‘Carlisle can cement their place in the play-offs’ – says News and Star reporter Jon Colman

Carlisle United will be looking to make it three straight wins in the league as they take on Colchester United at Brunton Park.

The Blues have lost their last three matches against the U’s.

Jon Colman, the Carlisle United reporter for the News and Star believes the game against Colchester will be a good way to gauge how Carlisle’s season will go.

“Carlisle are in quite good spirits so I think it’ll be quite a close game,” he said.

“If Carlisle are to win the game, then it’ll cement in the play-off spots early on. That’ll be quite a good statement for them to put out, to beat a side like Colchester, who you imagine will be up in the top seven come the end of the year.

“It’ll be a good little marker at this point, half a dozen games in that then becomes a very decent start and a real platform.

“However, it is the sort of season when no result would surprise you.”


Colchester come into the game off the back of three successive draws in the league.

They’ll be hoping top scorer Callum Harriott – who has netted twice – will be able to provide some goals to give them a chance against a Carlisle side who have kept a clean sheet in three of their five league games.

One of the bright sparks so far for the Cumbrian’s has been midfielder, Jon Mellish. Colman has been very impressed with how the defender/midfielder has started the season.

“In the last couple of weeks, what has impressed me most is that he’s shown a little bit of character and a bit of nerve,” Colman said.

“I think because it was only two weeks ago that a lot of supporters were questioning whether he could be a midfielder or whether he was a centre half playing out of positon.”


Mellish is only 23 so he still has a lot of time to prove himself to the fan base but his recent performances will help.

Colman added: “The way he has come back and fronted up and turned his season around in a matter of two weeks says a lot for the guy. It says a lot about his character. He is still learning a new position.

“Chris Beech has got a lot of faith in him playing there because he has said he never played there before. So again it comes down to patience that Beech has shown him.”

After a slightly rocky start, in which they conceded three goals in each of their first three games, the team has been able to put in better performances. Colman puts this down to the manager fielding a consistent defensive unit.

“To give them credit, they have had some decent results of late,” the News and Star reporter added.

“They have kept three clean sheets in four in the league and got their first away win against Port Vale. They have also had some solid home wins.

“I think significantly the back four and goalkeeper as a unit through consistent selection are looking more secure and tighter.

“You saw it at Port Vale on Saturday (where Carlisle won 1-0). There was a real defiance to stop Port Vale getting ahead in the game and then back into the game after (Jon) Mellish had scored.”

Kick-off is 3pm at Brunton Park.