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

KEITH Curle is al­ready eye­ing up a ti­tle charge next sea­son, af­ter his un­der­achiev­ing Carlisle side se­cured their League Two sta­tus with an em­phatic victory over pro­mo­tion­chas­ing Ply­mouth at Brun­ton Park.

Gary Dicker’s stunning vol­ley and Billy Payn­ter’s first goal of the league cam­paign sealed the Cum­bri­ans’ fate with two games to spare and fired a huge dent into their op­po­nents’ play-off hopes in the process.

And home boss Curle be­lieves that his play­ers are fi­nally show­ing the po­ten­tial that he has seen pre­cious lit­tle of in this cam­paign.

“Fi­nally, I think ev­ery­one in­volved with this club can see the devel­op­ment in this side,” Curle ex­plained.

“I’m frus­trated in many re­spects, be­cause we’re do­ing this at the end of the sea­son – we want the sea­son to be just be­gin­ning now.

“We’ve re­sponded to all the crit­i­cism. I re­mem­ber be­ing asked re­cently, ‘do you know what’s in that dress­ing room? ’Yes.‘ Have you lost the dress­ing room?’ No.

“We’ve laid the foun­da­tions and build­ing blocks now.We want to come back next year aim­ing to win the di­vi­sion and that is our gen­uine aim.”

It was a pul­sat­ing en­counter through­out, with two ter­rific goal­keep­ing per­for­mances.

Carlisle striker Steven Rigg al­most had his side ahead early on, but his point-blank ef­fort was sen­sa­tion­ally di­verted onto the post by Ar­gyle stop­per Luke McCormick.

And, in an end-to-end open­ing, Derek Asamoah and Bobby Reid forced good stops from both ‘keep­ers with long-range ef­forts.

But it was the strug­glers who went ahead in sen­sa­tional fash­ion.

Rigg’s cross was nod­ded away to the edge of the box and Dicker stead­ied him­self be­fore loop­ing a rasp­ing vol­ley into the far cor­ner past the help­less McCormick. Ar­gyle did pose a con­stant threat through­out the half and came ag­o­nis­ingly close to an equaliser when Reuben Reid’s header was bril­liantly tipped wide by Mark Gille­spie.

But af­ter the break, it was the Cum­bri­ans in con­trol and they de­servedly dou­bled their lead.

A long ball for­ward was nod­ded down bril­liantly by Kyle Dempsey into the path of sub Payn­ter, who calmly rolled un­der McCormick for his first league goal in over two years.

The striker was a con­stant men­ace along­side Depm­sey and they had op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­tend the ad­van­tage, only to be de­nied by the bril­liance of Ar­gyle ‘keeper McCormick.

Ply­mouth’s piv­otal mo­ment came and went when striker Reid went down af­ter round­ing Gille­spie, but ref­eree Ge­off El­tring­ham booked him for div­ing.

But John Sheri­dan’s men never looked likely to mount a come­back and he was left at a loss at his side’s per­for­mance.

“We knew that it was go­ing to be a tough game, but we played it like a tes­ti­mo­nial match,” he said. “Our play was so slow and there was no ur­gency.

“I’m strug­gling to get an­swers out of the play­ers. I don’t know how they can put in a per­for­mance like that.”

PIC­TURES: Pin­na­cle

DOU­BLE TROU­BLE: Carlisle’s Billy Payn­ter cel­e­brates their sec­ond goal STAR MAN KYLE



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