Plenty of chances but Blues fail to capitalise
NORTHAMPTON 3 CARLISLE 0
FORMER Carlisle manager Keith Curle acknowledged the away fans when he came out to take his place in the Northampton Town technical area.
Rumours of big name applicants for the Carlisle job have been brushed aside by the hierarchy as they concentrate on getting the right man for the job and it was left to Tommy Wright and Paul Murray to continue that task in the short term in what was always going to be a difficult game.
Liam Mccarron was given his first league start for the club in the absence of Fleetwood striker Ashley Nadesan, who had returned to his parent club on the completion of his half-season deal last week.
Otherwise the team was unchanged as they went out to equal a club record of seven consecutive league victories.
The Cobblers were out of the blocks quickly as they came at their visitors.
An unbelievable block from Gerrard prevented Andy Williams from scoring what looked to be a certain goal when he got on the end of a cut back from Hoskins with just two minutes on the clock.
The defender stuck out a leg to make the vital intervention.
Carlisle fashioned a great chance in response when Devitt spotted Sowerby in space on the edge of the box. His pass released Hope, but Cornell was off his line quickly to smother the shot as the striker got his toe to it.
United showed their prowess on the break on 25 minutes, when a Northampton corner was charged down on the edge of their own box.
Mccarron took a touch to release Sowerby, and he carried it from defence to attack with Hope in support. He was closed down quickly as he pulled the trigger and his shot went straight at Cornell.
Both sides then had oneon-one opportunities within seconds. The Cobblers were first when a huge ball forward was controlled by Andy Williams. He tried to pick his spot but Collin jumped high to save. Carlisle moved the ball
quickly from the parry and Hope was suddenly in the clear at the other end. He drew the keeper off his line but his toe poke bobbled the wrong side of the upright.
The Cumbrians came again just outside the box and Devitt bided his time before rolling it across for Sowerby to shoot. It was an excellent connection but it fizzed past the post.
An acrobatic save from Cornell denied Devitt a goal just before the break, and the follow-up from Grainger needed a firm touch from Facey with the keeper completely out of the game on the ground.
Carlisle were the architects of their own downfall just three minutes into the second half when a low delivery was allowed to bounce across the face of goal. An initial block from Williams was only a precursor to Jack Bridge smashing it into the roof of the net.
Northampton tails were up and excellent skill from Hoskins took him past Parkes and left him with just Collin to beat. The keeper completed an excellent fingertip save.
It was a short-lived breather though as an exchange of passes tore the Carlisle defence apart, leaving Bridge with another clean sight of goal. He swept a crisp volley into the bottom corner.
The game was done as a contest with just over 15 minutes left to play when substitute Junior Morias beat the offside trap to go clean through. He slid the ball through the keeper’s legs to put the final nail in the coffin of what had been an impressive run from their visitors.