Match Details: 05/04/2008
Carlisle United 2-1 Yeovil Town
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Goals: Marcus Stewart (38)
Yeovil Line-Up: 5. Scott Guyett, 6. Terrell Forbes, 9. Lloyd Owusu, 10. Marcus Stewart, 15. Liam Bridcutt, 16. Jaime Peters, 20. Marc Bircham, 27. Lee Peltier, 28. Nathan Smith, 31. Asmir Begovic, 32. Marvin Williams,
Subs: 2. Mark Lynch, 17. Simon Church, 24. Andy Kirk, 26. Stephen Maher, 33. Aidan Downes
Substitutes Used: Aidan Downes for Jaime Peters (68 mins), Andy Kirk for Liam Bridcutt (68 mins), Stephen Maher for Marc Bircham (81 mins)
Yeovil Town suffered the cruellest of blows at Brunton Park this afternoon as they went down to a last gasp Scott Dobie goal against promotion-chasing Carlisle United. The Glovers had led to a first half Marcus Stewart goal, and looked to be heading their way to three valuable points. But a deflected close range effort from Peter Murphy levelled the scores, and just when it looked as though Yeovil would come home with a deserved share of the spoils, Dobie struck in injury time to make it a miserable journey down the M6 tonight.
The Glovers went into the game making three forced changes and one tactical change to last week's line-up against Bristol Rovers. In addition to Matthew Rose and Zoltan Stieber dropping out of the sixteen due to injury, club captain Terry Skiverton was left in his hotel room after he picked up an illness overnight to scupper manager Russell Slade's defensive plans. Midfielder Marc Bircham, right-winger Marvin Williams and defender Scott Guyett got the benefit of the absentees, whilst Liam Bridcutt displaced Stephen Maher in the only tactical change.
Carlisle had the luxury of selecting the same starting line-up for their eighth consecutive match - hardly surprising that manager John Ward wished to do so given their recent form that has lifted them into a second place position in the table. Until Tuesday's match against Nottingham Forest, the Cumbrians had won 14 home games in a row - a club record - giving an idea of the scale of Yeovil's task at Brunton Park.
The home side played against a strong wind during the first half, but still managed to dominate the play, albeit without creating too many chances. A succession of corners put pressure on Yeovil, but without Glovers keeper Asmir Begovic being too concerned about what was heading his way.
In fact it was the Glovers who took the lead on 38 minutes with one of their rare ventures into the danger areas at the other end of the pitch. It may have been against the run of play, but when Marcus Stewart netted with a 25 yard drive, it was the sort of quality that deserved to divide the two sides, with the ball heading into the top left-hand corner, via a slight deflection.
The goal seemed to spark Carlisle into action and they went on to enjoy their best spell of the half, and ultimately the whole game, but still they were unable to penetrate the Glovers back line, with some dogged defending denying them. Three great blocks by Marc Bircham from shots by Simon Hackney and two from Marc Bridge-Wilkinson and a save by Asmir Begovic from a Hackney shot thwarted the home side as Carlisle roared back. But they couldn't find a way through, and the Glovers held a 1-0 lead at the break.
The second period saw Carlisle again go on the offensive, this time with the wind at their backs, but if anything they struggled even more in their attempts to break the Glovers down. Resorting more and more to the long-ball approach as the half continued, they in effect played to Scott Guyett and Asmir Begovic's strengths.
Manager Russell Slade opted to release the pressure off his defence midway through the half, with Carlisle having switched formations at half time to a conventional 4-4-2. Slade decided to do the same to match them up, albeit by bringing on two strikers in Aidan Downes and Andy Kirk, with Downes going wide and Kirk joining Lloyd Owusu up front.
Carlisle appeared to have more or less run out of ideas, and were playing the percentages game when they grabbed a deflected equaliser 13 minutes from time. The goal came from a Carlisle corner, when Peter Murphy managed to get the ball over the line in a packed penalty box, with the final touch appearing to come off a Yeovil defender, wrong-footing Asmir Begovic and giving him no chance.
Despite the set-back, the Glovers could have retaken the lead almost instantly, with both substitutes combining to form Yeovil's best chance of the second half. After Aidan Downes worked his way down the wings and fed Andy Kirk, the former Northampton man forced Carlisle keeper Keiren Westwood into a strong reaction save with his legs from close range. It was a save that was to prove highly significant in the final outcome.
In the closing five minutes, Glovers keeper Asmir Begovic almost landed himself on the end of season comedy DVDs when he failed to spot Scott Dobie lurking behind him when rolling the ball out at his feet. Thankfully even Dobie seemed surprised by the opportunity and fell over as soon as he grabbed the ball, and Nathan Smith was to the rescue, clearing his lines.
But a minute into injury time yet another of a succession of second half Carlisle long balls into the penalty box was chested down by substitute Gary Madine who had only just landed on the field of play, and it dropped at the feet of Scott Dobie who finished sharply from inside the box to break the hearts of the Yeovil travellers. Carlisle were to lead the match for merely 60 injury time seconds of the game, but it was the most crucial 60 seconds and there was no way back for the Glovers.
The result puts Carlisle on the brink of promotion, but they will know that they secured a real slice of luck in edging out this game today. The Glovers put in a gutsy performance that deserved more than they got. Thankfully of the sides below them, Millwall, Gillingham and Bristol Rovers all drew, whilst Cheltenham and crucially next weeks opponents Crewe Alexandra lost. Although Gillingham's draw brings them a point closer to the Glovers, it is Crewe and Millwall that will be sweating the most tonight.
Final Score: Carlisle United 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Marcus Stewart (38 mins, 0-1), Peter Murphy (77 mins, 1-1), Scott Gobie (90 mins, 2-1).
Carlisle United: 4-5-1
1. Keiren Westwood
2. David Raven 5. Danny Livesey 21. Evan Horwood 6. Peter Murphy
8. Chris Lumsdon 18. Simon Hackney 25. Grant Smith 4. Marc Bridge-Wilkinson 27. Cleveland Taylor
9. Danny Graham
Subs: 20. Chris Howarth (GK) 12. Luke Joyce 15. Paul Arnison (90 mins for Cleveland Taylor) 26. Scott Dobie (46 mins for Grant Smith) 28. Gary Madine (90 mins for Simon Hackney)
Yeovil Town: 4-3-3/4-5-1
31. Asmir Begovic
27. Lee Peltier 5. Scott Guyett 6. Terrell Forbes 28. Nathan Smith
15. Liam Bridcutt 10. Marcus Stewart 20. Marc Bircham
32. Marvin Williams 9. Lloyd Owusu 16. Jaime Peters
2. Mark Lynch 17. Simon Church 24. Andy Kirk (68 mins for Bridcutt) 26. Stephen Maher (81 mins for Marc Bircham) 33. Aidan Downes (68 mins for Peters)
Carlisle Bookings: David Raven (foul, 83 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire). Assistants: Billy Khatib (Tyne and Wear) and Ian Nolan (Lancashire). Fourth Official: Paul Kettlewell (Lancashire).