Preston NE 1 - 1 Carlisle
Tuesday 6th November 2012 - 19:45 (League One)
A point stolen at the end of the game by North End in one of our poorest performances of the season. The alarmingly low 9,249 fans saw Graham Wesley's side struggle to make any impact on a Carlisle side who hustled and harried us all through the game and looked odds on to take all three points until Cummins headed home in the 94th minute. Being frank we were poor all over the field and the changing of formations didn't help the flow of the performance. This had many shades of last season written all over it but it would be wrong to knee jerk and the general status of the progress under Westley is steady if unspectacular.
We thought we had taken the lead as early as the 5th minute when a Laird corner appeared to go in directly and be well over the line but the officials clearly didn't spot it and the referee waived play on. We seemed to get progressively worse as the half wore on and Carlisle started to dominate. They took the lead when Simonsen unnecessarily upended Garner and the victim picked himself up to stroke home the penalty. Much as we tried we couldn't get back into the game and went in one down to Carlisle's one good strike on goal.
The manager brought on Holmes at the start of the second period to replace Baily Wright and I thought the winger did well on his way back to full fitness. Unfortunately we carried on trying route one football as we had done for much of the first half all to no avail. The game became very stuck in the middle of the field and with the fans frustration going the manager introduced Sodje much to the fans delight and the big striker headed just over with his first touch of the ball. With the clock in the 94th minute Holmes put a peach of a cross over for final substitute Graham Cummins to superbly head home and spare North End's blushes.
The goal should in no way compensate for a very poor performance for North End and the low crowd may be an indication that a significant amount of North End fans still need persuading in terms of the new regime. It's certainly not the time to panic but I really think we need to boost the squad either by way of loans or in the January market. Last night was simply not good enough and the board need to sit down and think long and hard about how to keep the faltering momentum going. We can only hope for a much better show at Stevenage on Saturday.