Carlisle United kept their League Two play-off hopes alive with their 3-2 win over Bury.

I have to confess at half-time on Saturday, with the Blues 2-1 behind and down to 10 men with Mike Jones having been sent off, I said to some of my friends: “I think that’s our season over, lads.” At the time, I think 99 per cent of the regular Carlisle supporters would have agreed with me - but how wrong we were!

It’s quite rare to get any kind of result when you are a man down and trailing, so to get a win is quite incredible.

Keeper Adam Collin put in a superb performance and I think you have to give full credit to boss Steven Pressley, assistant manager Tommy Wright and the rest of the coaching staff for the way they organised the team.

That result left the Blues just a point outside the play-off places and they stayed there, ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Stevenage, with Newport and Swindon playing out a goalless draw and relegation strugglers Macclesfield picking up a 3-2 home win over Exeter on Tuesday night.

That victory for the Silkmen came, despite Carlisle-born striker Ryan Bowman netting twice for the Grecians. Those midweek results go to show what this crazy division has been like this term. 

It sounds like Pressley has a few injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s game, even young winger Liam McCarron looks like he is going to be sidelined for a while, as well as some of the senior players, but this is where having a good squad counts.

In contrast, if you look at the quality on the respective benches of Manchester City and Tottenham for their Champions League quarter-final first-leg tie on Tuesday, both sides seemed to have a real plethora of talent. That goes to show the difference between the teams at the top of English football and those in League One and League Two.

I have mentioned him before but Callum O’Hare was excellent again against Ryan Lowe’s team. With the amount of work that he got through, he deserved his goal.

O’Hare joined Carlisle on loan from Championship outfit Aston Villa in January until the end of the season and, if you look at the lower-leagues, teams are almost split into two halves of the season.

You bring players in during the summer and, like the Blues did with Ashley Nadesan, you can only bring the players in on half-season deals or - in the case of Jerry Yates’ signing - you need to leave the parent club with the option to recall their player.

It can then take some of the January additions a little while to settle into the squad and, hopefully, O’Hare has done that now and he can help to ensure the Cumbrians have a positive end to the current campaign.

Dino Maamria’s Stevenage side are 12th in the league ahead of their clash with United, themselves five points outside the top seven with five fixtures of the regular league season left to play. Boro are currently not out of the play-off race just yet.

They got a good result last Saturday at Grimsby, claiming a 2-0 victory, with Kurtis Guthrie getting both of their goals. They have been a bit inconsistent of late although, to be fair, that just makes them a typical side in the division.

If Carlisle can get anything against them, I think that will leave them in the play-off pack, whereas a Stevenage defeat will probably mean they are out of the promotion race.