Thirlwell sure that Cumbrians can build
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.”
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