Fellow promotion chasers, Portsmouth, close the gap at the top of the table as they grab a vital 3-0 victory at Brunton Park, the blues 5th defeat of the campaign.
The ball was in the back of the net on just 2 minutes as striker Jamie Proctor nodded the ball over the Portsmouth stopper, after a ball from Macaulay Gillesphey. Unfortunately the flag went up for offside just as the stadium lifted in celebration.
Portsmouth had a quick response as they broke with Baker, who hit a low driven shot from just outside the box which resulted in Mark Gillespie having to stretch himself and dive to palm the ball away for a corner.
Carlisle were forced into an early change in the first 15 minutes as defender Shaun Brisley went down with a nasty cut to his head. Fullback Tom Miller came on to replace him to go on the right flank which meant Gary Liddle was to move on to the centre of defense.
Carlisle then had a chance as a pass from Jamie Proctor found Nicky Adams who ran into the box with the ball, comfortably, and tried to find the bottom corner but it was all to easy for David Forde as he made a two handed save to stop the ball from hitting the back of the net.
Carlisle were then forced to make another change ahead of half time as Micheal Raynes went into a challenge but came out holding his calf. Full back Alex Mqueen came on to replace the injured man and went left back which meant Gillesphey moved along to the centre half role.
There were massive appeals for handball from the Carlisle Players and fans as Evans handled a high ball in the box which was pretty clear but the referee turned away and gave nothing.
The only real chance of the first half came from Portsmouth striker Eoin Doyle as Pompey broke down the line the ball was crossed in and came into defender Tom Miller who failed to clear as the ball fell to the Doyle who hit the ball from the edge of the 6 yard box only to go over the bar missing a vital chance.
The half ended 0-0 in a very close first half both sides having had chances.
Early into the first half Portsmouth had a chance when Ryan Bennet took advantage of a panic at the back as he crossed into Gary Roberts who finished well but the carlisle defence were relived to see the flag go up for offside.
Great play of passing in the midfield from Carlisle was tearing the Portsmouth defence apart as the ball fell to Luke Joyce he poked a fantastic ball to Jamie Proctor on the edge of the six yard box which gave him a great chance only for him to head wide.
It was another great passage of play by United as an overlap was made by John O’Sullivan on the right flank leaving him plenty of options but he cut back to Reggie Lambe on the edge of the box who struck at goal but a great diving save from Forde denied him of a goal
It was Portsmouth who opened the scoring in the 73rd minute with a great solo goal from Gary Roberts who drilled through the Carlisle midfield and took a shot on the outside of his boot from the edge of the box and it ended up in the top corner.
Portsmouth then secured the win when Amine Lingazi used some great strength to push off Mike Jones then took a blistering shot which ended up in the bottom corner nothing Gillespie could do and giving Lingazi his first goal for Portsmouth
The game was then finished by substitute Jack Whatmough as he was left unmarked and finished well, but he did not celebrate well. Giving Portsmouth a 3-0 win at Brunton Park.
It was a disappointing afternoon definitely for me and other fans who were expecting a lot more from the lads on the pitch but with both centre halves getting injured of course we were going to struggle against such a good side. Respect to Portsmouth fans who never stopped singing and made a long trip up north.
I interviewed Portsmouth fan Reece to get his thoughts on the win. I asked him what were his thoughts on Portsmouth’s performance against the Cumbrians. He said “Well I didn’t go to the game unfortunately but it sounds like we put In a good performance, every player put in a shift, even ones who haven’t performed for a while like Gary Roberts, his first goal for a few months.” He then went on to say “Also our 14th clean sheet of the season so extremely positive in that respect, very happy for Linganzi and Whatmough on their first goals for the club.” I also asked him how he thought Portsmouth would finish the season. now after the vital result. He said “I think those 3 points could be a pivotal part in our season, especially when in our last 14 games we have 8 of the bottom 10 clubs to play. If we win all of them, which is very optimistic, we will have 79 points, plus the other 6 games, our only real tough games in my opinion will be against Colchester, Mansfield and Plymouth. But it’s so so important that we stay together as a club now because we’ve seen what negativity can do to us, the fans have to play a vital part in the rest of the season and if we do that I think we will finish in the top 3” So Pompey fans feeling pretty confident after the result against Carlisle. Be sure to follow Reece on twitter @YMAS_reece.