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The independent Stevenage FC blog

Is This The Way To… Carlisle? Oh?

AmarilloIf you hear that Tony Christie’s Is This The Way To Amarillo is back in the charts, it may just have something to do with us. We have no idea why, but it’s back on our playlist here at BoroGuide HQ. It gives us a little trip down memory lane, if nothing else – back to the 2004/5 season and the eventual heartbreak of the Britannia. And you know full well who was behind that heartbreak. No, not Tony bloody Christie. Our next opponents – Carlisle United.

Back in those non-league days, we had done the league double over the Cumbrians – only to lose the one game between us that actually mattered that season. Since then, we’ve not won at theirs and have triumphed in just one of the five matches overall. What a time it’d be, then, if we could do something about that now. With a last-gasp point against Preston lifting us out of the drop zone for the first time in 2014, we’re on a bit of a roll.

To keep that run up, it’s about time we reasserted ourselves against Carlisle. So. Can we?

Our hosts this weekend have now lost two on the spin and are without a win in three. But defeats against Sheffield United and Port Vale (and the draw against Brentford) aren’t the worst results in the world. Teams in the bottom half are what we should be concerned all about, and the Cumbrians have four wins from their nine fixtures against sides from 12th downwards. That’s not an unreasonable return.

Meanwhile, our record at teams in and around us is getting better and we’re climbing the table in that regard; three wins in nine, but a goal difference that needs sorting out if you remember the thumpings at Colchester United and Bristol City. At home overall, Carlisle have won two of their last six and we’ve won one of six away overall. This doesn’t lead us to think we’re in for a classic at the weekend.

The most important thing, however, is coming away from Brunton Park with a point. Or three, if possible. It’s going to be teams immediately around us that we need to overcome and pull ourselves further away from the relegation places. It’s quite tight where we find ourselves at the moment and that means every result will be just that bit more significant when we look at the league table afterwards. Annoyingly, it’s a long way from being over just yet.

 

Here’s What You Need To Know:

[expand title=”WE’VE MET BEFORE…”]

21 Sep 2013 H Sky Bet League One 1-3
09 Feb 2013 A npower League One 1-2
18 Aug 2012 H npower League One 1-1
17 Apr 2012 H npower League One 1-0
24 Sep 2011 A npower League One 0-1
14 May 2005 N Nationwide Conference Playoff Final 0-1
05 Mar 2005 H Nationwide Conference 2-1
22 Feb 2005 A Nationwide Conference 2-1

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[expand title=”REFEREE WATCH”]
It’s a long trip north for the Boro’ and we’d like to make sure we’re in good hands when we get there. The Football League has said it will be sending James Adcock to do the honours, a man we’ve come across a few times before. In fact, we go way back with him – March 2009 was the first time and a home game against Oxford United. The most recent time you’ll have seen our paths cross was the Paint Pot game against Leyton Orient this season.

We haven’t normally had things go in our favour recently, with the form book against us in almost every instance. But with Adcock in charge, we have a formidable run of results that we reckon is worth protecting – unbeaten in six games, and averaging 2.3 goals each game. Now that’s not half bad. This season, he’s reached for the cards a fair bit and is not a strange to sending a Boro’ player off – something to be wary of as a flip side, perhaps?

• This season for James Adcock:
Games: 23 — Yellow: 80 (3.48pg), Red: 5

• Our record under James Adcock:
P6 W4 D2 L0 F14 A5 — Yellow: 10 (1.67pg), Red: 2
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[expand title=”FIFA 14 VERDICT”]
Team:
Day; Obeng, Dembele, Ashton, Hartley; Akins, Doughty, Smith, Freeman; Charles, Zoko

We only made the one change from the Preston game, and that was Michael Doughty for Dean Parrett. And the word we’d use to describe Boro’s start to this game is “OMGwow”. Not even 10 minutes were on the clock by the time we were two goals to the good, with a couple of pearlers from Luke Freeman and Darius Charles. But after that, the home team made all the running and we were defending for our lives.

Boro’ eventually buckled just before the break, with Carlisle getting their reward for the dominance they’d shown in the first half. Boro’s only two shots on target had found their way into the net. The second half started in a similar vein, but this time there wasn’t any way through for the hosts. Boro’ grew back into it and scored a third through Zoko, with the visitors taking total control for the remaining 20 minutes and grabbing the win.

FT: Carlisle United 1-3 Stevenage
(Miller 43′; Freeman 2′, Charles 9′, Zoko 69′)

 
 

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[expand title=”BOOKIE BASHING”]
Want a risk-free £10 wager this weekend? Head on over and sign up with Titan Bet and its yours.

BoroGuide is off on its holibobs this weekend so we’re not going to be giving you odds as we find them, because they’ll be out of date (maybe) when you come to take a look. What we’ll do is tell you a few things worth knowing. At Brunton Park, 12 of the 18 games have seen more than 2.5 goals, and 10 of Boro’s 18 away games this term have been similar. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the same outcome in this one, then.

If you’re a correct score junkie, then you know more than we’ll ever. Our hosts have two 1-0 and three 2-1 wins to their name at home this season, but FOUR defeats in which at least four goals have gone into their net. For us on the road, there aren’t many victories to speak of – therefore, there’s not much form to go with. And as an aside, isn’t Francois Zoko due a goal now? It’s been a while and we know he’s just waiting to pounce.

If you’d rather, check out what the alternatives are offering…

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