In­spired by classy Gil­liead

Carlisle

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

CARLISLE fans could be for­given for think­ing their Christ­mas present has come early, as new sea­son-long loan sign­ing Alex Gil­liead turned in a stun­ning per­for­mance to top­ple Ex­eter.

New­cas­tle young­ster Gil­liead saw his spell at Brun­ton Park ex­tended ear­lier this week, and capped the news by slot­ting a late win­ner in an eye-catch­ing af­ter­noon.

And de­spite his best ef­forts, Blues boss Keith Curle couldn’t help but heap praise on the teenager for his sen­sa­tional dis­play.

“Alex has de­liv­ered an ex­tremely pleas­ing per­for­mance,” ad­mit­ted Curle.

“He has had a top week with his in­ter­na­tional duty but credit to him, he has come back here and put his head down and pro­duced big time.

“The best bit of it all is that he told me he doesn’t en­joy play­ing on the right wing.

“Their full-back Jamie McAl­lis­ter is a good, solid and hon­est pro but he has come up against a spe­cial player to­day.

“Alex is go­ing to be do­ing that to a lot of good de­fend­ers in the fu­ture.

“He’s a very lev­el­headed young man, though.

“He can play any­where across the front line so he’s a very tough man to plan against and a real as­set for us.”

It was the Gil­liead show from the open­ing mo­ments, with the light­ning-quick winger danc­ing past the Gre­cians defence at will.

He carved out the Cum­bri­ans’ best early op­por­tu­ni­ties, but both Char­lie Wyke and Bastien Hery failed to put the fi­nal touch to some pin­point crosses.

And Ex­eter could’ve made Carlisle pay when Lee Holmes saw his fierce vol­ley ac­ro­bat­i­cally saved by Mark Gille­spie.

But af­ter the in­ter­val the home side were dom­i­nant, with Gil­liead at the heart of ev­ery Carlisle at­tack.

The young­ster beat a be­wil­dered McAl­lis­ter sev­eral times but was un­able to pro­duce the killer ball.

Yet the teenager’s per­for­mance was to have the fairy­tale end­ing it de­served, when home sub­sti­tute Derek Asamoah dug out a cross and Gil­liead slot­ted it into the bot­tom cor­ner.

And Ex­eter boss Paul Tis­dale was left to re­flect on his side’s early chances, come the fi­nal whis­tle.

“Be­ing philo­soph­i­cal, it was a very close game,” said Tis­dale.

“The rea­son we lost it was purely and sim­ply we didn’t take our chances when they came.

“It was a clas­sic game of two halves. In the first half we had a num­ber of chances and good de­liv­er­ies but we didn’t get a goal from that spell.

“On the road you get op­por­tu­ni­ties and if you don’t take them, that’s what hap­pens.”

STAR MAN ALEX GIL­LIEAD

Carlisle

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