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Newey: Missed Pen
Newey: Missed Pen

Grimsby 1 Carlisle 2

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 02/01/2006

TOWN'S beleaguered side played one game too many as their fantastic festive season finally came to an end at home to Carlisle United. But Town will be kicking themselves after missing a penalty and failing to take advantage of the Cumbrians being reduced to ten men for the last 13 minutes.

Russell Slade surprisingly named both Rob Jones and Justin Whittle in the starting XI, although both players doubtless would have appreciated a few more days' rest and were not 100% fit. New loanee Matt Bloomer started at right back in his first game for his hometown club since joining on a month's loan from Lincoln on New Year's Day.

Midfielder Ciaran Toner, who has progressed tremendously in recent weeks, gave Town the perfect start when the Carlisle 'keeper failed to punch the ball clear, allowing Toner to fire it back over him.

But the lead lasted just seven minutes when Zigor Aranalde's shot went in off the post after being set up by the impressive Hawley.

It was the Cumbrians who had the better chances in the first half, as Hawley hit the bar, and Mildenhall was also called upon to make a good save.

Town went closest when Westwood made a double save to deny Paul Bolland just before half time.

Both sides continued to create chances after the break, with Bolland once again being denied by a fingertip Westwood save.

But it was the Spaniard who put Carlisle's noses in front once again with a back post header.

Within two minutes Town were given a lifeline when Carlisle skipper Kevin Gray sent off for deliberate handball and the referee awarded a penalty. With Jean-Paul Kalala sat on the bench, it fell to Tom Newey to take the spot kick, but his shot crashed off the underside of the bar and was cleared.

Despite the miss Town had two great chances to equalise, but a Martin Gritton header from a great position somehow hit the outside of the post, and a Hegarty volley also hit the bar.

Town's luck finally deserted them today, and a draw would probably have been a fair result, although most Town fans would have been delighted to settle for 9 points from 12 games on Xmas Day morning.

With Wycombe also losing, the top of the table is somewhat closer than it was this morning.

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