Carlisle’s comeback is more Wyke it
THE RED mist may have descended in front of Keith Curle’s eyes at halftime, but he admits a rollicking is exactly what Carlisle needed before Charlie Wyke nabbed an injury-time equaliser.
The Cumbrians were ahead instantly through Kyle Dempsey, but firsthalf strikes from Jed Wallace and Matt Tubbs flipped the game on its head – only for Wyke to pop up at the end.
And a normally calm and composed Curle admits half-time home truths proved just the ticket for a comeback.
“For the first time since I came to this club, I lost my rag at half-time,” he said.“People were not doing simple jobs – and it cost us two goals.
“I knew that some people would react well and others may not, but I told them that if they couldn’t take the criticism then they will not have a long career in football.
“Fair play to them, they showed great character and that impressed me.
“Every goal between now and the end of the season is massive – but that is bigger than most.”
Carlisle could hardly have started any sharper, and it took just a minute for them to go ahead.
A blocked Brad Potts shot fell to the feet of Dempsey, and he lashed home from 22 yards.
The goal seemed to rock Pompey, as both Steven Rigg and Paul Corry spurned chances to extend the lead.
But the visitors grew into the game as the half wore on, and after Nigel Atangana wasted a couple of promising openings, they took their third opportunity.
Wallace was afforded time and space on the edge of the area, and curled a glorious 25-yard strike into the top corner.
And they went one better on the stroke of half-time, when Wallace got beyond David Atkinson and crossed for Tubbs to prod home his 19th goal of the season.
The second period was a real struggle for Carlisle,Wyke looping a header over with time running out.
But the striker latched onto a stray ball on the edge of the area and slid his shot under Paul Jones for an unlikely equaliser.
That lastminute gut punch riled Pompey boss Andy Awford, who insisted far too much time was added on before Wyke’s late show.
“I don’t like to criticise referees but we were well into the fifth minute of added time when they got the goal kick – I just presumed he would blow then,” said Awford.
“It’s frustrating because four were indicated, but despite that we have to do better.
“We didn’t get what we deserved from the game, but we had the chances to score three, four or five.
“You have to be clinical when the chances come and we weren’t.”