Goal drought ends as Blues bat­tle for a win

Sunday Sun - - Football - 3,541 Chris Sar­gin­son

CARLISLE United fi­nally scored a home goal fol­low­ing what had been a club record 480-minute league home drought.

Re­turn­ing mid­fielder Jamie De­vitt got on the end of a su­perb cross from Ge­orge Glen­don to poke his side into the lead with just nine min­utes on the clock.

And the same player added a sec­ond just three min­utes later to lift what had been a wor­ry­ing cloud of concern, and put the Cum­bri­ans in the driv­ing seat against high-fly­ing New­port County.

How­ever, they were made to sweat for miss­ing a string of ex­cel­lent chances, and it took a won­der striker from re­turn­ing cap­tain Danny Grainger deep into time added on to win the points.

An al­ready in­jury-hit squad had in­flu­en­tial mid­fielder Kelvin Etuhu added to the list as he failed to shake off a knee prob­lem picked up last week­end, leav­ing the Blues look­ing light­weight in mid­field. But they cast those wor­ries aside to take the game by the scruff of the neck with a fo­cused and de­ter­mined ap­proach. Ten-

sions should have been eased be­fore De­vitt bagged his first of the day when a poor header from But­ler left Jerry Yates with just the keeper to beat. It was in his favour, but he opted for ac­cu­racy rather than power and his un­der-hit shot was eas­ily claimed by Day.

Carlisle came again with su­perb work from Glen­don, whose pass was per­fect, and De­vitt fin­ished it off with a mea­sured touch

A short cor­ner rou­tine gave the Cum­bri­ans a two-goal cush­ion as De­vitt bounced the ball off Yates. He spot­ted Day off his line and left the stop­per with no chance as he drilled a rasp­ing shot through bod­ies into the net via the near post.

The game should have been made even more com­fort­able just af­ter the half hour when But­ler com­pletely mis­judged an­other low de­liv­ery. His touch slowed the pace of the ball down, leav­ing Yates with just Joe Day to beat. He hes­i­tated, how­ever, and that al­lowed the stop­per to close the gap and ap­ply a touch which took the ball spin­ning wide of the

up­right. Carlisle were made to think about their misses just be­fore the break when Will­mott over­lapped, hav­ing made a run from deep.

His clipped pass found Padraig Amond un­marked and the big striker showed ex­cel­lent tech­nique to bring his side right back into it with a thump­ing header which left Collin flap­ping at thin air.

New­port showed first af­ter the break with Bakin­son and Shee­han com­bin­ing to un­lock the home de­fence. The lat­ter slipped the ball back for Seme- nyo to shoot but Ger­rard did just enough to get the shot away. From the cor­ner, Demetriou found him­self alone as he spun to scis­sor kick a vol­ley at the top cor­ner. Collin showed good hands and com­po­sure to keep it out.

It be­came a very open game, with half chances at both ends, but Day had to be at his best as Slater car­ried the ball for­ward. A crunch­ing piledriver was head­ing for the roof of the net un­til an out­stretched hand sent it over the bar.

Good work from Ben­nett saw him pick Nade­san out with a telling de­liv­ery, and his strike part­ner was ready to cel­e­brate un­til his header bounced down off the an­gle of post and bar.

Carlisle’s missed chances were fi­nally made to mat­ter when But­ler got on the end of a rat­tling free kick. His ini­tial header was won­der­fully saved by Collin, but the de­fender was first to re­act to smash the equaliser over the line.

It was left to Danny Grainger to steal the head­lines when he crunched a won­der vol­ley into the top cor­ner deep into ex­tra time.

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