Saturday 2nd September
Carlisle City lost out on the road despite one of their best performances so far this season. Some dubious decisions from the referee and a slow start due to late arrival, meant that City couldn’t carry any points home up the M6.
Due to traffic issues and delays, we arrived with just over half an hour to kick off and that resulted in a slow start for The Sky Blues. The home side took advantage of that as Nicholas Marley found space on the right and put in a low ball towards the near post. Luke Walley met it first and poked in from two yards. That goal woke City up, who hadn’t begun the game. 1-0 2”.
Two early injuries from both sides resulted in early substitutions:
20” Peter Allison off for Carl Carr
23” Simon Everall off for Benjamin Mills
Following the early goal, the visitors pushed on and played some good football, which caused upset when on the half hour mark, Alport won a penalty. After a cross from Marley, Craig Benjamin tangled with Mills and the large striker bundled to the floor. The referee pointed to the spot, and Michael Blundell stepped up. Fortunately for City, his powerful shot struck the upper side of the crossbar and soared away.
Despite that let off for James Tose’s men, the deficit was doubled two minutes later. A corner from the right was met by Ryan Thomas, his header was met by teammate Blundell who knocked the ball over the line from close range, despite the goal line efforts of Carr to clear. 2-0 32”.
Whitchurch then gained momentum and had chances to increase their lead, only with the woodwork and magnificence of City keeper Michael Ballantyne keeping the game at bay. Both chances came from good play from Blundell who supplied substitute Mills who couldn’t come closer to scoring.
With being two goals down, the visitors knew they had to come out strong in the second half and that is exactly what they did. Less than four minutes in, good build up on the left meant that Jordan Atkinson could receive the ball in the middle. He flicked it on to Rob McCartney 25 yards out, who manoeuvred around a defender and found space on the edge. McCartney curled a low shot off the post into the net, giving the keeper no chance. 2-1 49”.
Both sides from then on were pushing for the next goal which would have tipped the game, Alport had chances but Ballantyne was refusing to concede a third. A cross from the ever-involves Marley was met in the air by Mills and his strong header seemed goal-bound, at full stretch City’s no.1 parried the header away.
58” Kyle Armstrong off for Ryan Errington
62” Blundell off for Kieran Smith
72” Jonny Allan off for Hugh Hodgson
At the other end, Daniel Read did well to keep his side in the lead. Atkinson gave the ball to Errington on the left and he cut inside so he could take a shot. It curled towards the far corner but, Read dived to send it away.
80” Smith off for Louis James
Towards the end of the game, it looked less likely that City would salvage a point, but Alport’s chances kept coming. Mills held up the ball on the left and took a touch inside, he fired a shot and Ballantyne stretched again and saved the shot.
Despite trying to claw back in, Tose’s men couldn’t grab the second goal, a better match performance was encouraging to see though. Our next home game is on Tuesday 5th September 7:45PM V St Helens Town. Get yourself down to Gillford Park and watch your local non-league side.
Whitchurch Alport-Read, Marley, Ledwards, Mcnichol, Thomas, Goddard, Blundell, Jackson, Everall ©, Twigg, Walley.
Subs-Mills, James, Prince, Smith, Mors.
City-Ballantyne, Allison, Bradbury, Graham, Benjamin, Greenslade, McCartney, Simpson ©, Allan, Armstrong, Atkinson.
Subs-Carr, Coward, Hodgson, Errington, Tose.
By Will Stuart
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