CURLE DEFENDS JOYCE’S TACKLE
CARLISLE United boss Keith Curle refused to criticise Luke Joyce after the midfielder was sent off midway through the first half of their draw at Wycombe.
Joyce was shown red by referee Rob Lewis on 24 minutes following a full-blooded challenge on Sam Wood, which even Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth later conceded was probably a “good tackle”.
Carlisle did edge in front shortly after the break through Troy Archibald-Henville, but were denied the points in the 90th minute by Paul Hayes.
And Carlisle boss Curle was left fuming at the red card.
“I’ve got to look back at it, but my first impression was that he made a fantastic challenge,” said Curle.
“It was a committed tackle and something I demand from my players is a level of commitment in the challenge.
“I was told if you don’t tackle with an element of aggression and if you end dangling your leg, the likeliness is that you end up getting hurt.
“I think it was an old school tackle that probably got misinterpreted by the officials.
“We were competitive and I thought they weren’t causing us problems.
“At the end it was miscommunication and a mix up from a hopeful lob back into the box. Credit to them, they kept on going forward.”
Carlisle goalkeeper Mark Gillespie made a brilliant save after Garry Thompson met Michael Harriman’s low cross before the offside flag was raised.
He then had a goal disallowed for offside after a brilliant cross by Harriman was headed down by Harry Thompson, with Hayes finishing off the move outside the six-yard box.
Joyce was sent off after a hard challenge on Wood inside 24 minutes, but it was the visitors who took the lead three minutes into the second half when captain Danny Grainger’s corner set up centreback Archibald-Henville.
Wycombe nearly got an equaliser in the 55th minute as Marcus Bean had his shot parried away by Gillespie and he later hit the bar from a superb curling effort. But Hayes levelled it up inside injury time with a lob over Gillespie from outside the penalty area.
Ainsworth said: “It was close to not being a victory but even if we had a defeat I would still be in this mood because I’ve seen plenty of positives. That might sound strange but it was really pleasing for me.
“It’s a real positive from the defeat to Newport on Tuesday, we are in a much better place from Tuesday.
“Paul Hayes is a huge player for us, he’s above this level. He creates things out of nothing. He’s going to play a big part in the coming games.
“The red card was a very fast tackle and it looked out of control at the start but looking at the video, I believe it’s a good tackle – I’ve made plenty of those in my career. “For me it’s a yellow but I was at a different angle to the referee and you know it’s a hard job out there in the middle.”
STUCK IN THE MIDDLE: Wycombe’s Sido Jombati, centre, battles for the ball