Posts Tagged ‘carlisle’

Another Double

31 January, 2009

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After the way we started the season you could be forgiven for thinking this headline represented another attempt to drown my sorrows after yet another defeat has been clinched from the jaws of victory.  But no,  this is the second time in a week that we have completed a double win over one of our League One rivals.  Northampton was the first, on Tuesday night, but this 2-0 win away at Carlisle means we have scored seven past them without reply in our two games this season.  I don’t always believe the commentary on the radio but it did sound like we had  most of the play and for the first time this season I felt quite confident all afternoon that we would end up as victors.

img_1149_webIt’s quite comforting to note that we have gone the whole of January unbeaten and are now nicely placed within striking distance of the play-off positions.  The last time we had a month like that was in September 2007 when we took the Championship by storm and frightened the shorts off most teams for some time.  ‘Time’ gets called on most good things eventually, but for now bartender I’d like to order another double, and Stockport will do for now.

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Game 07 – Carlisle

25 October, 2008

I’m going to say it here even though thousands of others have already muttered that immortal phrase since various stages of the match elapsed – depending on their levels of confidence of the scoreline at that time.   AT LAST!  At last we have won a game at home.  Not just a home win, but a convincing home win.  Not just convincing, but a clean sheet into the bargain too.  Above all some attractive passing and tackling that has been missing for the best part of a year and a half.  Well, it was there at the Millwall game but the confidence wasn’t fully developed at that point.

All of these things combined to create what I would called a sustained positive atmosphere in the ground, that we haven’t previously known at Cuckoo Farm.  Optimism has been floating in and out of the stadium all the time we’ve been here, but a positive attitude has been missing. Things started with the first goal and those around me pointed out that we always win when Perkins scores first.  That must have affected the players too because a couple more from Yeates, who I regularly criticise here, put us 3-0 up by the half hour mark.  The next hour was quite tense, but it was amazing how the occasional bad passes and mix-ups and risky defensive manoevres were met with collective sighs of ‘unlucky’.  A couple of weeks ago that would have been ‘oh no, not again!’.

Yeates was clearly the man of the match, having created the first goal and I found myself applauding simple back passes from him.  What a transformation. Virtually every pass he made found its target, a team-mate.  I can’t be certain that he’s had something put into his diet or taken out of it – but it has worked.  The same is true of several of the team.  It was good to see Coyne back in the centre of defence leading Baldwin as I requested in my last posting. Coyne was getting inside the shirt and the head of Carlisle’s main threat and was so effective the guy had to back off and play a different game to what he intended.  The agro between them was plain for us to see and the 4th official also noted it, when the Carlisle manager whinged to him about it.  But it was all about Yeates today and the decision to pull him off before the end made sure he got his own deserved standing ovation from the crowd.

Some fascinating things happened in the crowd today as well.  The North Stand schoolchildren started to harass the away goalie in the second half when he took goal kicks.  I haven’t seen that happen for ages.  The most impressive was how the new standard of play infected the crowd and we started to sing with one voice.  Some old chants were resurrected and used to good effect and you could sense things starting in E8, being picked up in E3 and reflected back from the West Stand.  By the end of the game East, North and West were in unison. It was great to see, hear and take part in.

A quick mention of the away team.  They played like we have been playing for the last 18 months.  Actually they were worse, they were anonymous.  There was one moment when I saw a flash of a camera amongst their support, but it was a picture of the setting up of a free-kick which led to their best chance of the game.  I guess winning the free-kick was the highlight for them. A sad day for their goalie Ben Alnwick who is on loan from Spurs to seal a hole in a leaky defence.  Oops!

After the game and all the way home there was just one thing on my mind.  AT LAST!  That’s what it feels like.  Now let’s have more of the same please lads.