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

LADY LUCK might have shone on Carlisle but Keith Curle in­sisted hard work was the real de­cid­ing fac­tor in his side’s un­likely vic­tory against Bar­net at Brun­ton Park.

The Cum­bri­ans raced into a two-goal lead through Tom Miller and Derek Asamoah, but were soon pinned back through Bira Dem­bele and Michael Gash’s headed ef­forts.

And de­spite be­ing dom­i­nated for the large ma­jor­ity of the game, Curle’s men stole the points through Asamoah to seal a sec­ond vic­tory of the sea­son.

Yet the Carlisle boss chose not to fo­cus on his side’s for­tune but in­stead their spirit and de­fen­sive qual­ity.

He said:“We are a work in progress, but to come up against what we did here was a com­pletely new test – and we tack­led it well.

“There was a lot of blocks and a lit­tle bit of luck, but we earned that.

“There’s an old quote that says ‘the more you prac­tice, the luck­ier you get’ – and I think that was fit­ting for us here.

“Watch­ing Bar­net, I felt like I’d gone back 25 years and I was back play­ing for Wim­ble­don. They are very phys­i­cal, very con­fronta­tional.

“Many will say it’s not pretty but trust me, it is ef­fec­tive, so it’s very sat­is­fy­ing that we dug in and got the three points.”

With just two min­utes on the clock, home striker Asamoah won a free­kick on the right flank and a su­perb Danny Grainger de­liv­ery was nod­ded in by fel­low de­fender Miller. And it was soon two, when free-scor­ing Jabo Ibehre sent his strike-part­ner Asamoah through one-on-one with Jamie Stephens.

The vet­eran stead­ied him­self, tak­ing the ball around the Bees keeper be­fore blaz­ing home.

Bar­net looked un­likely to lie down though, and af­ter a cou­ple of glar­ing misses drew level in two fran­tic first-half min­utes. First, im­pos­ing cen­tre-half Dem­bele bul­leted home a header from a cor­ner, be­fore Gash pounced onto a fan­tas­tic Luke Gam­bin cross only sec­onds later to nod his side level.

And while Bar­net con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate af­ter the in­ter­val, their early profli­gacy re­turned. John Akinde was the lead cul­prit, blaz­ing wide af­ter rob­bing Michael Raynes in the Carlisle area to the amaze­ment of all in­side the ground.

Dem­bele con­tin­ued to cause is­sues with his phys­i­cal pres­ence and cracked the bar again with another header.

And Curle’s men gave their op­po­nents a les­son in fin­ish­ing, when sub­sti­tute Alexan­der McQueen bril­liantly beat his man and drilled a low cross onto a plate for Asamoah.

Bar­net boss Martin Allen said:“You had to be there to be­lieve it.

“I’ve never seen such a one-sided en­counter in 19 years of football. We should’ve been six up in the first 15 min­utes, and they’ve taken their only two chances. “Then in the sec­ond half we have been com­pletely dom­i­nant, hit the bar and they’ve scored with their only shot. If we keep spir­its and self-belief high the points will soon be rolling in.”

CARLISLE (5-3-2): Gillespie 5, Thompson 6 (McQueen 60, 8), Miller 6, Raynes 5, Grainger 7, Brough 6 (Osei 75, 6), Joyce 5, Kennedy 6, Hery 5 (Dicker 68, 7), Ibehre 7, Asamoah 8. Subs not used: Han­ford, Sweeney, Balanta, Rigg

BAR­NET (4-4-2): Stephens 6, Yi­adom 7, N’Gala 6, Dem­bele 7, John­son 6, Vil­hete 6 (Tom­lin­son 68, 6), We­ston 6, Tog­well 7 (Mug­gle­ton 79, 7), Gam­bin 8, Akinde 7, Gash 7 (McClean 68, 5). Subs not used: McKen­zie-Lyle, Hoyte, Nel­son, Cham­pion

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

MILLER TIME: Carlisle United’s Tom Miller scores af­ter just two min­utes STAR MAN DEREK



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