After getting six home draws out of six in cup competitions this season, the well finally ran dry for the Blues in late November as they were the last club drawn out of the goldfish bowl, by former Oasis star Noel Gallagher, at Wembley Stadium. Torquay having moments earlier been the penultimate side out as they were drawn at Plainmoor, for the first time in the FA Cup against the Cumbrians, by Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno.
To get to this third round stage Carlisle first thumped Tipton Town 6-0 at home before scraping past another non-league opponent, in Tamworth, 3-2 at Brunton Park thanks to two goals in the last four minutes. Torquay meanwhile defeated Blue Square Bet Premier outfit Mansfield 1-0 on the road in the first round before beating Walsall 1-0 at home courtesy of a first-half Billy Kee penalty in front of 2,334 spectators.
As far as other cup form is concerned the Gulls were knocked out of the Carling Cup in the first round when they lost 1-0 at home to Reading after extra-time, while in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy they exited the competition at the second round stage when they went down 2-0 at Swindon, after beating Bournemouth 3-0 on penalties at Dean Court following a 0-0 round one draw.
League-wise, the Devonians have slipped down from sixth at the time of the FA Cup Second Round, to eleventh in the League Two table at present, and they have only picked up 11 of their 29 points at Plainmoor, their poor home league form reading three wins, two draws and four defeats with 16 goals scored and 14 conceded. The Gulls looking a patchy side this season with a starting run of four wins and a draw in six, then ten games without a win, then eight matches unbeaten and now three games in a row without a victory.
As far as home league form against Carlisle over the years is concerned it's looking quite good for the Blues with a record of six wins, four draws and nine defeats in Devon. The last match between the two sides at Plainmoor being a 4-3 victory for the Cumbrians in the League Two title winning season of 2005-06 thanks to a Karl Hawley hat-trick and a late Kevin Gray winner.
In team news for the Gulls tomorrow, well there is very little of it as their only injury doubt, with no other players sidelined, is centre-half Guy Branston who is struggling at present with what the Plainmoor outfit think is either a hamstring problem or sciatica. One player who is definitely unavailable though is defender Kieran Charnock who has signed for Morecambe on an 18-month contract after being on loan with the Shrimps for the last two months.
The referee for tomorrow's match is Phil Gibbs from Solihull in the West Midlands and he will be assisted down the lines by another whistler from that area in Andy Hendley from Halesowen, as well as Andrew Laver from Portsmouth. Meanwhile the fourth official is Brendan Malone from Salisbury in Wiltshire.