Saturday 30 July, 3pm
Brunton Park, Carlisle
Sky Bet League Two Matchday One
Omari Patrick - Striker
Carlisle fan favourite Omari Patrick is likely to lead the Cumbrian attack on Saturday afternoon and is a threat to watch out for. The forward scored nine goals last season after he returned to the club following an unsuccessful spell at Burton in League One.
Before Carlisle, Patrick developed league experience at Bradford City and Yeovil, also impressing at Wrexham in the National League before his initial 2019 move to Cumbria. He is a strong, technical striker with a burst of pace who looks to get in behind defences.
Callum Guy - Midfielder
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 two campaigns ago.
Last season Guy picked up a more defensive role, and only recorded two assists, but remained key to the Cumbrians’ midfield alongside players like Joe Riley and Jon Mellish.
Carlisle lad Paul Simpson returned for his second spell in the hotseat at Brunton Park in February 2022, with the club deeply embroiled in a relegation battle.
There was an immediate upturn in results, with the club securing league safety with a month to spare.
Talks quickly followed and a three-year deal, keeping him with Carlisle until at least the summer of 2025, was agreed.
The popular gaffer first became a local hero when he took over a struggling club during the 2003/04 season. He galvanised the Blues, almost saving them from an impossible situation, but led the charge with back-to-back promotions from the Conference into League One through 2004/05 and 2005/06.
A man with a wealth of football and management experience - he won the World Cup at the helm of the England U20 squad in 2017 – he has also managed at Rochdale, Preston, Shrewsbury, Stockport, Northwich Victoria and Bristol City, prior to his return to Cumbria.
Last season Simpson uplifted the club on his return, achieving results which took them away from danger at the bottom of the table.
It is no secret that Crawley’s record in Carlisle makes bad reading, but Kevin Betsy and Dan Micciche will have their sights on our first win away to the Blues since 2012.
This came 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 won just once in fifteen meetings with the Cumbrians - a record that kept on extending before last September’s 2-1 win at The People’s Pension Stadium.
We had Nick Tsaroulla to thank for a long-awaited three points against the Blues. Tom Nichols opened the scoring after the half-hour mark with a beautiful volley straight from the corner, before dangerman Jon Mellish found space to fire past a helpless Morris.
However after 90 minutes had been played, Tsaroulla cannoned an effort into the far corner from outside the box before wheeling away in celebration in front of the Crawley fans. A dramatic ending to a much-needed victory over Carlisle.
Our last clash against the Blues was in January when the club was led by Keith Millen.
Crawley had a successful pre-season which only saw one defeat to Aldershot last weekend. The Reds earned draws to Championship QPR and Scottish Premiership Hearts as well as heavy victories over Three Bridges and East Grinstead.
Many trialists featured throughout the lead up to Saturday’s game and some became exciting signings. With the likes of Ben Wells, Moe Shubbar and Jayden Davis signing deals after impressing manager Kevin Betsy.
Carlisle have also had a successful pre-season, thrashing local sides Penrith and Kendal, before achieving a 3-1 win over Bolton and a goalless draw against Morecambe.
HOW THEY BET*
Carlisle United 7/5
Crawley Town 9/5
*Odds from betting partners Sky Bet at the time of writing. Please bet responsibly.