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

KEITH Curle says his Carlisle play­ers let him down after they were sub­jected to a dis­mal fourth con­sec­u­tive de­feat, eas­ily beaten by Cam­bridge at Brun­ton Park.

A dreary en­counter turned into a con­vinc­ing away vic­tory as Medy El­ito grabbed a sec­ond half hat-trick off the bench – with a com­bi­na­tion of in­juries and a James Bai­ley red card leav­ing fal­ter­ing Carlisle to end with only nine men.

Curle was painfully frank after the per­for­mance, which leaves his for­merly un­stop­pable side only six points away from slip­ping out of the top seven.

“It’s very sim­ple. That was nowhere near good enough,” said Curle.

“I can’t mask it. I feel like the play­ers have let me down and I need them to hold their hands up.

“There’s a ner­vous­ness that has ar­rived with the pres­sure, thanks to the po­si­tion we are in. But when the pres­sure comes, you have to rise to it.

“I can as­sure you, they have been told in no un­cer­tain terms what I think.

“The fans pay good money to see this, and they have been thor­oughly let down.”

Both sides were scarcely able to muster a chance in the first pe­riod, with Carlisle on top but look­ing like a side goal­less in their pre­vi­ous three out­ings.

The sec­ond half was to prove much live­lier, and it was the vis­i­tors who went ahead mid­way through it.

Cum­bri­ans de­fender Gary Lid­dle was ad­judged to have clipped Luke Berry in the box, and sub­sti­tute El­ito stepped up to smash the penalty be­yond Blues keeper Gille­spie.

Three min­utes later it was a case of déjà vu, as the U’s were awarded a sec­ond spot-kick when Nicky Adams brought an op­po­nent down clum­sily. El­ito pro­vided the fin­ish­ing touch again with an iden­ti­cal ef­fort from 12 yards, dou­bling the lead.

Things rapidly un­rav­elled for the home side, as an in­jury to Mike Jones saw them re­duced to ten men having used all their substitutes.

And they were soon down to nine when mid­fielder Bai­ley was sent off for an offthe-ball in­ci­dent.

El­ito put the cherry on the top of his cameo, grab­bing a hat-trick goal deep into in­jury time when he smashed past Gille­spie.

The striker’s per­for­mance left U’s man­ager Shaun Derry in ju­bi­lant mood.

“I’m re­ally pleased for him,” said Derry. “He stretches the game with his pace and the two penal­ties were em­phatic fin­ishes.

“He’s a great op­tion for us and that was a thor­oughly de­served hat-trick.

“The sec­ond half is the best 45 min­utes of football since I’ve been here, I would say.

“We’ve come to a team that have been up at the top all sea­son and got a con­vinc­ing win.

“We’re in and around where we want to be, and we’ll keep plug­ging on and see what it brings us.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age

MEDY, STEADY, GO: Medy El­ito cel­e­brates after scor­ing his, and Cam­bridge’s, sec­ond goal STAR MAN MEDY EL­ITO Cam­bridge

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