Date:Sunday October 28 2012
27th October 2012, 3pm
We lined up with much the same side as we've seen recently, the same back four, as well as Arter and MacDonald renewing their midfield partnership. I was surprised to see Grabban up front with Barnard and McQuoid on the right flank, as opposed to the other way round, but it worked well enough.
It was clear right from the outset that this wasn't a great Carlisle side. Silly little basic individual errors only encouraged us to probe them. We mixed up our play throughout the game, Arter linking up short balls with Pugh, and longer balls from MacDonald going up to Barnard who did a job with his back to goal holding play.
When Pugh got the ball he was enjoying his runs at the Carlisle defence, taking players on for fun. Twisting and turning his way through challenges, cutting onto his right, he fired in from just inside the area beating the keeper at the far post for 1-0.
Unfortunately our defenders felt for their Cumbrian counterparts at times and did their best to cause ourselves problems. Not 10 minutes after taking the lead we failed to deal with a routine set piece delivery, forgot all about the second ball as it bounced at the edge of the box, and Carlisle's Liam Noble connected well to fire in an equaliser.
This briefly woke up the previously slumbering home support, but it did little to wake up the home defence who continued to look weak. We continued to use the width well with both wingers and full backs happy to play high up the pitch. McQuoid looked lively but needs to improve his final ball. Pugh again caused mayhem when he ran into the box, this time squeezing a shot off that the keeper perhaps could have done better with but it was in the net all the same for 2-1.
All this after barely half an hour. Carlisle enjoyed a little more of the play as the first half ended, things became quite bitty with the ref awarding free kicks left right and centre, mostly in the home side's favour. I wouldn't say we were desperate to hear the half time whistle but I think we welcomed it more than the home side at least.
The second half saw a dominate 20 minute spell in which we turned the screw on the shaky Carlisle defence and won the game. Whenever we ran with the ball Carlisle backed off and this encouraged Lewis Grabban to get himself involved, often carrying the ball from deeper and playing off Barnard. That pair linked up well as Grabban got himself on the score sheet, Carlisle never really picking him up well enough and allowing him time to finish from 15 yards or so for 3-1.
The tales were up and we smelt blood. Francis was getting up and pinging balls in, Arter was all over the place twisting into space, he worked himself into a good position and took on an ambitious shot over the bar. Then Barnard finished the game off with a break away, electing to shoot from the edge of the box and into the net for 4-1, sending a few home fans home for an early tea.
We continued looking for more goals and still forced Carlisle on the back foot, but around the 70 minute mark we seemed to drop down a gear and Carlisle were able to have some play of their own. They gave themselves a glimpse of hope as possibly the only home player to gain credit from the afternoon - Matt Robson crossed in and the ball wasn't dealt with, Symington rifling in past James at the near post. A tidy finish to reduce the arrears.
We had time to force a goal line clearance as Pugh looked to complete a hat trick, before Symington had an effort from range tipped over by James.
Come the final whistle Howe made the effort to collect all the players and drag them across the pitch to applaud the travelling support which was much appreciated.
All in all, not the most testing game but an away win is always an achievement. Playing simple football, getting balls into the box from wide, has brought so much more from our side than we've seen up until now. The players are comfortable and know their roles, and whilst there's certainly work to do there's plenty to be optimistic about.
Top of Howe's agenda for training - drilling that defence of ours. Elphick and Addison are both big and ugly enough that they should be aggressive and assertive in attacking the ball when it arrives. MacDonald and Arter in the middle is nice going forward but perhaps they need to think about their defenders a little more because Addison and Elphick aren't the most mobile so large gaps can appear in that space, exposing them to being run at.
Our current side has out and out wingers, attacking full backs, attacking central midfielders, and whilst creative and great to watch it's bound to leak goals. But that doesn't mean it can't be improved.
Report by northstandmark
Date:Sunday October 28 2012
Footballers found not guilty (Friday May 24 2013)
10 years ago today (Friday May 24 2013)
Flahavan: I am staying to fight for the shirt (Friday May 24 2013)
Cherries linked with Brentford striker (Thursday May 23 2013)
Win a kit for a local youth football team (Thursday May 23 2013)
Introducing the 'All Departments' podcast (Thursday May 23 2013)
Mitchell: It is paramount we keep Howe (Thursday May 23 2013)
Three more games added to pre-season schedule (Thursday May 23 2013)
Pitman: No-one expected us to go up that day (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Mitchell: Season ticket sales are fantastic (Wednesday May 22 2013)
|5. Sheff Utd||46||19||18||9||+14||75|
|7. Leyton Orient||46||21||8||17||+7||71|
|Rovers to visit
» Crewe : 24/05/2013 13:45:00
|Ricoh Return Ruled Out
» Coventry : 24/05/2013 13:18:00
|Footballers found not guilty
» Bournemouth : 24/05/2013 13:17:00
|Lowe Set For MK Dons Exit
» MK Dons : 24/05/2013 10:49:00
|Teenage Midfielder Pens Pro Deal
» Carlisle : 24/05/2013 10:40:00
|Coventry Saga Rears Its Ugly Head
» Walsall : 24/05/2013 09:48:00
|10 years ago today
» Bournemouth : 24/05/2013 07:49:00