Thirl­well sure that Cum­bri­ans can build

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Matt Hill

CARLISLE’S care­taker boss Paul Thirl­well says his per­ma­nent suc­ces­sor will have plenty to work with, after the Cum­bri­ans played out a thrilling draw against AFC Wim­ble­don.

The home side can feel ag­grieved to take only a point after con­ced­ing a 94th-minute equaliser in a fan­tas­tic contest that served up eight goals and a con­tro­ver­sial red card.

And Thirl­well, step­ping in un­til Gra­ham Ka­vanagh’s suc­ces­sor is ap­pointed, was full of praise for his youth­ful side.

“A lot of that team were ex­tremely young, and they were a tes­ta­ment to the club and the fans,” he said.

“Even when we were down to ten men and plenty were suf­fer­ing with cramp they kept go­ing and kept fight­ing.”

The Dons, who were 4-2 down with just nine min­utes re­main­ing, were helped with a con­tro­ver­sial penalty when Gary Dicker was ad­judged to have han­dled.

“I’ll have to see it again but Gary says his arms were down, and it feels like another harsh one has gone against us,” he added. But it is what it is.

Wim­ble­don found them­selves ahead in bizarre fash­ion after four min­utes, when Carlisle full-back David Syming­ton un­der­sold a back-pass not once but twice, al­low­ing Dons winger Sean Rigg to stroke his side ahead.

The home side drew level on 13 min­utes when Pa­trick Brough got the bet­ter of Barry Fuller and de­liv­ered a fine cross onto the head of Kyle Dempsey, which the young striker looped home.

Neal Ard­ley’s side re­took the lead on 22 min­utes, how­ever. Pro­lific striker Matt Tubbs took a touch be­fore drilling a firm home.

The Cum­bri­ans drew level on the stroke of half­time.

Dempsey once again ap­plied the fin­ish­ing touch after Brad Potts flicked down a cor­ner.

The goals kept on com­ing after the break. Carlisle fi­nally went ahead in style when Josh Gil­lies cut inside and curled home to com­plete a won­der­ful pass­ing move.

The home side then ex­tended their lead when Potts em­phat­i­cally lashed into the top cor­ner.

But a con­tro­ver­sial red card for Carlisle’s Dicker and penalty for Wim­ble­don changed the game.

Tubbs con­verted and a dra­matic equaliser came in in­jury time, when sub Ade­bayo Azeez bun­dled in a close-range header.

Dons boss Ard­ley said: “We have to look at it pos­i­tively as a point gained be­cause there was a buzz about this place.

“I’m not re­ally sure whether the penalty was cor­rect but we were of­fered a way back in and we took it, so we have to build on this.”

STAR MAN KYLE DEMPS

EY Carlisle

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