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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Notts County 2 Carlisle 0

Carlisle United's play-off hopes suffered a blow at Meadow Lane as rivals Notts County struck twice in six first-half minutes.

Jonathan Forte and Alan Sheehan ensured a third straight away defeat for the Cumbrians, who have not scored on their travels in 2012.

Loan striker Forte broke the deadlock when he rose at the back post to head home Alan Judge's cross in the 33rd minute at Meadow Lane.

Five minutes later, left-back Sheehan curled home a superb free-kick after Forte had been upended by the recalled Lubo Michalik.

United were unable to force their way back into the contest, with Paddy Madden squandering a good chance early in the second half.

But home keeper Stuart Nelson was otherwise a spectator as Keith Curle's men won their fourth game on the spin to go three points ahead of the Cumbrians in League One.

Forte's early bicycle kick and then an off-target Madden attempt were as good as it got in the early stages, with Neal Bishop then testing Adam Collin from distance.

United were enjoying decent spells on the ball and from one of three corners, Lee Miller had a header cleared off the line by Jeff Hughes.

An even contest then tipped County's way as Forte and Sheehan scored, with Madden unable to reduce the arrears with a volley before the break.

The Irish forward then scuffed a James Berrett cross when perfectly placed in front of goal in the opening seconds of the second period.

Carlisle then struggled to make much headway, with Peter Murphy's saved free-kick a rare opportunity, and JP McGovern unable to hit the target in the closing moments.

Forte and Bencherif went close to making it three for Curle's side, who are now sixth in League One as Carlisle stay eighth - three points outside the play-off places.

Michalik, dropped against Yeovil last weekend, came in for Danny Livesey, who was sidelined with bruised ribs.

Chris Chantler, meanwhile, made his second start of the season at left-back, replacing Ben Parker after the Leeds man's loan ended.

Notts County: Nelson, Freeman, Sheehan, Edwards, Chilvers, Bencherif, Bishop (c), J Hughes, Judge, Forte, Burgess. Subs: Burch, Demontagnac, Harley, Mahon, Stewart.

Carlisle: Collin, Simek, Chantler, Michalik, Murphy, Taiwo, Berrett, McGovern, Zoko, Madden, Miller. Subs: Gillespie, Welsh, Cook, Noble, O'Halloran.

 

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