Carlisle United v Stevenage: It's a long way north by north by north by north by northwest...

Is it an inverted masterstroke from the Football League? Or is just it the fixture computer having a bubble at our humble expense? You see, it doesn’t make much sense (to us, at least) to get Morecambe to come all the way down here, only for them to see us in their rear view mirror following them back up the M6 and beyond. Mind you, maybe us and Looton could club together for a shared taxi; seeing as we’re pretty much going the same direction. As long as they pay the soiling charge. That’s all we ask.

It is what it is, however. The notion of travelling one billion (Slight exaggeration? Ed.) miles to Carlisle in the middle of the week is hardly an entertaining one. It has nowt to do with the fact we’ve not won there since 2005, but we’re coming to that. And, to be honest, it probably does have something to do with that after all. After huffing and puffing our way to three points indoors at the weekend, then, it’s Bully’s Special Prize: it’s the trip of a lifetime up to see the bright lights of Carlisle. Bring the Scrabble and the travel Scrabble lads…

 

Carlisle United v Stevenage: The Lowdown

Carlisle United v Stevenage: It's a long way north by north by north by north by northwest...

The Opposition:

Our first experience of Brunton Park was midweek, as it goes. And it was a positive one; Darryn Stamp netting twice in a 2-1 win amid snow showers. Since then, all our trips north by north by north by north by northwest have been at the weekend (or on a Bank Holiday for any lurking pedants). It’s not so much the fact we’ve only mustered two points in those six visits, but scoring has proven an issue too. On all but two of those occasions, we’ve drawn a blank in front of goal. And that just ain’t conducive to winning. Just ask Crystal Palace

Last season gave us one of those two outings, and it turned out to be worth a point to us. In the grand scheme of things, admittedly, it ended up making up half of our points haul from the last six of the 2016-7 season. It is as good as indication of why we didn’t nab a spot in the playoffs as you can hope to receive. The overall record against Carlisle? Not good. It’s one win in 10; two if you go back to when we first came into the League. We are looking to contrive something that gives us hope we can buck the trend, but – well – it just ain’t happening.

 

The Form:

If our head-to-head record can’t give us much to cling to, how about recent form for what it’s worth? The good news is that we come into this after halting a run of three matches without a win. The bad news is that Carlisle, too, have just ended a rocky run of form. And it came about in some style. After failing to win in their previous five league outings, the Cumbrians had a very good day at Crewe; 5-0 the rather emphatic outcome. It could, therefore, be the worst time to go there. Or, they could be so giddy from excess that we catch them unaware.

It is at this point we’d like you to imagine the “Thinking” emoji.

Anyway, those lovely chaps and chapettes at kickoff.co.uk have put our head-to-head record into graph form:

Carlisle United v Stevenage Carlisle United v Stevenage – Stats

 

The Referee:

It’s Michael Salisbury and he’s been a good omen for us up until this point…
P2 W2 D0 L0 F4 A0; last result: Stevenage 3-0 Portsmouth, 18/03/2017

 

The Head-to-Head:

P15 W4 D3 L8 F11 A18; last result: Carlisle United 1-1 Stevenage, 17/04/2017

• BoroGuide’s Carlisle United club profile – you’ve plenty of time to read it on the trip up…