TIME’S UP NOW FOR CARLISLE
JIMMY Glass’ heroics may be ingrained in Carlisle’s history but manager Graham Kavanagh admits the time for heroes may have passed.
Glass’ stoppage-time goal in May 1999 saved Carlisle from the Conference and sparked wild celebrations – yesterday Brunton Park resembled a wake.
The Cumbrians barely threatened for long periods in a match they had to win with a series of long balls to Gary Madine, potentially making his final appearance of the season due to a legal curfew, their main plan of attack.
In the end Oldham took advantage of a nervy showing, James Dayton slaloming through the defence to win the match and leave Carlisle staring into the abyss.
They travel to Crawley on Tuesday and champions Wolves on Saturday needing at least four points but knowing six may not be enough with Kavanagh accepting relegation is almost a certainty.
“There is still hope while it is still mathematically possible, and this club has done some amazing things from these situations before,” he said.
“Will it happen? You’d have to say probably not.When I came in the club was stuck on six points, going nowhere.
“We managed to rally it and get things going, but then we’ve suffered a horrendous injury crisis which we’ve tried to cover with young players. It’s that lack of experience that hurts in games like this. I won’t walk away from the job regardless of what happens.”
The Latics began the game playing on the counter attack and James Wesolowski put through Gary Harkins, whose shot was bravely blocked by Carlisle’s Sean O’Hanlon.
Madine nearly opened the scoring in spectacular fashion. Taking a long ball down on his chest he swivelled and smashed a 35-yard half-volley which Paul Rachubka just about palmed over his crossbar
Madine and Liam Noble saw efforts blocked before on the hour Joel Byrom nodded in James Wesolowski’s cross at the near post, only for the offside flag to be raised.
The Latics went ahead when Dayton picked the ball up just inside the Carlisle half and was allowed to run at the heart of the defence. He danced past Reece Brown before firing a low strike past Jordan Pickford.
Carlisle threw everything forward in the end but it was not to be – Blues goalkeeper Pickford denied his Glass moment when his late header was hacked away.
And, after preserving Oldham’s League One status, manager Lee Johnson said:“It has been a tough year and we’ve had to overcome many hurdles.
“Our fans have turned up in serious numbers and they’ve never stopped singing and getting behind the lads. “I’m absolutely delighted for everyone involved in the club, from the chairman down to the
supporter in the stand.”
WINNER: James Dayton of Oldham Athletic celebrates his goal
HEADS UP: Gary Madine competes for the ball
STAR MAN JAMES WESOL