After an impressive start to the league campaign this past weekend Town are quickly in cup action with Carlisle United the visitors to The Envirovent Stadium tomorrow evening in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
And the 1-0 win at Doncaster on Saturday, the fourth season in a row where Town have taken maximum points on opening day; the perfect preparation for the test against League One opposition.
Carlisle were promoted at the end of last season, triumphing via the playoffs with a penalty shoot out victory against Stockport County after first overcoming Bradford City.
They kicked off life in League One for the first time in a decade with a 1-1 draw at home to Fleetwood Town, although they will be frustrated that Owen Moxon’s strike was cancelled out in first-half stoppage time.
The two sides of course met last season in League Two with Town extending their unbeaten run against the Cumbrians since gaining promotion to the EFL.
There was an entertaining encounter at The Envirovent Stadium in early November when Owen Moxon’s injury-time equaliser earned the visitors a 3-3 draw. Town had twice come from behind through goals from Luke Armstrong and Warren Burrell before Jaheim Headley’s strike fifteen-minutes from time looked to have given Town victory.
In the return fixture at Brunton Park Town snatched a 1-0 victory thanks to a late own-goal from Paul Huntington.
The man in charge
Paul Simpson was appointed in February 2022 after the club had struggled for the most part and were amongst the sides threatened by relegation before he steered them to safety late in the season. He of course guided them to promotion to League One following an excellent 2022/23 campaign.
Simpson previously had a spell at Brunton Park almost 20 years ago, also managing Preston, Shrewsbury and Stockport as well as coaching stints at Newcastle United and the England youth set-up.
Before embarking on a managerial career Simpson had a notable playing career, most prominently for Manchester City, Oxford and Derby.
Ones to watch
United bolstered their promotion winning squad by adding the likes of Alfie McCalmont, Ben Barclay, Sam Lavelle and Sean Maguire to their ranks.
Nottingham Forest youngster Fin Back also rejoined on loan for another season after impressing a season ago.
Highly-rated Owen Moxon will be a key part of the midfield with stalwarts Callum Guy, Jon Mellish and Paul Huntington expected to feature heavily.
Carlisle were officially formed in 1904 and have featured mainly in Third Division during their 117 year existence. The 1973-74 season saw the Cumbrians promoted to the First Division for the first time but they’d only stay there for a year before relegation.
Successive relegations in the 80s then saw Carlisle drop to the Fourth Division and it’s where they stayed until winning the league as champions in 1995. The club then yoyoed in out of the third and fourth division until in 2004, their 76 year stay in the Football League came to end.
It was, however, a brief end as the club returned the following the season and then won the League Two title the year after. Carlisle would continue to be a League One club for the next eight seasons, winning the Football League Trophy in 2011 before relegation to League Two in the 2013/14 season with their near decade stay in the bottom tier brought to an end last season.
Luke Armstrong will once again be unavailable for selection, along with long-term absentee Stephen Dooley. Rod McDonald will also miss the chance to take on his former club as a result of the eye injury suffered on Saturday, with Joe Mattock, Warren Burrell and Will Smith looking to step into the centre half's position.