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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Carlisle Utd defender aiming for third winner against Stevenage

Peter Murphy insists he’d love to be Carlisle United’s lucky charm for a third time against Stevenage tonight as the Blues bid to knock their old rivals out of the play-off race.

Peter Murphy photo
Peter Murphy

The long-serving defender has a remarkable goalscoring record against the Hertfordshire club and is seeking another vital contribution tonight (Lamex Stadium, 7.45pm).

Murphy has scored two crucial winning strikes against Stevenage in his United career and has three goals in the clubs’ last four meetings.

But the Dubliner, pressed into service at left-back due to Chris Chantler’s absence, said Gary Smith’s side would be foolish to worry too much about his poaching skills in tonight's six-pointer.

“If they concentrate on me, they might miss out on one of our other players, so it could be a good thing,” said Murphy.

“If I’m lucky enough to score again then I’ll happily continue my run against them.

“But I wouldn’t say I’m a big threat to them. Being a defender I’m sure there are a lot of other threats they will be needing to watch out for.”

Murphy’s most famous act against tonight’s opponents was the header in the 2005 Conference play-off final which secured Carlisle’s promotion back to the Football League.

The experienced defender also chipped in with a vital header in Carlisle’s 1-0 win last September at a time when fans were calling for manager Greg Abbott’s head.

Murphy also found the net against Boro in a 2-1 Conference defeat in the 2004/5 campaign.

Another goal tonight could be up there with his most important as the Blues try to take advantage of their game in hand and jump back into the play-off places.

A win would put Abbott's side two points clear in sixth place with three games to go, whilst leaving Smith’s men six points adrift.

But defeat would deal the Blues’ promotion hopes another blow after Saturday’s defeat to Charlton.

Murphy says Stevenage have impressed this season and expects a battle against the side that thrashed Yeovil 6-0 at the weekend.

“I wouldn’t necessarily call them a surprise package – momentum when you come up can continue, as it did when we came up from the Conference,” he said.

“But they have done well to be batting above their weight and holding their own amongst some of the big teams.

“They have often scored late goals this season which shows they are fit and strong and willing to go to the end.

“It’s up to us to match that and put our stamp on it with our passing and movement.”

Jordan Cook is expected to shake off a groin problem to keep his place in attack tonight. Teenage striker Mark Beck should again be on the bench for the Blues.

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