Adapt­able Cum­bri­ans give Curle real tonic

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE PREVIEW - By Matt Good­ing

CARLISLE boss Keith Curle was im­pressed by the way his team were able to adapt against a phys­i­cal Cam­bridge side as they picked up a first win of the cam­paign.

First-half goals from Reg­gie Lambe and Tom Parkes se­cured the points, sand­wich­ing a Medy El­ito penalty for the home side.

Curle was par­tic­u­larly pleased with the way his squad coped with the phys­i­cal threat of U’s strik­ers Uche Ik­peazu and former Carlisle man Jabo Ibehre.

“The play­ers adapted, un­der­stood the plan and ap­plied them­selves, and I think the abil­ity to do that is im­por­tant for a team that wants to move for­ward,” said Curle.

“We want to get the ball down and pass it, but we know the op­po­si­tion we were fac­ing wanted con­fronta­tion, and we met that head on and earned the right to score our goals. They had two man moun­tains up front but we stood up to the chal­lenge well and han­dled the bat­tle.

“It was dif­fi­cult be­cause we had to make changes, but it’s a squad game, and ev­ery­one has a part to play this sea­son.”

Carlisle could have been 2-0 up by the time Lambe swept them into an early lead, prof­it­ing from good play from Hal­lam Hope and Ritchie Ben­nett to shoot past David Forde.

The U’s re­sponded within six min­utes, af­ter Carlisle stop­per Jack Bon­ham spilled a cross from the left and El­ito was flat­tened in the box by Danny Grainger. The winger, who scored a hat-trick against the Cum­bri­ans last sea­son, sent Bon­ham the wrong way from the spot.

Cam­bridge dom­i­nated the rest of the half, but found them­selves be­hind for a sec­ond time when Parkes tapped in af­ter Forde had saved from Tom Miller.

And though the U’s had ter­ri­to­rial ad­van­tage again af­ter the break, the only chance of note saw Ibehre’s header tipped onto the bar.

U’s boss Shaun Derry in­sisted there was no rea­son to panic de­spite a sec­ond straight de­feat to start the league cam­paign.

“We could eas­ily have got some­thing from the game, but we’re look­ing for a bit more qual­ity in the fi­nal third,” he said.

“I’ve told the play­ers they just have to stay fo­cused. We re­sponded well to the early goal, scored a de­served equaliser, but we haven’t cap­i­talised at key mo­ments in the game. We’ve played two of the teams that reached the play-offs last year and lost both by the odd goal. It’s early days in the sea­son and we need to keep some per­spec­tive.”

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