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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Late Carlisle Utd goal ends Harraby's brave bid for Cumberland Cup glory

Carlisle United 2 Harraby CC 1: Mark Beck’s injury-time winner saw Carlisle United retain the Cumberland Cup, but most of the plaudits went to Harraby after the local amateurs took the Blues to the wire at Brunton Park.

Cumberland Cup final photo
Mark Beck scores

Harraby, of the Northern Alliance, proved stubborn opposition for a United side which included Paul Thirlwell, Paddy Madden and Stephen O’Halloran.

Carlisle struggled to impose their authority on the game, which looked destined for extra-time until youth team striker Beck turned in Patrick Brough’s cross at the near post.

The late finish by the 18-year-old, who is hoping for his first start for the Blues in Saturday’s play-off decider at Oldham, was cruel on Harraby.

They had wiped out Carlisle’s 35th minute lead – Brad Potts on target – within four minutes as Dean Armstrong ran through to finish confidently past keeper Mark Gillespie.

And they then frustrated United’s attempts to get back in front, as the Blues struggled to create clear-cut chances in the Harraby box until Beck ensured they would be the first club to retain the cup since Gretna in 1995.

Coach Eric Kinder said: “We’re delighted with the outcome but not with the performance. There was no tempo to our game, we were slow in everything we did and we know the players are better than that.

“We allowed Harraby to get men behind the ball. They came with a game plan and they only really had one chance and took it. But we didn’t create many either.

“Harraby did really well. We wanted to move the ball better and if we are going to progress we have to be more consistent.”

Potts, one of four youth team graduates to be awarded professional terms, put Carlisle ahead when he cheekily shot home after team-mate Jack Lynch was preparing to finish off his own hard work after a fine dribble into the box.

But Harraby, whose keeper Andrew Casson saved well from Madden and skipper Potts, then levelled through Armstrong, and they continued to break at Carlisle with Steve Archibald impressing up front.

Beck hit the post early in the second half but neither he nor fellow frontman Madden – also competing for a start at Oldham – could find a way through until the last minute.

Carlisle: Gillespie, Gwinnutt (Brough 46), Minor (Berwick 65), Todd, O’Halloran, Potts, Thirlwell, Lynch, Symington, Madden, Beck. Not used: Parker, Staunch, Morse.

Harraby: Casson, Casey (Bannon 90), Thompson (Hayton 90), Combe, Bell, Swift, Moffat (Ferrie 76), Addison, Balmer, Archibald, Armstrong. Not used: English, Cowley.

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