MAGIC OF MEDY HAS CURLE IN A SPIN
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.”
MEDY, STEADY, GO: Medy Elito celebrates after scoring his, and Cambridge’s, second goal STAR MAN MEDY ELITO Cambridge