Carlisle’s FA Cup Magic

Carlisle narrowly progressed to the second round of the FA Cup on Saturday, though could a lucky late victory spark more cup magic for the Blues?

The annual first round brought with it excitement throughout the country, especially for the likes of Stockport County who beat League One Yeovil 3-1 to march on.

For Carlisle, nonetheless, the League Two match up with Crewe was far from exciting, but it’s job done for the Blues and one round away from the giants entering the competition.

Progression has now become a regular occurrence for the Cumbrian’s, only suffering defeat once in the first round over the last 10 years.

Blues fans will hope recent cup form continues, though questions are always asked when Carlisle pull shocks off ; Just why have Carlisle shined in the cups over recent years?

Arguably one big pointer is money and getting to the third round and being drawn against the big boys is always seen as a cash cow. For example, drawing Everton at home just after the floods was vital for the club with much-needed funds raised from gate and TV money.

In the League Cup alike, Carlisle have prospered in the last few years and arguably they have produced bigger shocks in the season opening competition, nevertheless, nothing matches a big FA Cup day.

Here are just a few recent examples to prove it!

Carlisle 0-1 Arsenal (6th January 2001)

Despite being nearly 18 years ago, this tie lives long in the memory for many Carlisle fans, with a packed Brunton Park crowd in awe of some Arsenal greats gracing the home turf.

The likes of Robert Pires, Patrick Viera, and Dennis Bergkamp all lined up for the Premier League giants.

It was a good showing from the Blues to keep Arsenal in such close proximity though the Gunners would edge all the way to the final, only to meet Michael Owen in form to win Liverpool the cup.

Sunderland 3-1 Carlisle (5th January 2014)

Another defeat for Carlisle against a top team, however, this northern fixtures captured the hearts of the fan base with over 6,000 heading North East to the spectacular “Stadium of Light”.

Their wouldn’t be light at the end of the tunnel on this great day out. Despite this the first meeting between the sides in 20 years would prove to be only one of a few highs for United that season.

Relegation from League One would follow, and the years in League Two look set to continue for now…

Carlisle 0-3 Everton (31st January 2016)

The 2015-16 season was one of the most memorable in years, for a few good and bad reasons.

The unfortunate Carlisle floods shattered Carlisle’s winter, travelling far and wide to play games away from a battered Brunton Park.

Along with a money spinning League Cup tie at Liverpool, the Blues made it to the FA Cup fourth round for the first time in 20 years.

A televised sell-out at a patched up Brunton Park would bring a large sense of community spirit to the occasion, with many getting money out their pockets for the cause.

The tie was far from magical in the end, though there were spectacular performances from the likes of Everton’s Ross Barkley, wooing the home and away faithful throughout.

It’s safe to say Carlisle haven’t been giant killers in this competition, contrarily, a cup run is always of importance to the fans and the club as a whole and hopefully one will come in the very near future!

Picture Credit: Carlisle United


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