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Match Reports

Carlisle United 2-0 Tranmere Rovers

7 April 2023

Match Reports

Carlisle United 2-0 Tranmere Rovers

7 April 2023

Tranmere Rovers were defeated 2-0 away at promotion-chasing Carlisle United in Sky Bet League Two at Brunton Park on Good Friday.

Kristian Dennis’ first-half double claimed all three points for Paul Simpson’s Blues on a frustrating afternoon for Rovers, who were backed by 716 supporters who had made the trip from the Wirral.

Kane Hemmings returned from injury to replace Joe Mumbongo in the starting line-up as Ian Dawes made one change.

Rovers were behind on three minutes when Mateusz Hewelt’s clearance from Tom Davies’ pass back was pounced upon by Omari Patrick in the box who squared the ball to the unmarked Dennis who struck left-footed into an empty net.

Carlisle went close to extending their lead minutes later, when Dennis’ half-volley across goal crept narrowly past Hewelt’s far post.

Hewelt then had to save well from Patrick in a dangerous position, with John Mellish firing the follow-up into the side-netting.

Searching for an equaliser, Josh Hawkes surged forward before shooting from distance which landed wide of Tomas Holy’s bottom-left post.

Rovers had a couple of opportunities in quick succession, with Hawkes’ volleying over the crossbar before Tom Davies heading off target, both from Hughes’ set-pieces.

Buoyed by a positive spell of play, Rhys Hughes’ through ball set Harvey Saunders free, however Paul Huntington was well-positioned to dispossess the Rovers attacker in the box.

Ethan Bristow drove forward to flash an enticing cross which was cleared behind for a corner.

Carlisle doubled their advantage with 39 minutes played. Owen Moxon’s deep cross was headed across goal at the back post by Jack Armer for Dennis to beat Hewelt from six-yards high into the net.

Hemmings’ snapshot was blocked by Ben Barclay after good work from Regan Hendry, as Rovers aimed to half the deficit.

Hewelt got down low well to thwart Patrick from adding a third for the hosts after Alfie McCalmont’s pass had set up a one-on-one situation.

From the resulting corner, Dennis’ header was cleared off the line by Hendry.

Following the restart, Dawes made his first substitution as Mumbongo came on in place of Hughes.

Rovers survived early second-half scares, with Jamie Devitt finding space to bend a strike just inches wide of Hewelt’s right-post.

Hewelt was called upon to push Armer’s cross into the box to safety, which denied Dennis a tap-in.

TRFC’s next change saw Saunders replaced by Chalmers with 54 minutes on the clock in Cumbria.

On the hour, Josh Dacres-Cogley delivered a ball aimed at Mumbongo, though Huntington beat the forward to it in the air.

Dawes later introduced Lee O’Connor into the action, with the Rovers number four coming on for Hawkes ahead of the closing 25 minutes.

Holy punched Hendry’s free-kick away, whilst at the other end, Hewelt kept out Jack Ellis’ powerful attempt heading towards the top corner.

Rovers next two substitutions saw Florent Hoti and Sam Taylor come on as late changes for Chris Merrie and Hemmings respectively.

Good build-up play from Joe Garner and Moxon later teed-up the on-rushing Devitt, but his tame right-footed shot could only find the gloves of Hewelt.

In added time, Mumbongo’s pull-back was flicked wide of Holy’s post by Chalmers, which proved to be Rovers final opportunity.

Next up for Tranmere is a return to Prenton Park on Easter Monday for the visit of Swindon Town, kick-off 3pm.

Tranmere: Hewelt, Dacres-Cogley, Davies, Turnbull, Bristow, Merrie (Hoti 79), Hendry, Hughes (Mumbongo 45), Hawkes (O’Connor 65), Saunders (Chalmers 54), Hemmings © (Taylor 78)

Subs not used: Turner-Cooke, Burton

Attendance: 13,410 (716 away)

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