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

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.”

PIC­TURES: WhiteRosePho­tos

JOHNNY ON THE SPOT: John Akinde cel­e­brates af­ter grab­bing Bar­net’s equaliser

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