Hope sets Blues free be­fore a late melee

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Gra­ham Ot­way

A TEN-MAN penalty area brawl which saw two play­ers sent off in the sec­ond minute of ex­tra time com­pletely over­shad­owed the thor­ough ef­fi­ciency of Carlisle’s win at the Broad­field Sta­dium.

Ref­eree Kevin John­son only showed his red card to Craw­ley’s Josh Yor­w­erth and visit­ing de­fender Tom Parkes, but the amount of punches and kicks that were thrown could have seen sev­eral oth­ers join­ing them back in the dress­ing room.

It was a very ugly in­ci­dent but not one that drew crit­i­cism from Carlisle man­ager Keith Curle who said: “It started with an aerial duel. Yor­w­erth fell back­wards and started kick­ing out and Parkes was just de­fend­ing it­self.

“But then what hap­pened is typ­i­cal foot­ball. The melee started then play­ers went in to cool it down and got in­volved. That hap­pens.”

Parkes is now fac­ing a four-match ban hav­ing al­ready been shown one red card this sea­son, and miss­ing games too will be team­mate Nicky Adams who had been sent off in the 74th minute for a fly­ing el­bow.

Craw­ley boss Harry Kewell de­scribed the clos­ing scene only as ‘a scuf­fle’ adding: “I thought it was a lot of hand­bags, but I want to go away and look at it and see what hap­pened.

“It was a shame be­cause no one wants to see that on a foot­ball pitch or see play­ers like Yor­w­erth miss­ing games when he’s been ex­cel­lent this sea­son.”

For most of the match chances were few but not far be­tween at both ends of the pitch.

In the 15th minute Hal­lam Hope found the net after Nicky Adams cross but was ruled off­side, and a minute later break­ing clear in a counter at­tack the striker man­aged get the ball past Glenn Mor­ris but tripped over the keeper’s body.

The game was 22 min­utes old be­fore Craw­ley cre­ated their first clear open­ing which saw Jack Bon­ham dive to block Jor­dan Roberts first­time ef­fort.

That was set up by Enzio Bold­wewijn’s pow­er­ful run and soon after an­other of his crosses picked out the un­marked Jimmy Smith but Bon­ham saved.

But the three points headed Carlisle’s way after Hope broke the dead­lock in the 51st minute, ris­ing un­marked at the far post to head home an Adams cross.

Craw­ley rarely looked like equal­is­ing leav­ing Curle smil­ing as he said: “It was an ex­cel­lent re­sult .

“We kept a clean sheet with our de­fend­ing. Our play­ers had a good men­tal­ity out there and that was the strength of our game.”

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