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Carlisle United preview…

The lowdown on our next League Two opponents…

11 August 2022

Next up for Scott Lindsey’s side is the long trip to Cumbria to face Carlisle United.

Here’s a look at Saturday’s opponents in a bit more depth…


The Cumbrian side were formed in 1904, entering the Lancashire Combination the following year and winning Division Two in 1906/07.

They then entered the North Eastern League in 1910 and went on to win the league title in 1921/22, before electing to switch into the Football League in 1928.

The next 30 years was spent plying their trade in the Third Division North, at which point they were assigned a place in the newly formed Fourth Division, winning promotion during the 1961/62 campaign.

Unfortunately, relegation followed the subsequent year, but then experienced two straight promotions, finishing the 1964/65 season as Third Division champions.

Fans had to wait a few more years before another promotion was achieved out of the Second Division in 1973/74, but they stayed only one season in the First tier before a further demotion to the Third Division at the end of the 1976/77 campaign.

Bob Stokoe achieved promotion in 1981/82, but suffered successive relegations to return to the fourth level by 1987.

In 1994/95 they were crowned champions of the fourth tier, before yet another relegation in 1996/97, only to find themselves going down again the following year.

Their 76-year stint in the Football League came to an end with relegation in 2003/04, though player-manager and current boss, Paul Simpson, guided them to an immediate return by winning the 2005 Conferenece National Play-off Final.

A League Two title followed in 2005/06, and that’s where they remained until their relegation at the end of 2013/14.

Carlisle United have reached the final of the Football League Trophy on six occasions – more than any other side, winning it in 1997 and 2011, and finishing runners-up in 1995, 2003, 2006 and 2010.

The Stadium…

Brunton Park has a capacity of 17,949 and opened in 1909.

The grandstand actually burned down in 1953 and the stadium flooded completely in 2005, suffering the same fate ten years later.

The ground is split into four separate stands, and is the largest football stadium in England which is not all-seated.

Previous meetings…

There isn’t too much to choose between the two sides, with two wins each and a draw in their last five league encounters.

Their most recent match up came back in February, with Town winning the tie 3-0 with goals from Harry McKirdy, Josh Davison and Louie Barry.

Before that they met in August 2021, with Town suffering a 2-1 home defeat.

During the 2019/20 campaign, Town emerged 3-2 winners at home before having to settle for a 1-1 draw in the return clash.

Back in March 2019, The Cumbrians recorded another 2-1 win, this time on home turf.

The manager…

Carlisle United currently have Paul Simpson at the helm.

Born in the city, the 56-year-old is now in his second spell with the club, having been player manager for three years between 2006 and 2009.

He returned to the club in February this year after spells managing Preston North End, Shrewsbury Town and Stockport County, as well as England’s Under-20s between 2017 and 2020.

As a player, Simpson made 36 appearances for the club, netting six times.

Summer recruitment…

Ten players have joined during the off-season as Simpson strengthened the ranks.

The most notable arrivals include Ryan Edmondson from Leeds United, as well as Paul Huntington and Jamie Devitt on free transfers.

A few loanees have come in from bigger clubs to add steel to the squad, with Fulham’s Sonny Hilton joining temporarily from Fulham and Fin Back coming in from Nottingham Forest.

Only Joe Riley (Walsall) and Tristan Abrahams (Eastleigh) have left the club to join other sides, while nine players have been released.




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