One thing that always seems to be good about going to Carlisle is that you never get play out a boring pre-season game. For some reason, their fans and players always seem to get worked up about our arrival and this naturally transfers onto our guys. This year could be interesting then!
One ‘Well player in the current squad knows what it’s like to score at Carlisle, Alex Burns finding the scoresheet in 1997’s 3-3 draw. We were 2-0 down that day before a TC penalty and Toastie scored to put us level. Carlisle regained the lead but Greig Denham scored a last minute equaliser which was celebrated with more enthusiasm than was really required by the ‘Well fans who had been on the receiving end of various taunts from the natives throughout the game.
Our last visit resulted in a comfortable 4-1 win with Goodman, Townsley and McCulloch (2) getting on the scoresheet. Again though, the game was anything but friendly with both Shaun Teale and Michel Doesburg being substituted at the insistance of the referee. Stephen McMillan, Jamie McGowan and Derek Townsley were also subbed after some over-eager challenges from the home side.
Carlisle had a poor season last year, finishing narrowly above the relegation spot in the Third Division. Despite this, they gave Kilmarnock a decent game at the weekend with the Ayrshire team edging a 2-1 win. We have started our pre-season build up slowly but confidence should be high after our seaside stroll at Somerset Park.
James McFadden is our only real injury doubt and despite resuming training it is very unlikely he will be allowed to play. It would be a big shock if we start with anything other than our 4-4-2 formation and it would not be surprising if we kept the same starting eleven from Saturday.
Prices are supposedly £5 and £2 and directions to Brunton Park are available here.