Stevenage v Carlisle United (14 Sep 2019): Carlisle be ready...

We’re still on the lookout for our first win of the new season, but now there’s a new sheriff in town. And not that far behind them comes a big blue bus with the words Carlisle United in the front window. It’s a long trip down for our friends in the way up north, so maybe they should take a Saturday afternoon nap and let us run rings round them while they nap. We think it’s the least we deserve after the week that was. And we think you’d agree too.


Stevenage v Carlisle United: The Preview…

Who are Carlisle United?

After finally catching back up with this lot in League One eight years ago, we went on a bit of a rocky run of form; winning just two out of 12 meetings. But seem to have sussed them out lately, which the new management team needs to continue. Jabo Ibhere’s 72nd-minute equaliser against us on Easter Monday 2017 is the last time they breached our defence. It is now 378 League Two minutes later and let’s hope that’s still counting after Saturday.

Our Record vs Carlisle United: P 11 — W 7 — D 4 — L 8 — F 17 — A 18 — Pts 25
Last time out: Stevenage 3-0 Carlisle United, 13 April 2019

What’s their current form?

It’s not been a belter of a start for the Cumbrians. After getting things underway with a 2-1 home win over Crawley on the first day, there were three defeats on the spin. A draw with Salford and three points at Scunny – the only side worse than us at the moment – nipped that in the bud for a brief time. But last time out saw them lose at home to league leaders Exeter. And now the pressure is reportedly growing on their gaffer Steven Pressley too.

With 13 goals conceded in seven matches so far, there’s a chance for us to fill our boots.

Got a fun Carlisle United fact?

Bill Shankly got his first managerial gig at Carlisle United back in 1949. That’s the same Bill Shankly you’ll know best from his three-year stint with Huddersfield in the 1950s. He also did some things and tha’ with a small Merseyside club called Liverpool we hear…

Where have all the good times gone?

Last seen boarding an end-of-summer cheap flight out of Luton, we think. Give it a week or two and they’ll be back. Tanned probably too. After all, they didn’t cancel their papers…

What are the bookies saying?

For the first time this season (we think), the bookies are edging towards us here. You can find us priced at 28/17 for your best value punt, while you can get a Carlisle win at 17/10. If you’re thinking an even-steven first half will come before a Boro’ win, it’s 111/20.

Who is Carlisle United’s danger mouse?

Remember a lad called Harry McKirdy? After he was let go by Aston Villa this summer, our former loanee is now on the books with Carlisle and has already scored twice this season.

Who is reffing this?

Martin Coy. It’s rare for this ref to be seen to the Lamex. In our four previous meetings, the last three were away days. More importantly, we’re yet to take all three points on his watch – and that’s all we need when we’re yet to take all three points at all so far this season.

Our Record: P 4 — W 0 — D 3 — L 1 — F 4 — A 5
Last time out: MK Dons 1-1 Stevenage, 16 March 2019

And finally, what do you reckon?

The ironic thing is that we’d have probably backed Dino Maamria to get three points out of this one. But that ship has now sailed, so what do we reckon? Well, how much change will we see from this new management team? Not much is the bet, but new gaffers do want to make their own mark on things. Keep it tight at the back, however, and anything’s a goer.

Stevenage v Carlisle United prediction: 2-2 – neither side is in fine fettle so far this term and a share of the spoils is on the cards for us, but it’s also something we can work with.