Simmo delighted as Blues climb closer to the pack

Last updated : 19 January 2004 By Al Woodcock
Paul Simpson
Simmo: Delighted after win closed gap to 4 points
United player-manager Paul Simpson was a happy man this weekend after seeing his side extend their recent run to 13 points in six games with a 2-0 conquest of highly-rated Yeovil Town on Saturday.

Gary Johnson's fifth-placed Glovers became the latest victims of the resurgent Cumbrians who won the game with goals in each half from Simpson and transfer-listed striker Craig Farrell. It was Simpson's third goal of a campaign that reached its lowest point just over a month ago when Carlisle's 12th successive defeat, at Oxford, saw them slide to sixteen points adrift of safety.

That gap has been rapidly trimmed to seven points and the 37-year-old player-boss is now confident his players can climb back to the pack.

"This was brilliant as Yeovil are a good side and we've put in a performance to deal with that," he said. "I'm delighted to get three points especially as we had only sixteen points available for this one. It's pleasing that we've got players who can come in and do a job, and it looks better for us going into this last run of games."

Simpson had to make do without left back Tom Cowan and teenage forward Matty Fryatt who were both carrying injuries. Simpson decided not to risk the on-loan Fryatt after he had received treatment at his club Walsall for a troublesome achilles. He will return to the Bescot Stadium this week for more treatment and Simpson is confident he will be fit for Saturday's trip to Bristol Rovers.

The reshuffle on Saturday saw Lee Andrews come in for Will McDonagh alongside man-of-the-match Kevin Gray and McDonagh moved back into midfield with Peter Murphy switching into Cowan's slot at left back. Farrell, who had not been involved since November, came off the bench on 64 minutes and grabbed only his second goal of the season with 16 minutes remaining to seal the deserved victory. The former Leeds marksman led United's scoring lists last season with 14 goals.

Foran and Russell make full debuts

On-loan striker Richie Foran made his full debut for Oxford on Saturday in the Match of the Day clash at Hull's KC Stadium. However the 23-year-old Dubliner failed to find the net in his second appearance for the Bulls as City won 4-2 to go a point clear at the top. Foran was substitued in the 71st minute as his side slipped to third in the table behind Doncaster.

Meanwhile former United winger Craig Russell who was released over the New Year made his debut for Darlington as a substitute. Russell began his second stint as a Quaker in the game at Kidderminster. An injury time goal by Paul McGurk saw Darlo grab a point but they have now gone seven games without winning and are just four points above United in second bottom position.

Picture from News & Star