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Carlisle match report
18 August 2015 23:06 Post ID: #71372
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A game literally of two halves! Argyle huffed and puffed and were outplayed during the first half but changes from manager Derek Adams for the second period sealed an entertaining 4-1 win.

4-2-3-1 + 3-4-1-2 = 4 -1.

We just couldn't get going during the first 45 minutes, conceding space and possession. Carlisle exploited the space between the full backs and the wide players and should have taken the lead but on the stroke of half time Jake Jervis scored a fantastic goal which stopped the expected chorus of boos at half time.

All change for the second half as Adams switched to a 3-4-1-2 (John Sheridan) formation and we totally blitzed in a devastating 20 minutes spell with Graham Carey and Jervis at the heart of all things good.
Whereas Sheridan's formation was set-up to defend a lead, the formation from Adams is set-up to attack and score more goals.

Jervis was surprisingly deemed fit for the game and took his place on the right as Adams went with his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.
We struggled to get going although Gregg Wylde raced away from the half way line and shot over the bar when he should have done better.
Carlisle dominated the midfield and for the second home game in succession we were chasing shadows, Carlisle exploited the space in between the full backs and Wylde and Jervis in the wide areas. Harim Boateng and Carl McHugh couldn't get across to close down and Carlisle enjoyed the freedom of Home Park in the wide areas.

Chances regularly fell for Carlisle but the best effort hit the post, we were living a charmed life with frustration seeping down from the terraces.
Where was this passing and entertaining football?

On the stroke of half time Jervis, who had now swapped flanks with Wylde, robbed the ball from a Carlisle defender, raced away and thumped a fantastic shot into the top corner.
1-0 at half time, we didn't deserve it but we'll take it!

The second half was in a different universe compared to the plodding first half.
Firstly Adams changed the formation to 3-4-1-2 with McHugh dropping back into the back three, Kelvin Mellor and Gary Sawyer as wing backs, Carey played just behind the front two of Rueben Reid and Jervis while Josh Simpson was introduced as a sub and replaced Wylde.

Suddenly Argyle looked a better and more comfortable team, McHugh mopped up everything coming through the middle, Simpson grabbed hold of the midfield and Carey was able to get on the ball much more. However, the biggest difference was the attitude, the players were now chasing and closing down and not allowing Carlisle to dictate the play.

A Carey corner was headed on at the near post by McHugh, the ball flew across the goal and hit Reid and rolled over the line. 2-0 to the Greens.

It was now all Argyle. Carey chased down a Carlisle defender who slipped on the heavily watered pitch, he strolled towards goal and calmly slotted in to make it 3-0.

Carey was in the action again soon after, setting up Jervis who thumped in another. 4-0 to the Greens and game over.
Carlisle were shell shocked and looked a pale imitation of the first half team.

Adams made a few substitutions with Ryan Brunt and Craig Tanner coming on but the formation always stayed the same with either Carey or Jervis dropping back to partner Simpson in midfield.

The game slowed down after the three goal onslaught, there were still chances but the pace had dropped, the game was won and all that was left was to keep a clean sheet, except that didn't happen. Right at the death Joe Thompson scored a consolation goal for Carlisle, McCormick wasn't a happy keeper!

From a stuttering and plodding first half team we morphed into a confident and entertaining second half side.
Credit to Adams to change it completely even though we were leading 1-0 at half time. As against Portsmouth we were over run in midfield, there was too much space and Carlisle always seemed to have an extra man and able to take their time passing the ball.
I was disappointed Adams didn't change the formation against Pompey but tonight he had it spot on and won us the game at a canter.
The formation change and the introduction of Simpson closed down the midfield and gave Carey the platform to perform and boy did he do just that! Two assists and a goal and looks a classy player, miles away from the player chasing shadows in the first half and against Portsmouth.

Credit also to Jervis who made a big difference to the team, him and Carey played in at least three different positions and made an impact in all of them for the second half.

Peter Hartley, Curtis Nelson and McHugh, the old Sheridan rearguard, looked so much more at ease playing as a back three, as did Mellor as a wing back, although Sawyer did well at left wing back Ben Purrington might be a better option if this formation continues.

Simpson looked very classy, he strengthened the midfield, got on the ball and just played the simple pass.
Reid battled and was a much better player when Jervis partnered him in the second half.

Hopefully the 4-2-3-1 formation is now a third or fourth option, pulled out when required, rather than a first option, it just doesn't work at home, it allows the opposition to take control of the midfield.
It will be interesting to see what Adams has in mind for the Northampton game.

The referee had a good game and was hardly noticed which is a good sign.

The loud pre-match music was turned down to bearable volume, well done the club.

Goals: Argyle - Jervis 43, 65, Reid 53, Carey 56. Carlisle - Thompson 93.

Attn: 6,071.

McCormick 7, Mellor 7, Nelson 7, Hartley 7, Sawyer 6, McHugh 7, Boateng 6, Carey 8, Wylde 6, Jervis 8, Reid 7.
Subs - Simpson 7, Brunt 6, Tanner 6.

Man of the match Carey.
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