KEITH’S KEEN TO KEEP WYKE
KEITH Curle would love to retain star striker Charlie Wyke but insists he has all bases covered ahead of Tuesday’s transfer deadline, after Carlisle were held to a third consecutive draw.
Sought-after Wyke had prodded the Cumbrians ahead with his 14th league goal of the campaign, but a dubious John Akinde penalty secured Barnet a point – despite playing the final 20 minutes with ten men after Simeon Akinola’s red card.
And Curle confessed he expects to be busy in the coming days, with Bradford amongst a host of clubs vying for his top goalscorer Wyke.
“I’ll be surprised if there isn’t a few more phone calls to the football club finding out where the bidding is with Charlie,” said Curle.
“I’ve said it before – he'll score goals at any level. But his attitude is first class, and I had no doubt he would come in here and give us a strong performance.
“If he’s still here on Wednesday, I’ll be delighted but we are prepared for every possible outcome. Whether extra money comes into play or not, we have our targets.”
Curle also had strong words for the performance of the officials, explaining:
“I thought their actions at full-time were unacceptable. Laughing after the crowd has booed them is unacceptable – they have been booed for a reason. I will be having words with their representatives.
“The penalty was dubious, fouls were dubious – I didn’t even think the red card for Barnet was a red card.”
Referee Michael Salibsury certainly had a busy afternoon in Cumbria, in what was a physical encounter from the off.
Bees powerhouse Akinde wasted a couple of excellent first-half chances, denied by home stopper Mark Gillespie.
And he was made to pay when Blues marksmen Wyke poked in a ricocheted Jason Kennedy effort.
Gillespie denied Akinde again after the break, and the home side looked certain for three points when Bees midfielder Akinola saw red following a 50/50 with Carlisle’s Michael Raynes.
Akinde was to have the last laugh though, after the excellent Elliot Johnson won the visitors a penalty, and the big forward finally breached Gillespie to grab a point.
And Barnet head coach Rossi Eames was left with mixed emotions on the whistle.
He said: “It was a well-earned point, but I’m left disappointed because it could’ve been three.
“I thought we were excellent in the first half, and while Carlisle came back well, we had chances to get a win.
“We had to show our discipline with ten men, and it’s a point we can build upon.”
Eames remained tight-lipped about his side’s controversial penalty however: “Well, I suppose it was! We were value for the point and we’ll take it.”
JOHNNY ON THE SPOT: John Akinde celebrates after grabbing Barnet’s equaliser