As one of the old adages in the sport goes, a week in football can be a very long time.
This was clearly the case on Wednesday night at Brunton Park as Carlisle United pulled off an unlikely scalp of Championship opposition by humbling the 2001/02 champions Blackburn Rovers.
Unfancied and with confidence already crushed after a 1-5 drubbing at home to Leyton Orient the previous weekend, the Cumbrian outfit proved the doubters wrong with a fine gutsy display in surely the most compelling Capital One Cup fixture of the first round.
The tie had everything a true football match requires, goals and plenty of them – a red card, a penalty miss and an unpredicatble feel to the game, nobody quite knew what was going to happen next.
The Blues fielded three teenagers and every player in the starting line-up was under-28 bar the captain, Paul Thirlwell.
However, although Blackburn did play a few reserves and rested some of their so called bigger guns, nothing can be taken away from a display which provided tenacity, determination, skill and above all else, little fear.
New signing David Amoo was man of the match for me with his brace of goals and energetic play but much praise must be heaped on recently turned 17-year-old kid, Patrick Brough, who came off the bench in the first half and played outstandingly well for a second year YTS player.
Ironically, all our up and coming stars have only made the grade mainly due to our former youth coach Eric Kinder, who parted with the club in the summer to join Wednesday night’s opponents.
The penalty shoot-out summed up the evening’s high charged entertaintment with another exciting unpredictability feel to it.
However, the young guns shone through once more and 19-year-old David Symington crashed home the winning penalty to book a place in round two against more Championship oppostion in the shape of Leicester City.
As highlighted in my first blog of the season, the young blood which is intergrating itself in the senior squad is a pleasing and most enjoyable sight to witness.
If this performance was anything to go by, the future of some of these kids is highly encouraging and is also helping spread more much needed positivity around the club.
With another round of Capital One Cup action to come in two weeks time against the Foxes, maybe this much needed extra income could generate a new central defender for the club.
Let’s not beat around the bush here, we have conceded eight goals in two home matches already this term and this is pretty much the same rearguard that somehow shipped in an incrediably woeful 77 league goals last term.
If our current manager is reading this, PLEASE, PLEASE purchase a central defender who can tackle, jump, communicate, run and clear the ball accordingly.
If Abbott can deliver this prerequisite of a patched up defence and gel the great young talent and a half decent strike force together, maybe, we can embark on an unknown journey to places we may have never been before.
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