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Carlisle United 1 Fleetwood Town 1 | Post Match Reaction | BlueArmyBlog

Over 10,000 fans were treated to a 1-1 at Brunton Park as the Blues and the Cod Army shared the points for the first league game of the season.

Image: Ben Holmes

Line Up

There were some talking points when the line up was announced. The positions in question were; Lavelle starting over Barclay, plus Gibson and McCalmont playing as attacking mids behind Plange. Lastly, Edmondson was not in the match day squad.

Lavelle starting over Barclay makes sense due to his League One experience.

I thought that Simmo would play it safe with two pure strikers. Playing both McCalmont and Gibson has it positives and negatives which we'll come on to later.

Plange starting over Edmondson was the biggest shock for me. The fact that Edmondson wasn't even in the squad was a big surprise. According to twitter, Edmondson was allegedly late for the team meeting. All will be revealed on Tuesday whether he's in the squad or not.

The Game

The game finishing 1-1 was a fair result if you look at the stats. Territory, xG and shots are all pretty much 50:50. Fleetwood had more possession, but, weren't controlling the game in our half with the ball.

Fin Back had two headers in the first 10 minutes which were hard chances. Good to see him getting on to those positions. We are going to need him contributing with goals and assists this season if we are to be successful.

Jordan Gibson had four shots in the first half. All of them were quite speculative. He played well and looked lively. I'd suggest he needs to improve his decision making in the final 3rd. If he can do that, he can make a big contribution this season.

Around the 15 minute mark Moxon lost the ball twice in midfield which resulted in chances for Fleetwood. Luckily, they were not able to capitalise. It does, however, highlight the importance of how mistakes will be punished at this level. A lesson to all the lads.

The moment of the first half for us was Moxon's free kick going on off the left hand post from about 30 yards. He's clearly been practicing those. I remember last season Simmo had made comments on how we should be doing better from situations like that one. We're going to need goals from all over the pitch if we are to be successful, so this was welcome.

Fleetwoods goal came in the 4th minute of injury time. It's was a great strike from Sarpong-Wiredu. While none of our team made a major mistake in defence, I am sure that Simmo will be telling the players that we could have defended better, whether it be closing down, better clearances or tracking of runners.

The first 10 minutes or the second half produced the 3 best chances of the game. Two for us and one for Fleetwood. Gibson missing a chance on his left foot while unmarked in the box. It was a bouncing low hard cross, but, he should have at least hit the target. Then there was a chance Omochere, where the ball came to him in the box and he missed the target also. Finally, after so great work on the left between Mellish, Armer and Moxon, Armer put in a low cross to McCalmont on the penalty spot , who completed scuffed his shot.

While Gibson and McCalmont are good attacking mids, they are not finishers. I really do think if we need to have another natural finisher on the pitch in order for us to take advantage of chances like those we are producing. Either that or some serious work on the training pitch on finishing.

The rest of the game played out on an even keel. I felt that we were a bit rushed in possession when in our half. I hope that just comes down to fitness rather than confidence. Fleetwood probably had the better of the chances towards the last part of the game when Marriott was introduced.

Player Verdicts

Holy - 6 - pretty solid. Could he have come for the cross on their goal? Doesn't look out of his depth at this level.

Lavelle - 7 - thought he did well in both ground and aerial duels, as well as in possession.

Huntington - 6 - I felt his card was fair. It was a mistimed and high tackle. He also got caught out towards the end of the game. Hopefully just a fitness thing. Not worried.

Mellish - 7 - He played well. Solid defensively and made his usual chaos when going forward.

Back - 7 - Thought he got into some good positions going forward. Not really tested defensively.

Armer - 7 - Copy and paste Backs assessment. Nice pick out for McCalmonts chance.

Guy - 7 - Looked at bit flustered in the first half but regained his composure. Don't recall him losing the ball in possession.

Moxon - 7 - Got caught out a few times in possession but scored the goal.

McCalmont - 6 - Didn't do a great deal and missed a good chance.

Gibson - 7 - MOTM - Looked lively and was involved in everything good we did. Just needs to improve his decision making.

Plange - 6 - Grew in to the game but struggled to hold the ball up and was trying a bit too hard rather then keeping it simple and retaining possession.

Garner - 6 - Was on the floor a lot and didn't get anything from the ref. Couldn't have done much more with his header.

McGeouch - 6 - Solid enough. Looks tidy on the ball.

Maguire - 6 - Can tell he is quality on the ball. Looks a bit behind on fitness.

Charters - 6 - Nothing major good or bad.

Final Thoughts

We went toe to toe with a mid table League One team. There are areas to improve, but, generally a positive positive performance and result. Squad depth and substitutions are going to be key in games due to the added time length.

Up The Blues.

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