Now we’ve seen off the league’s bottom feeders, it’s time for us to step up. We’re now facing the Creme de la Menthe of League Two, and what a back-breaking escapade it promises to be too. Our switch from the bottom four to the top five is about to see us take in the best part of 1,000 miles in the space of four days. That’s what Google says. You don’t need a thesaurus to work out that Carlisle and Exeter are bloody far away, however.
And you literally do not need a thesaurus.
So, Carlisle away this weekend it is. Exeter away follows through on Tuesday, and ain’t nothing good come of a follow through. Our two longest trips of the season are being taken out in one fell swoop, which you could say is a good thing. Have you ever been to Exeter though? Let’s forget about them for now; they’ll soon have their time. Here be the Cumbrians; the Benedingle Cumberlands. And weren’t they all triffic in Sherlock?
Carlisle United v Stevenage: The Lowdown
P1 W1 D0 L0 F3 A1; last result: Stevenage 3-1 Grimsby Town, 19/08/2017
The referee is – in a manner of his own choosing we’re guessing – going to have some say over how this pans out. Scott Oldham is the ref pencilled in here. It’s the first time he’s been the man in the middle this term, so who knows. We’ve only met him once before too; last year’s 3-1 home win over Grimsby. Danny Newton and Ben Kennedy scored that day. Mind you, so did Jonathan Smith. So, what have we learned then? Yep. Nuthin’.
P17 W5 D4 L8 F13 A18; last result: Stevenage 0-0 Carlisle United, 20/01/2018
Our little run of three without losing to Carlisle is the best we’ve done against ’em. And our 2-0 win at their place now just over a year ago is the first time we’ve made the trip up to Brunton Park fully worth it. It is, of course, a long way to go to come back with nothing. We’ve had hungover jaunts to Tesco just like that. Not quite as long, meanwhile, but still long enough is the way we have to go to level up our head-to-head record.
It takes kickoff.co.uk to make it look nice.
It’s been said already, but our hosts haven’t been slow to wake from their pre-season slumber. That said, it’s not exactly a supermassive black hole between where we are and where they are. It’s something to muse on ahahahaaaaurgh. Carlisle are the lowest ranked outfit (of two, admittedly) to hit 16 points. We’re the lowest ranked side (of five) to be tailgating on 15 points. One point, four places. A great test to see where we’re at.
The form guide shows that Carlisle ain’t won indoors for a month. Then again, three of their four September matches have been on the road – and that one home game ended in a win for Tranmere. It’s worth knowing that it ain’t unusual for their defence to knock off early either. Five of the 10 goals they’ve let in have come during the last 15 minutes. At no point this season have they been trailing at the break, if that matters to you?
So, whaddya reckon?
• MORE ABOUT ‘EM: Carlisle United club profile