Match report: Carlisle United 4 PNE 3

Carlisle v PNE
Carlisle v PNE
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It bucketed it down and rained goals in Cumbria as Preston North End suffered their first defeat of the pre-season at the hands of Carlisle United.

The Brunton Park friendly, played for the most part in heavy rain, had a bit of everything - seven goals, a red card, plenty of chances and a glut of substitutions.

Carlisle substitute Alexander McQueen was sent-off for a late challenge on Ben Davies with the score at 3-3 but with 10 men, the home side managed to score a late winner from the penalty spot.

North End had taken an 11th minute lead through Jordan Hugill, the striker turning in a cross from Kyel Reid.

Tom Miller headed Carlisle level before Jason Kennedy got beyond the Preston defence to put them in front.

Will Keane equalised for the visitors, all that happening before the half-hour mark had been reached.

Danny Grainger restored Carlisle’s lead from the penalty spot in the 39th minute, Hugill netting his second goal of the net to pull PNE level early in the second half.

The rest of the second half didn’t have the tempo of the first but things livened up with McQueen’s dismissal and then Grainger scored from the spot again to give the home side victory.

PNE boss Simon Grayson had made several changes to the side who had beaten Motherwell at Livingston on Friday night.

Five who started in Scotland were in the XI for the clash in English border territory - Jamie Jones, Tom Clarke, Bailey Wright, Neil Kilkenny and Keane.

Greg Cunningham made his debut at left-back after joining from Bristol City on Monday.

Second-year trainee Clive Smith got a start at right-back, with Clarke partnering Wright in the centre of defence.

Kilkenny and John Welsh came together in the middle of the park, with Andy Little and Kyel Reid on the wings.

Up front, Keane was partnered by Hugill - Joe Garner and Jermaine Beckford getting the evening off.

Perhaps a clue to the glut of goals we were to get was that the game’s first chance arrived inside 40 seconds, Keane driving a shot wide from outside the box.

Reid forced home keeper Dan Hanford into a diving save with a low effort from the edge of the box as North End maintained their early pressure.

A strong run from Hugill took him into the box but after failing to see Reid unmarked on the far side, eventually played in Keane who spun superbly to face goal but was crowded out by two defenders before he could get a shot away.

The Lilywhites claimed first blood in the 11th minute as their early pressure yielded the opening goal.

Reid showed a clean pair of heels to Kennedy down the left channel before sending over a low cross which Hugill steered into the net from close range despite the attentions of Michael Raynes.

The visitors continued to exert pressure, Keane seeing a shot deflected wide while new boy Cunningham sent a long-range sighter high over the bar after Kilkenny had found him with a short free-kick.

It was somewhat against the run of play that Carlisle equalised in the 20th minute, a ball in from the right creating the initial danger.

Cunningham had to block a shot from Wyke on the line, the loose ball breaking to Bastien Hery who lifted a cross over to the far post for Miller to head home.

The sides traded chances after that, Reid seeing a free-kick strike the wall and fly behind, then Wyke hooked a shot wide after being first to a Jabo Ibehre flick-on.

Carlisle went in front in the 26th minute, Kennedy’s exchange of passes with Wyke taking him beyond the PNE defence and into the box.

He steadied himself before curling a slow shot past Jones and into the far bottom corner of the net.

Preston restored parity within two minutes, another burst from Hugill carrying him from the right hand touchline towards the box.

He got his head up and played a low ball into the middle which Keane tucked away from 12 yards.

If Hugill had shown the same unselfishness a few minutes later, North End could well have taken the lead.

The striker bulldozed his way forward down the middle but with Reid and Little well placed either side, Hugill chose to shoot and Hanford saved.

Carlisle regained the advntage six minutes before the interval, referee Richard Clark pointing to the spot after Wright had grabbed Wyke in a bear hug as they challenged for a cross.

Mr Clarke had given two penalties against PNE the last time he officiated them, in April’s 2-2 draw at Port Vale.

Like the two that night, there could be few complaints with this one, Wyke clearly impeded.

Grainger sent Jones the wrong way from the spot with a low finish, meaning it was the home side who could dry-out at half-time with a lead in the bag.

Alan Browne and Josh Brownhill replaced Kilkenny and Keane at the break, PNE going to a 4-1-4-1 system.

Carlisle’s advantage was to last only five minutes of the second period, Kennedy’s square ball across the back line putting team-mate Raynes in trouble.

Hugill won the challenge for the loose ball with Raynes, leaving him with a clear run on goal and the time to slot a shot beyond Hanford as he advanced off his line.

The 66th minute saw a rarity in pre-season games as referee Clark waved a red card at Cumbrians sub Alexander McQueen.

He had lunged at Ben Davies, who had only moments earlier joined the action in place of Welsh.

The late challenge caught Davies above the ankle and put him to the turf, Mr Clark quick to show red.

Hugill nearly scored from the resulting free-kick but put his effort wide of the back post.

As the second half progressed, the sting started to go out of the game which was not a surprise at this stage of the summer.

However, the pace picked up again in the closing stages, Brownhill deserving more after some nice trickery saw him skip past two challenges and into the box.

The young midfielder shot low from 15 yards, Hanford getting down low to save with his legs.

Carlisle got their winner from the penalty spot with nine minutes remaining, Rigg getting into the box and going to ground after being clipped by Jones as he took the ball round him.

For the second time, Grainger assumed spot kick duties and dispatched his penalty into the net.

Carlisle: Hanford, Atkinson (McQueen 46), Raynes (Archibald-Henville 83), Grainger, Miller, Joyce (Dicker 77), Kennedy (Sweeney 65), Hery (Walker 87), Brough Thompson 46), Wyke (Balanta 69), Ibehre (Rigg 80). Subs not used: Asamoah, Osei, Meppen-Walter, Kearns, Hammell, Gillespie.

PNE: Jones, Smith (Johnson 64), Clarke, Wright, Cunningham (Anderton 83), Little, Kilkenny (Browne 46), Welsh (Davies 64). Reid, Keane (Brownhill 46), Hugill. Subs not used: Ryan, Heaton, James.

Referee: Richard Clarke (Northumberland)

Attendance: 1,948