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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Carlisle 2 Bury 1

Nervy Carlisle United held on against Bury to end 2012 with back-to-back victories.

The Blues, who led 2-0 after 10 minutes thanks to Lee Miller's penalty and Matty Robson's strike, were clinging on at the end.

Steven Schumacher's header in the 53rd minute gave the Shakers a lifeline and they dominated the second half.

Sub Seb Carole almost made it 2-2 when he hit the post, as Kevin Blackwell's side pinned the Cumbrians back.

But Carlisle, with keeper Mark Gillespie on impressive form, held on for another important three points.

Greg Abbott's side could have increased their victory margin late on but Brad Potts missed a sitter at the Warwick Road End.

In the second minute, striker Miller hammered home from the penalty spot after Potts had been fouled by veteran defender Efe Sodje.

It was the fit-again Scot's second goal in successive games.

And then on 10 minutes, Robson also claimed his second goal in as many outings when he drilled home after a break from Frank Simek.

It was a dream start, but in between United's goals, they had been grateful to Gillespie when the keeper showed superb reflexes to push Tom Hopper's header against the crossbar.

After that the Blues were comfortably on top until the half hour mark, with recalled James Berrett and Potts both trying their luck amid some bright attacking play.

But the Shakers came back into things later in the half and only a deft touch by Danny Livesey denied Schumacher a goal from Troy Hewitt's cross.

Early in the second half, Joe Skarz headed against the outside of the post.

And then former United loanee Schumacher halved the deficit when he met Gregg Wylde's cross from the left and beat Gillespie with a strong header.

That triggered more Bury pressure, with Sodje going close and Gillespie making a fine double save to preserve Carlisle's lead.

The keeper went on to claim a series of crosses as he confidently eased the pressure on United's goal.

And it should have been wrapped up in the 89th minute when sub Dave Symington broke and squared for Potts in front of goal, but the midfielder skied his shot.

Gillespie made one more save from Hopper before United's anxious afternoon was finally over.

Berrett replaced injured Paul Thirlwell in midfield with Peter Murphy back among the subs.

But David Healy, Andy Bishop, Adam Lockwood, Mark Carrington, Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Shane Byrne all missed out, with boss Kevin Blackwell only able to name six subs.

United: Gillespie, Simek, Chantler, Edwards, Livesey, Potts, Berrett, Noble, Robson, McGovern, Miller. Subs: Collin, Murphy, Welsh, Loy, Beck, Symington, McGinty.

Bury: Carson, Skarz, Hughes, Sodje, Doherty, Schumacher, Worrall, Thompson, Hewitt, Hopper. Subs: Dibble, Sweeney, C Jones, A Jones, Soares, Carole.

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