Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Carlisle's Grand Finale Narrows the Gap at the Top

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Carlisle's Grand Finale Narrows the Gap at the Top

Article excerpt

An unconvincing performance was turned on its head in dramatic fashion as Carlisle scored two goals in the final seven minutes to turn what looked like a defeat into a breathtaking win.

The late turnaround did their promotion prospects no harm either, as Barnet suffered only their second defeat of the season when capitulating at home to last week's Cumbrian conquerors, Tamworth.

Carlisle had struggled for most of the game to break down a physical Woking side.

When the Cards took a controversial lead through Justin Richards just after the break, the writing appeared to be on the wall for a third Conference defeat in four games.

But a freakish equaliser by Chris Lumsdon and a headed winner by Simon Grand rescued a nightmare afternoon with a standing ovation from the home fans the most unlikely of conclusions.

For manager Paul Simpson there was more than a hint of relief at the outcome.

He said: "I think fighting spirit more than anything got us through. It wasn't a good performance.

"It was scrappy and we were frustrated by a very strong, physical Woking side.

"I think, again, we've had a lot of players who weren't on their game today and the frustration came out in the crowd and the players as well.

"We are delighted to take the three points because we knew it was a scrappy game.

"We know we've got to take a good look at ourselves but we want results at the moment and we've got a victory today. Whether we deserved it or not, I don't really care.

"I know there are things we need to look at and address but the three points were the most important thing for us today.

"But equally as important, we have signed up contracts before the game, which extend Karl Hawley and Chris Lumsdon's stay at the club for a further two seasons from the end of this season."

The crowd of just over 5,000 were hardly warmed by the early offerings from this game and there was little festive spirit shown by Woking as they imposed themselves in a less than Christian manner. …

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