Who? Carlisle United
Where? The People’s Pension Stadium
When? Saturday, September 11, 3pm kick-off
Sky Bet League Two match six
Carlisle United finished tenth in last season’s Sky Bet League Two, a little way behind the play-off chasers but still the best of the rest. They have had a mixed start of the season, picking up two wins, three draws and just one defeat – away at Victoria Park, where the Reds suffered their opening day defeat – but they are coming into this fixture off the back of a 2-1 win over Salford City. Chris Beech is the man in charge of Carlisle, his playing career came to a close in 2004 with Rochdale and he remained employed by the Dale until November 2019 having featured as the youth team manager, assistant manager and caretaker manager before joining Carlisle. The Blues took six points off the Reds last season and dealt Crawley a dark day in this fixture last year, beating Town’s ten men by three goals to nil last November.
ONES TO WATCH
Magnus Norman earned his place within a professional academy at the age of nine, signing with his local club, Fulham FC. He turned pro with Fulham at the age of just 17 and has since been sent out on loan to Farnborough, Hayes and Yeading, Southport and Rochdale. It was during his time with the Dale when he caught the eye of Carlisle manager Chris Beech who brought him to Brunton Park in August 2020. He was out of favour last season, playing just four times behind then number one Paul Farman, who has since moved to Cumbrian rivals Barrow AFC. In the last five years, Norman has played 93 times and kept 17 clean sheets. Since claiming the number one shirt at United, he has played six times in competitive games, conceding five and keeping two clean sheets.
Position: Central Midfield
Nottingham-born Callum Guy began his career at Derby County, where he remained until 2019. He moved up through the age groups with the Rams and had loan spells at Port Vale and Bradford City, gaining vital league experience. He made 28 appearances for these two clubs before being sent out on his final loan spell to Blackpool. This proved to be Guy’s break as he impressed for the Tangerines and was signed permanently just one day after his loan spell ended. He made 45 appearances in Lancashire, scoring once and assisting four times over the course of the season and a half he spent there. He was signed up by the Blues in January 2020 and made 47 appearances in his first full season, finishing top of Sky Bet League Two’s assist chart last campaign.
Position: Central Midfield
Jon Mellish finished as the Blues’ top goal scorer last season with 14 goals in 47 appearances and has already opened his account for the new campaign after netting against Salford City last weekend. He came through National League North side Gateshead’s youth system and played 58 times for the Heed Army over the course of a three-year period. This stint was broken up by two loan spells to step nine side Newcastle Benfield FC through 2017 and 2018. He then spent another year with Gateshead before signing for Carlisle United in May of 2019. A versatile and left-footed player, Mellish began his career playing further forward before United manager Chris Beech converted him to a defensive midfielder where he continues to pose a threat going forward.
HEAD TO HEAD
It is no secret that Crawley’s past form against the Cumbrians isn’t the best read, as Carlisle have proved to be a bogey team of sorts over the years of competitive football we have shared since we were promoted to the football league. Our last win against Carlisle came in 2012, when we played at Brunton Park in League One action as Nathan Byrne and Nicky Adams scored in an impressive 0-2 away win.
Since that day, Crawley have failed to win in fifteen meetings with the Cumbrians - a crazy record that has kept extending in recent years. Last season we lost out on both occasions, home and away. Manager John Yems has praised Chris Beech’s side as of late, comparing their COVID-19 outbreak to ours last season, as Carlisle plummeted from the top of the league to outside the play-off places before the season came to a close, despite looking like the best side we came across last season.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Cash and card payments available across the ground.
Redz Bar open pre match and at half time (capacity restrictions apply/ last orders 10 minutes before KO and at 15:55 pre second half).
We shall not be accecpting the Scottish Pound for this fixture.