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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Carlisle Utd squeeze past amateurs Netherhall in Cumberland Cup final

Carlisle United 2 Netherhall 0: Carlisle United lifted their second piece of silverware this season – but the sentiments afterwards could not have been further removed from their glorious triumph at Wembley.

Nahki Wells photo
Nahki Wells, left

The Blues’ fringe players secured the Cumberland Cup last night but only after a grim performance that left their coaching staff furious and frustrated.

Maryport-based amateurs Netherhall earned credit for a well-drilled and competitive performance which kept Greg Abbott’s first-team hopefuls out for 58 minutes at Brunton Park.

But there was little glory in lifting the trophy after such a limp display, according to Carlisle coach Eric Kinder.

“It was a successful night in terms of winning the competition, but not in terms of how we played,” Kinder said.

“I hope Netherhall enjoyed their night and they have done well to get to the final, but with every respect to them, when they come to a professional club it shouldn’t be as tight as it was.

“And if players in that dressing room have the nerve to knock on the manager’s door and ask why they don’t get on the pitch on a Saturday, they are kidding themselves.”

Abbott watched the first half from the stand but gave a furious half-time team-talk and then appeared by the dugout early in the second half as United finally upped their game.

In the first 45 minutes they had failed to cut through a solid and hard-working Netherhall side whose back four of David Towers, Jamie Bethwaite, Ross Johnston and Jack Kirkbride were particularly impressive.

Nahki Wells and Madden failed to hit the target from decent positions while Danny Livesey drew a save from Stuart Pettitt. At the other end, Netherhall’s Daniel Burgess gave Carlisle keeper Mark Gillespie a rare test with a 25-yard attempt.

It was plain to see why the Maryport outfit had reached the county final whilst also winning this season’s Cumbria County League, and their resistance was only broken when Loy ran into the box and was clipped by Bethwaite, before picking himself up to drill home the 58th-minute penalty.

Assistant manager Graham Kavanagh then curled a free-kick against a post before United sealed victory when Madden volleyed a Wells corner high into the net from close range, 12 minutes from time. Sub Ben Byers went close to a consolation for Netherhall when he pulled a shot across goal in the closing stages.

“Danny Livesey had a go, Mark Gillespie did nothing wrong, Kav was full of enthusiasm and Ben McKenna did ok, but other than that I’m struggling to think of any positives out of the game,” Kinder added.

“When I look at the trophy and how we played to win it, I cringe.”

Carlisle United: Gillespie, McGlen, Swinglehurst, Livesey, Kavanagh, Todd (Symington 59), McKenna, Madden, Loy, Wells, Bowman. Not used: Caig, Gill, Beck.

Netherhall: Pettitt, Towers, Bethwaite (Tinnion 79), Johnston, Kirkbride, Smith (Byers 79), Holden (Dawes 62), Burgess, Lows, Anderson, Pearson. Not used: Johnson, Fillingham.

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