KEITH’S RE­LIEF AS ROT STOPS

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Ross Jack­son

CARLISLE United boss Keith Curle in­sisted this low-key draw could yet be the start of an­other long un­beaten run.

The Cum­bri­ans were star­ing down the bar­rel of three suc­ces­sive league de­feats for the first time since Fe­bru­ary 2015, es­pe­cially when Aaron Wildig struck in the sev­enth minute.

But the vis­i­tors were pressed fur­ther and fur­ther back be­fore Dean Win­nard’s 73rd-minute red card pre­ceded Char­lie Wyke’s headed equaliser.

“Some­times you need to start a run by a scruffy game, a bat­tling per­for­mance and you know what that can turn into,” said Curle.

“I don’t know how many games I have been in charge and how many times we have lost three games (in a row).

“You will prob­a­bly say it is a dif­fi­cult time for the cur­rent chang­ing room but we will come through it. It’s a long sea­son and we are a durable squad.”

As for con­ced­ing so early, the United boss was hon­est in his as­sess­ment.

“You would have felt that ner­vous ten­sion and thought ‘oh no’,” he con­tin­ued.

“But the crowd played their part by stay­ing with the play­ers.”

More­cambe took the lead through Wildig’s neat fin­ish, the mid­fielder drift­ing in from the right to side foot Kevin El­li­son’s cross past United keeper Mark Gille­spie.

More chances fol­lowed for the Shrimps, Peter Mur­phy net­ting but was off­side be­fore Michael Rose struck a 19thminute free-kick off a post.

That sparked the cum­ber­some hosts into life, dom­i­nat­ing the rest of the half with no re­ward.

Their best chances came in the 25th minute but Jason Kennedy’s back-post header was pushed by More­cambe keeper Barry Roche into the path of Wyke, who thumped the close-range re­bound off the bar.

As the hosts pressed, the piv­otal mo­ment ar­rived in the 73rd minute. Win­nard, al­ready on a yel­low card, was need­lessly booked again for a sense­less chal­lenge on Carlisle sub­sti­tute Shaun Miller.

If that wasn’t bad enough for More­cambe, Nicky Adams im­me­di­ately curled an invit­ing in­swing­ing cross from the left, which Wyke flicked on to re­store par­ity.

How­ever Shrimps boss Jim Bent­ley felt more ag­grieved about a penalty de­ci­sion which went against his side in the sec­ond half.

“The one that was def­i­nite was the pass from Mur­phy into Wildig,” said Bent­ley. “He got there be­fore the keeper, headed it past him and has been wiped out. These are the things that you have got to get right; it is so big. That could have been 2-0, game over, an­other three points on the board.

“It looked like it was go­ing to be one of those away per­for­mances where you dig in and have a lit­tle bit of luck.

“We are a lit­tle re­lieved to get away with a point, but it could eas­ily have been three for us.”

PIC­TURES: Media Im­age

STAR MAN NICKY ADAMS Carlisle HEADS UP: Carlisle’s Char­lie Wyke con­tests for the ball with More­cambe’s Peter Mur­phy. In­set: Wyke scores the equaliser

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