The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Tom Pringle

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

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