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Match Reports

Carlisle United v Notts County

19 December 2015

Notts Pay The Penalty

Notts County's struggles away from home continued as they were well-beaten 3-0 by Carlisle United.

With floods in the Cumbria area leaving Brunton Park unplayable, County travelled to Deepdale to play the Blues, but neutral ground made no difference as the Magpies remain without a win away from Meadow Lane in the league since the opening day success at Stevenage.

Danny Grainger's penalty set Keith Curle's side on the way to victory after Graham Burke felled Jason Kennedy and Jabo Ibehre's tap-in on the stroke of half-time had the Cumbrians well in command at Deepdale.

Ibehre bagged his second of the afternoon on the hour to make it 10 games without a win on the road for Notts.

Ricardo Moniz made two changes to the team which picked up a 2-2 draw at Wycombe as Thierry Audel and the suspended Liam Noble dropped out to be replaced by Mike Edwards and Burke.

The Cumbrians had started well and won a penalty after seven minutes when Burke mistimed a challenge on Kennedy inside the area and referee Darren Bond had no choice but to point to the spot. Grainger took responsibility for the kick and fired it straight down the middle to open the scoring.

Burke tried to make amends for his error, whipping the ball across the six-yard box but it was just out of reach for Jon Stead and Adam Campbell.

Stead then had a sight of goal 25 yards out but a block by Gary Dicker took the sting out of the effort, making it a comfortable save for Mark Gillespie in the Carlisle goal.

Burke blazed over from distance and a number of dangerous crosses had to be dealt with by the Carlisle central defenders as the Magpies tried to find a quick way back into the game.

At the other end, Grainger's low cross was inches away from finding Charlie Wyke, with Roy Carroll grateful to collect the ball at the near post rather than picking it out of the back of his net.

Another delivery from the left by the Carlisle captain caused mayhem in the Notts defence with Edwards blocking Ibehre's goalbound effort to keep the deficit to a single strike.

County came close to finding an equaliser just before the half-hour mark as Burke found space on the edge of the area to curl an effort towards the top corner but saw his effort superbly tipped onto the post by Gillespie.

The goalkeeper was earning his corn and produced a stunning one-handed stop to deny Stead as the striker powered a header at goal from Curtis Thompson's cross.

Alan Sheehan strode out of defence and smacked a shot against Michael Raynes before Campbell saw a cross-cum-shot drift wide of the far post.

A minute before half-time, Carlisle got their second as Raynes flicked on a long-throw from Mark Ellis and Ibehre was never going to miss from two yards out.

At the start of the second half the 'hosts' could have made it 3-0 as Ibehre ghosted in behind the defence but the striker slammed high and wide.

Stanley Aborah made his long-awaited return from injury, coming on as a substitute for Burke after 55 minutes as Moniz looked for the midfield to gain some control and give Notts a foothold in the game.

That task became a lot harder as Carlisle got their third through Ibehre. Antony Sweeney saw a shot blocked into the path of the striker, who took a touch before rifling in his second of the afternoon from 12 yards.

Milsom's cross was headed over the bar by Izale McLeod in a rare Notts attack.

Wyke sprang the offside trap but Carroll was quick off his line to deny the striker with his feet before McLeod found space to drill a cross into the area where Stead couldn't get enough power on his header to trouble Gillespie.

Stead then curled wide from the edge of the area as Edwards knocked Sheehan's free-kick into his stride.

Notts wasted a chance to pull a goal back as Milsom knocked the ball across the face of goal to Stead, who opted to swivel and shoot rather than lay off to Aborah, but saw the shot blocked wide.

That was to be that as Notts slipped to 14th, seven points away from the play-off places at Christmas.

Notts: Carroll; Swerts, Edwards, Sheehan, Milsom; Campbell, Thompson, Smith (Murray, 70), Burke (Aborah, 55); Stead, McLeod.
Subs not used: Loach, Sprockel, Jenner, Snijders, Spencer.

Attendance: 3,336 (269 away)

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