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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

14 August 2018 Venue Brunton Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Match Reports

Report: Carlisle United 1 Rovers 5

Dream first half leads to dominant display as Rovers head to round two

14 August 2018

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A clinical display saw Rovers fire five past Carlisle United and move into round two of the Carabao Cup following a dominant performance at Brunton Park.

Rovers were deadly in front of goal on the nigt and bagged four strikes in the opening half in Cumbria thanks to an Adam Armstrong opener, Bradley Dack's brace and Kasey Palmer's first goal for the club.

And things got better after the break with Armstrong getting a brace of his own early in the half, with Rovers having to make do with five goals, despite having chances to add to the scoreline.

Carlisle kept going, to their credit, but couldn't add to their own tally after Hallam Hope's thunderbolt had given the hosts hope in the first half.

Rovers boss Tony Mowbray made four changes to the starting XI from the one that began against Millwall three days earlier, with Lewis Travis, Joe Rothwell, Craig Conway and Armstrong all coming into the team, at the expense of Richie Smallwood, Corry Evans, Elliott Bennett and Danny Graham.

The visitors came flying out of the traps and opened the scoring after just 90 seconds. Some great play involving Rothwell, Palmer and Dack saw the latter thread a pass through to Armstrong, who fired into the top corner from 12 yards to hand Rovers a dream start.

Things got even better for Mowbray's men just three minutes later as Dack added to the tally; snaffling up from close range after Joe Fryer failed to hold onto a wicked Conway cross from the right side.

The Carlisle response was a good one though, and moments later they hit the upright as Macauley Gillesphey crashed a free kick against David Raya's crossbar.

And the hosts were back in the game midway through the half when Hope unleashed a powerful strike from all of 25 yards which flew past Raya and into the back of the net.

But with the home side having a good spell, Dack handed John Sheridan's men a real sucker punch in sensational style just after the half hour. After an exquisite first touch, the playmaker expertly curled home from outside the box to ensure the two-goal cushion was regained.

Three soon became four as Palmer got off the mark in Rovers colours with five minutes to go until half time, as the Chelsea loanee beat Tom Parkes before cooly slotting into the bottom corner to complete a fine first half display from Mowbray's men.

But before the visitors could get into the dressing room, Carlisle hit the woodwork again, as the lively Adam Campbell cracked the bar for the Cumbrians to give Rovers food for thought just before the whistle went.

Rovers started the second half as they ended the first, and once again Dack was the orchestrator as he threaded an inch-perfect pass through to Armstrong who made no mistake and joined the playmaker in searching for the hat-trick ten minutes into the half.

It could have been six just before the hour mark but after Conway found Palmer, the winger saw his strike blocked by substitute Gary Miller.

Dack was searching for his third and Rovers' sixth of the night but after taking aim from the edge of the box, the ex-Gillingham man saw Fryer tip his attempt onto the bar and away.

The home side weren't done though and Raya was kept busy by goalscorer Hope, who unleashed a driven effort that forced the Spaniard to beat away with 20 minutes of the tie remaining.

Jamie Devitt and then Campbell forced Raya into a double save in the space of 20 seconds with only four minutes to go in what would have been a late consolation goal for the hosts, but that was to be that as Rovers comfortably made the move into round two of the Carabao Cup, with the draw on Thursday.

Don't forget, Rovers are back in league action on Saturday at Hull City. You can back the lads by purchasing your tickets here.

Carlisle United: Fryer, Liddle (c), Gerrard (Miller, 46), Parkes, Hope, Devitt, Gillesphey, Slater (Bennett, 62), Campbell, Yates, Etuhu.

Unused substitutes: Collin, Grainger, Glendon, Adelusi, Egan.

Goal: Hope, 23

Booked: Etuhu, 81

Rovers: Raya, Nyambe, Lenihan, Mulgrew (c), Bell, Rothwell (Whittingham, 60), Travis, Palmer (Samuel, 60), Dack, Conway, Armstrong (Nuttall, 63).

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Smallwood, Downing, Evans.

Goal: Armstrong, 2, 55, Dack, 5, 34, Palmer, 40

Booked: Palmer, 13

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 3,156 (645 away)

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