Storm Callum battered Brunton Park saturday afternoon in what was a miserable afternoon for the Blues.
Despite the odds and form resoundingly backing a home win, the manner of this defeat didn’t really come as much of a surprise to anyone.
Unwanted trends continued for the Blues, as a timid performance condemned them to a fourth straight home defeat. A Morecambe win also means that the home team has never been victorious in this fixture – 10 league meetings , no home wins.
First half goals from AJ Leitch-Smith and Vadaine Oliver were enough to see off the home side, who were tame in their efforts or making any sort of miraculous comeback.
It was sloppy from the start for John Sheridan’s men and early warning signs were apparent as the visitors looked to play on the counter.
This style of play proved effective against a Carlisle team who are scoreless in their last four home matches, and the game plan bared reward after 12 minutes.
Good feet on the edge of the box by the dangerous Leitch-Smith helped him weave through all the defenders in his path. After pretty poor defending he would eventually, and unexpectedly, tap-in after Adam Collin saved his first effort on goal.
Carlisle, for a short time, replied impressively to going behind. A goal would have changed the whole complexion of the game, nevertheless, it wasn’t forthcoming.
After Richie Bennett was firstly denied a goal because the ball had lopped out of play, he was then denied again by sprawling Morecambe bodies on the line. After Jerry Yates pulled the ball back it seemed harder to miss in front of goal for Bennett, though the luck wasn’t going Carlisle’s way.
After agonisingly hitting the post again the home sides fortunes then got even worse…
Like his team-mates, Vadaine Oliver was causing the Blues defence all sorts of problems and with 25 minutes played he rose highest to easily head home from a corner.
In truth Brunton Park seemed lifeless, although like before the match fans stood to applaud and chanted in the 42nd minute to celebrate the life of Tony Hopper.
Most would have hoped the team could have pulled out an inspirational performance in his memory, nonetheless the day was about much more than just what happened on the pitch.
The aim of the game would change for the home side in the second half, with the long ball up to the giant Richie Bennett looking the most viable option, however, he still couldn’t stick the ball in the net.
In all fairness he had a pretty much impossible task and a hit and hope mentality summed up how poor Carlisle were.
Morecambe, contrastingly, always looked like the ones who could get a third goal though their final pass was letting them down far too often.
At the game petered out, Carlisle’s only positives came through the young local lad, Liam McCarron.
The late substitute has impressed of late and today was no exception, coming on to the field to give Carlisle some attacking runs and composure that had been desperately needed throughout the game.
In the end not even a sniff of a goal even came in the dying embers, as Morecambe travelled back to Lancashire with a much-needed three points.
Picture Credit: Carlisle United