A new series celebrating memorable Carlisle United goals begins with Asamoah's goal at Anfield in the 2015/16 League Cup...

It was once rumoured that, every so often in India, certain sections of the expressway network would be closed late at night so that a famous cricketer could take one of his expensive cars for a spin.

Having the run of the highways – all that freedom, all that space – is clearly a privilege afforded to a very special few.

It’s not something you hear of in this country; indeed, the only known equivalent happened on the night of September 23, 2015.

It was not so much the roads that had been vacated, but Liverpool’s defensive half of the pitch at Anfield. And it was not an illustrious batsman who had the unexpected freedom of the place, but a French midfielder with red hair styled into a shape that would later provoke comparisons with the chicken in the Nando’s logo.

Bastien Hery, the architect of Derek Asamoah’s goal at the Kop end in the League Cup third round, had the sort of room when attacking Liverpool’s penalty area that visiting teams are simply not supposed to have.

Think of the opponents who have been shut down within vague distance of that goal over the years. Think of the tiny number of players who have been given an access-all-areas pass when heading towards English football’s most famous stand.

Hery picked up that night’s golden ticket, and ran with it. It was devastatingly, ludicrously simple. The approach of his crimson thatch should have acted as a warning flare to Brendan Rodgers’ back four, but instead it was the perfect distraction.

Dejan Lovren attempted to jockey Hery, but, blinded by his barnet, failed to read his hips. With an instinctive shimmy, Carlisle’s summer signing – brought in to replace Huddersfield-bound Cumbrian Kyle Dempsey – had sent the Croat halfway across Stanley Park.

This had the effect of separating Liverpool’s back line as though they were practising good social distancing five years in advance. Lovren’s centre-half partner, Martin Skrtel, was further exposed on the edge of his box as this blue counter-attack progressed.

All Hery needed now was someone sufficiently fleet-footed in his outside lane…

Keith Curle infamously said in 2017 that he had pursued Bury’s Hallam Hope more ardently than any of his previous girlfriends. One hopes it does not intrude too heavily on this romantic yarn to remind the reader that, before Hope, Carlisle’s boss was set on Asamoah.

Having managed the Ghanaian at Chester many years earlier, Curle was quick to summon the striker to Cumbria upon his appointment in 2014. With his bustling runs, work-rate and, for a veteran player, impressive pace, Asamoah - fresh from a spell in South Korea - soon became a popular Brunton Park fixture.

After scoring a cluster of early goals to aid United’s survival battle, he and everyone else began 2015/16 in the considerable shade of Jabo Ibehre, whose prolific August may have resulted in monthly league honours had he played for someone in the south.

Early in that campaign Asamoah was a sometime starter, but he was absolutely central to Curle’s underdog strategy in an invigorating League Cup run. In a 2-1 win at QPR, he led the line in front of a four-man “box” midfield and chased down the Championship defenders like a terrier pursuing, well, anything it sees.

At Anfield, where Carlisle were playing for the first time since 1977, the old chap was asked to do Curle’s running again. Rodgers, under growing pressure, selected players such as Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Emre Can, Adam Lallana and Danny Ings to face fourth-tier guests. The latter headed Liverpool in front.

United, though, were feistily in the game, and 11 minutes after Ings’ goal came Asamoah’s moment. Hery’s pass, a glance with the side of his right foot, had perfect pace. It slipped across Asamoah’s body and the striker stooped and stretched just in time to thud it under the body of goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.

“The Kop is silent, the Kop is stationary, the Anfield Road End a wave of blue,” bellowed James Phillips on BBC Radio Cumbria. Blue smoke filled the air as Carlisle’s surging bank of supporters registered one of those sights they instantly knew they’d never forget.

Rodgers mentally cleared his diary. In the press box, those of a Cumbrian persuasion wondered how many exclamation marks were enough. We looked up just in time to see Carlisle’s 34-year-old goalscorer perform a piece of everyday gymnastics before going down on one knee.

A proposal of marriage to Hery would have been perfectly appropriate but Asamoah instead cocked an imaginary machine gun – and how magnificently Hery switched roles in this split-second, taking the invisible bullet and hurling himself onto the pitch with RADA technique.

On the same sacred grass where Dalglish and Keegan and Gerrard and Barnes had done their thing, we had the sweet sight of two Blues players taking the absolute rip. It doesn’t get much more beautiful than that, and if anything its romance increased because of its part in a classic tale of what might have been. Carlisle did not threaten Bogdan’s goal too often after that, but nor did Rodgers’ Reds endanger Mark Gillespie unduly across 120 minutes.

They took numerous attempts from distance but these elite players had the precision of a blindfolded man handed a malfunctioning paintball gun. Lovren: into the Kop. Substitute Philippe Coutinho: into the Kop. Everyone else: Kop.

Home fans were ducking and dodging. Curle’s players were running, battling, sweating. It went to penalties, where Gillespie saved from Coutinho and Lallana, but Bogdan denied Danny Grainger, Luke Joyce and the luckless Hery, who deserved a happier finale.

For Asamoah, though, United’s narrow defeat took no varnish from his night. His status as a Carlisle cult hero was now instantly, permanently protected. Someone had promised to have the striker’s face tattooed onto his backside. Afterwards, Asamoah revealed he was a Liverpool supporter.

“I didn’t see it go in,” he said of the goal that has been replayed a few thousand times since, “but I heard the roar and thought, ‘wow, I’ve done something special here’.” Indeed you did, Del. Indeed you did.