Hewson well pleased with Reds' effort
Reds’ pre-season preparations moved up a couple of notches when Carlisle United made their annual visit to west Cumbria.
And, after a praiseworthy, disciplined performance, joint manager, David Hewson, announced himself well pleased with the effort and endeavour shown by a starting XI of familiar faces.
I don’t think, at any stage, they looked likely to cause an upset against a group of seasoned professionals and hungry trialists, but, particularly in the first half, they gave a good account of themselves.
Matters changed after the break when United were able to replace quality with quality whilst Reds could only introduce substitutes short of experience. It became a case of damage limitation with United cruising to victory thanks to three well-taken goals.
In a competitive first half, clear-cut scoring opportunities were few and far between and United had the majority of those. Cameron Salkeld side-footed wide from a good position, Jamie Devitt’s angled drive was well gathered by Aaran Taylor and Tom Miller headed wide at the far post.
Long distance efforts from Conor Tinnion and Anthony Wright were in vain and Jack Ryan’s shot was way off target after Jake Simpson’s accurate assist set-up the attack.
Josh Calvert had an early second half chance but, like the earlier efforts, the shot lacked conviction.
Nicky Adams’ became a prominent figure after the break with United becoming more fluent as a result. His assist from the right needed a Simpson clearance near the goal line but Reds were under the cosh.
The inevitable goal came in the fifty-sixth minute with Shaun Miller scoring for the third game in a row. His clever turn made the space and his well-struck shot broke the deadlock.
Reds had hardly recovered from that setback when United doubled their lead. Reggie Lambe and Adams combined well down the right and the latter’s chipped cross found one of the many players on trial, whose glancing header found the net.
Taylor pulled off the save of the match to keep out another Shaun Miller strike but he was left helpless when the Blues scored a third after seventy-two minutes. Adams, again, played a part in the build-up with another trialist scoring but not getting his name on the score sheet!
Reds had one late opportunity to score a consolation goal when Nathan Waterston released Simpson down the right but, with two options available – a shot or a cross, he went for the third and the ball drifted harmlessly out of play.
United will move on to stronger opposition in their build-up with Reds taking on opponents of a similar standard.
Workington Taylor, Simpson, Smith (Williams, 70), Douglas (Johnson, 88), Wordsworth, Calvert, Allison, Wright (MacDonald, 82), Ryan (Waterston, 55), Joel (Earl, 59), Tinnion (Carter, 88). Substitute – Monaghan (not used).
Carlisle United fielded Bonham, Tom Miller, Grainger, Joyce, Salkeld, Parkes, Nabi, Brisley, Hope, Devitt, Ellis, Lambe, Shaun Miller, Liddle, Etuhu, Holt, Adams, Adewusi and five un-named players. Bacon was an unused substitute.
Referee Anthony Backhouse, Brampton