Stevenage 3-1 Carlisle United: Classy Boro comfortably see off 10-man Carlisle 
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

In a bid to stretch their unbeaten run to nine games, Stevenage made three changes to the side that started in last week's goalless draw at Southend United

Arthur Read, Luke Prosser and Luke Norris were all brought in for Scott Cuthbert, Danny Newton and Jack Aitchison

Carlisle United opted for just the single change from the side that drew at Mansfield on Tuesday night, with Gime Toure replacing Lewis Alessandra, who dropped down to the bench. 

After a bright start from both sides, Carlisle's Rod McDonald was shown a red card inside the opening 20 minutes, for a tackle on Elliott List.

Ten minutes into the second half, Brennan Dickenson's deflected effort restored parity for the away side, but the game was only level for a matter of minutes before Norris volleyed home a second goal from just inside the area. 

Read showed composure to add a third for Stevenage with 20 minutes to go to complete the scoring at the Lamex Stadium.

  • Story of the match 

First half:

After just 17 seconds, the visitors had a golden opportunity to open the scoring when Toure was unable to divert his headed effort goalwards. 

After early Carlisle pressure, Stevenage started to work their way into the contest, when Arthur Read concluded a swift Boro counter attack with an effort that bounced back off the post.

Both sides continued to threaten with positive attacking football in the early exchanges, but the nature of the contest was flipped when McDonald was shown a red card for dragging down List in the 18th minute.

Reacting to the red card, Chris Beech brought off the lively Toure, who was replaced by Aaron Hayden - a decision that was not received well by the axed off winger.

Tom Pett volleyed the hosts into the lead in the 23rd minute, finishing off a well-worked corner expertly from Ben Coker's corner kick. 

Stevenage made great use of the man advantage with excellent spells of possession in the first half but struggled to carve out an all-important second goal.

Second half:

In a second half where damage limitation seemed the ultimate objective, Carlisle set up very deep with Boro continuing to dominate  

In the 55th minute, the Blues managed to find an equaliser from a rare break, when Dickenson's deflected effort wrong-footed Jamie Cumming in the Stevenage goal.

Stevenage were forced to step up their chase for a second goal and responded brilliantly. In the 56th minute, List saw his low effort expertly saved by Magnus Norman in the Carlisle net. 

Three minutes later and Boro's lead was restored, when Norris' half-volley arrowed into the far bottom corner, after the a manic few moments in the area.  

Norris had a chance ten minutes later to seal the victory, but his tame effort 

In the 71st minute, Read latched onto Elliot Osborne's pass, before coolly slotting past Norman to double his side's advantage and open his Boro account.

  • Takeaways

Stevenage extend their unbeaten run to nine with excellent victory

The balance of the game completely changed with the 18th minute sending off, but Boro were brilliant throughout.

They made use of the extra man with brilliant spells of possession and had that killer touch when it was needed. 

Carlisle's promotion push continued its derailment

Another defeat for Carlisle means that they have only won once in their last 11 games.

Their 2021 form has meant that their chances of making the top seven are fading away, despite leading the way in January. 

  • Star man

Tom Pett just about edged a whole host of man of the match contenders from the Hertfordshire club. He was classy in possession and broke up play constantly.

He also took his goal expertly and provided an attacking threat from the middle of midfield.