Penalty miss and own goal give Carlisle blues
CARLISLE United’s unbeaten home league record was shattered against Tranmere Rovers.
Tranmere completed a smash-and-grab operation as they used the home side’s disappointment of a late penalty miss as a springboard to a late push and the securing of an important three points.
Rovers showed first in terms of shots at the target, with Norwood trying his luck from distance. It was well struck but Collin was happy to pull his hand away as it skipped wide of the mark. Banks then let fly with a drilled effort from a similar position, but it angled high and flew over the bar.
A quick release from Collin, when he plucked a shot from Jennings out of the air, sparked a Carlisle attack as Yates held the ball up deep in the opposition half. Devitt took over with a deft cross and Bennett was disappointed to see his looped header drop on to the woodwork and bounce behind.
The Cumbrians looked lively going forward and Hope made something out of nothing when he somehow got to a ball over the top which appeared to be going behind. Confusion reigned in the Rovers back line and that gave Hope a second bite of the cherry. His first-time delivery was just an inch too far in front of Nadesan as he slid in to try to get the touch.
Carlisle started to control in the midfield areas, without managing to find a way through, but they should have taken the lead when Bennett beat the offside trap to get on to the end a chipped pass from Devitt. Nadesan was completely unmarked and dead central, but the big forward chose the wrong option of going for goal. His header had power but was destined for the side netting.
A well-worked corner routine between Hope and Devitt gave the latter the chance to go for a spectacular finish as the midfielder found himself in space on the edge of the box moments before the break. He tried to bend his shot into the top corner but it dropped just a moment too late.
Neither side found themselves able to grasp a stranglehold as the second half became a game of cat and mouse. Rovers sent plenty forward, but it was a long-range piledriver from Devitt which finally woke the crowd up again. It had to be watched all the way as it shaved the woodwork.
A switch of play from left to right saw Sowerby put Liddle in on the overlap and his cross deserved better as Devitt, Nadesan and Bennett formed a queue. In the end, none of them got a touch as the opportunity was allowed to pass.
The Cumbrians started to ask the major questions and Gillesphey expertly bent his run to put a dinked ball towards the back stick. Bennett threw himself at it but he couldn’t make the connection.
Captain Gary Liddle took matters into his own hands as he started a run which saw him play a lovely one-two with Campbell as he broke into the box. He clipped the ball over the advancing Scott Davies and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot as the keeper got a touch to send the marauding defender tumbling to the floor. Jamie Devitt stepped up to take the spotkick but he was thwarted by an excellent save.
Disaster struck at the other end when a seemingly harmless cross caught Tom Parkes completely undecided. He hung his boot at it and left Adam Collin with no chance as it bobbled its way into the bottom corner.
Their lead was doubled, and the points claimed, when veteran Paul Mullin weaved his way into the area with three in his wake. Collin could do nothing as a superb strike nestled sweetly in the back of his net.