Begbie, Trainspotting

Begbie, Trainspotting

If you can, cast your mind back to the year of Arnold 2005 and the glitzy surroundings of Stoke’s Britannia Stadium. After we had been weeping like a willow in the race for the Football League, we were almost there. Carlisle United, however, had other ideas and our one hope, our one saving grace was to be barraging run by Mickey Warner. Except it wasn’t. The dream died…

Fast forward back to the future (if that contradiction doesn’t hurt your head too much) and here we are – knowing full well we are almost booked onto the end-of-season cruise that is the League Two playoffs. We couldn’t quite get over the line last week at “the club that wouldn’t die” but now we’re back on our own patch and with the chance to put our name into the prize draw.

In our way are Carlisle United and, like the Lannisters, Boro’ tend to repay their debts. We’ve done it to Newcastle, to Reading and to others along the way, so there’s no real harm in adding Carlisle to that list. Three points is the aim and that’s what we’ll be wanting to claim. But, before we start talking up the occasion too much, let’s have a look at the evidence…

Carlisle come into this one having beaten Plymouth Argyle last weekend. For those of you living under rocks and still using BT Cellnet services, Plymouth are our nearest and dearest in the playoff race. Or were, until their Carlisle faux pas put them in the headlights of a desperate and downmarket Looton Town. It means Carlisle are now safe from relegation to the Conference.

Our guests are now unbeaten in three games, though their away form – unsurprisingly for a team 20th in the division – isn’t the best. They’ve lost 14 out of 22 on the road, conceding 36 times. In comparison, we’d be going up without the need for playoffs if the league was decided on home form alone. But it isn’t. And Tranmere are a recent example of how you don’t just rely on form.

The bookies, in their infinite wisdom, are going with the form book for this one. That’ll be why you’ll be struggling to get much better than 4/6 (BetVictor) on a home win. The draw comes in at threes. With Carlisle matches tending to see plenty of goals, a punt on Over 2.5 isn’t too shabby at evens (BetFred). And how about Simon Walton at 15/4 to score at any time once more?

All this could be somewhat academic, however. Looton go to a Southend team that could make a really firm case for automatic promotion this weekend, which means the demands placed on us could be less than we think. But you all know football better than to rely on others, and that’s why we’re backing the boys to do the good lord’s work this weekend. Praise be, etc…

Carlisle United’s BoroGuide club profile – because you’re worth it