlisle but Brass was once again on hand to keep the difference to one goal. The Stan managed to work a chance of their own a few minutes later from a throw in. Nice play between Greenwood and Reid resulted in a shooting opportunity for Greenwood but the keeper was equal to the task. Greenwood had another chance from a freekick in the dying minutes of the match but sent the ball into the stands. Despite a large amount of stoppage time due to an earlier injury to Carlisle’s Kirkup, the Stan were unable to rescue a point and had a frustrated Burn sin binned to round off the match.

It just wasn’t to be for Heaton today with strong defensive performances from both teams largely cancelling each other out. Weather permitting, Heaton go again on Wednesday night when they face Guisborough Town who currently sit just one point behind them in the table.

Sam Henderson

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Carlisle City vs Heaton Stannington

3:00 pm