Frus­tra­tion name of the Blues’game

Sunday Sun - - Football -

CARLISLE United’s strug­gle for con­sis­tency con­tin­ues as their dis­mal home form took cen­tre stage yet again with an­other frus­trat­ing per­for­mance.

The Cum­bri­ans have won just one of their six Brun­ton Park league games this sea­son but started brightly and Etuhu used skill to get away from two slid­ing chal­lenges deep in­side the Ex­eter half. He played Miller through but the for­ward’s shot was de­flected to the rel­a­tive safety of a cor­ner. Adams took it quickly and Grainger was a whisker away as he drilled a pow­er­ful shot just past the far post.

Ex­eter re­sponded with some quick move­ment when they robbed Jones of pos­ses­sion just out­side his own box. The cross even­tu­ally came to Stock­ley and he hooked the bounc­ing ball over his own shoul­der and past the sur­prised Jack Bon­ham. It crunched against the base of the post and Etuhu grate­fully hooked it clear.

A spin from Miller gave him room to move in mid­field. His pass ric­o­cheted off James and sat up nicely for Hope, but his snap­shot was blocked. Ex­eter had a Troy Brown goal ruled out from a cor­ner for a push on Lid­dle at the other end.

Bon­ham was at his stun­ning best to tip a sting­ing drive from Holmes over the bar when the mid­fielder burst through from deep, and Carlisle had ap­peals for a penalty as they broke from the cor­ner. Brown went down un­der the close at­ten­tions of Wood­man but the ref­eree waved play-on.

Slick build-up play from Carlisle put Miller into a good area out wide and his cross had Ex­eter stretched. Hope threw him­self at it but he was inch from get­ting the touch he needed. An­other test­ing de­liv­ery, from James Brown, had to be thumped clear as blue shirts poured into the box.

Fan­tas­tic pass­ing play from the hosts fash­ioned a great chance when Brown and Hope worked space for the lat­ter to cross. Etuhu con­trolled it on the penalty spot but crunched a fierce strike wide as Taylor closed the gap.

In first-half in­jury time, Boateng was left un­marked at a cor­ner. He was only five yards out but he some­how put his header over the bar.

A fan­tas­tic 60-yard run from James Brown took him to the edge of the vis­it­ing box from the restart and he had the pres­ence of mind to pick out Adams with a slide rule pass. Sweeney had to block as a shot came in.

It was Sweeney who grabbed the head­line at the other end when he stayed alert as a deep cor­ner was kept alive. He used strength to get through a gag­gle of bod­ies and put just enough on his header to get it over the line.

The lead should have been dou­bled on the hour when a switch to three at the back from Curle left his side ex­posed. Holmes peeled away to de­liver and Reuben Reid would have done bet­ter than pop­ping a poor header wide from very close range.

Pym pro­duced a late re­ac­tion save from a rasp­ing drive from Joyce, and Shaun Miller thought he’d done ev­ery­thing right as he guided a Lambe cross back across the face of goal as Carlisle started to pile some pres­sure on. It had bot­tom cor­ner writ­ten all over it un­til an Ex­eter boot cleared it off the line.

Hal­lam Hope glanced a De­vitt cross past Pym. The re­lieved keeper be­rated him­self as the ball skipped off the sur­face and dropped harm­lessly be­hind.

With just five min­utes left sub­sti­tute Jason Kennedy got on the end of a cor­ner from Grainger. His vol­ley was JACK BON­HAM .......................... 6 JAMES BROWN ........................... 7 CLINT HILL .................................. 6 GARY LID­DLE .............................. 8 DANNY GRAINGER ..................... 6 KELVIN ETUHU............................ 7 go­ing in un­til Pym some­how got a hand to it. It came back off the bar and the de­fend­ers con­gre­gated to clear their lines. LUKE JOYCE................................. 6 MIKE JONES ................................ 6 NICKY ADAMS ............................ 5 HAL­LAM HOPE ........................... 5 SHAUN MILLER ........................... 7

And Clint Hill was an inch away with a header from a De­vitt cross that left the whole ground with their heads in their hands.

Hal­lam Hope and Jake Taylor chal­lenge for the ball

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