A direct free-kick, curled or blasted into the opposition net. It's always a lovely sight - and Carlisle United have had plenty fine exponents of the set-piece art down the years.

Whether by craft, placement or sheer, unadulterated violence, there are many examples of the Blues at their dead-ball best.

Here's a selection of some of the best on YouTube. Feel free to nominate any other favourites.

1. Simon Davey v Shrewsbury, May 5, 1994

This might well be the best free-kick goal ever seen at Brunton Park. It's certainly up there, not just for power and distance but the sheer "sod this" attitude of the taker.

A few moments after the kick is awarded, captain and midfielder Davey places the ball 40 or so yards out. There is no Shrewsbury wall because, well, come on, he's not going to shoot from there, is he?

Davey had no such intention either, thinking he would float it into the box for someone like Dean Walling to attack.

At some point between touching the sphere and preparing his run-up, though, something told the Welshman that it would be far better simply to approach the ball and leather it as hard as he could.

Davey takes eight steps back, touches his heels together, steps forward and launches his right foot at the ball, which flies like a comet past the flailing keeper.

The ball is still rising as it careers into the top corner. Davey stands, arm aloft, and backpedals comically through a swarm of disbelieving team-mates. Glorious.

2. Steve Hayward v Hartlepool, September 10, 1996

This was a game of two free-kicks, for at first United keeper Tony Caig was caught out by a whipped, long distance dipper from the Monkey Hangers.

Hayward's riposte, though, was supreme. United trailed until the 83rd minute, at which point they forced a free-kick some 25 yards out.

Owen Archdeacon hovered to the right of the ball, and Rod Thomas briefly rolled his foot onto it, but this was always going to be about Hayward, who placed the ball an inch or two further forward and then prepared a short approach.

He doesn't run at it. It's a few brief steps, a moment of acceleration and then quite the sweetest, clipped, curling finish into the top left corner.

It had the added bonus of teeing up a comeback victory - David Reeves got a late Blues second - at a ground where Carlisle always loved to win, and where there was a sizeable away following behind that goal.

Hayward and his team-mates in their Stobart deckchair colours Klinsmann-dived in front of them after his free-kick hit the net. Nice.

3. Damon Searle v Torquay, April 3, 1999

The goal scored by a certain red-shirted goalkeeper at the Waterworks End in May 1999 tends to smother the memory of everything else that happened in Carlisle's Division Three run-in that season.

And - granted - there wasn't much else in the way of goals and glory to celebrate in that tense relegation battle.

There was on the afternoon of April 3, though, and this free-kick was notable both for the splendid way it was scored and the identity of the man failing to keep it out.

Neville Southall, one of the world's best glovemen in his time, was 40 by the time his Football League career was entering its final few laps with Torquay.

He failed utterly to lay a glove on this left-footed treat from his fellow Welshman, Damon Searle.

Carlisle's left-back sent it purposefully into the left of the net. A flailing big Nev hardly got off the ground.

4. Ian Harte v Cheltenham, April 25, 2009

Throughout his career, Harte made the job of taking free-kicks an art form.

A set-piece awarded to any side containing the Irish star was tantamount to giving them a penalty.

Leeds fans enjoyed that truth the most but when Harte came to Carlisle for a season-and-a-bit, he certainly left his mark in this way too.

He scored a range of dead-ball beauties, notably strikes against Southampton and Brighton, but his first Blues goal might just go down as his most important.

It came on the penultimate day of the 2008/9 season, when Carlisle needed snookers to stay up.

Everything about the 19th-minute goal was sheer class. You can see Harte briefly running through the calculations as he lines up the opportunity, before the brain informs the left foot exactly what is required.

In time-honoured fashion, he approaches the ball with a horizontal run-up and sweeps it brilliantly inside the far post.

United were later pegged back and had to settle for a point: the margin of their League One survival.

5. Lubo Michalik v Hartlepool, September 28, 2010

With apologies to Hartlepool, they happened to be the victims again for one of the more pleasingly brutal and certainly longest-distance free-kicks ever scored by a Blues player.

It's one of the most fondly-remembered too - for those who were paying attention, that is.

It was easy to miss this one in real time at Victoria Park, so quickly did it happen: United's set-piece awarded a country mile from goal, and defenders Michalik and James Chester lurking around it.

The plan must have been swiftly concocted, for all of a sudden Chester nudges it forward and finds himself with an assist as the Blues' big Slovakian sets about it as though he's trying to launch the ball into the North Sea.

Michalik hits it with rifling power, it tears into the top corner of the Pools net, keeper Jake Kean is left on the deck on confusion, and United's celebrations occur near the halfway line, only a few yards back from where Lubo let fly.

6. Dave Symington v Scunthorpe, January 26, 2013

Symington had been on the pitch a couple of minutes when this free-kick was awarded. The west Cumbrian teenager was just about the least experienced player on the park.

There was, though, only one candidate to give it a go from this kind of distance.

The Blues youth product had spent hours on the training ground honing this technique, copying Cristiano Ronaldo's ball-striking, looking for the valve of the ball, flicking at it with the laced area of the boot.

When it came off, it was quite a sight, and there was less than nothing that Scunthorpe could do about it when this missile from the left of centre went on its glorious path into the net.

The footage below reminds you how startling it was. Listen to Sky's Rob Wotton as he sees it for the first time whilst trying to describe how Symington "grabbed a poooooeeeeeeeeeey... [pause] grabbed a point for Carlisle." You said it, Rob.

7. JP McGovern v Crawley, March 6, 2013

This one made Lubo's rocket resemble a tap-in, for McGovern was even further out when he showed off his canny skill and awareness in Sussex.

It wasn't a vintage United season by any means, but any Blues fans who made this long midweek trip were given a treat.

Not many players would have considered shooting from this sort of range. But when McGovern placed the ball, the brief sight of home keeper Paul Jones loitering from his line was more than enough.

The Scot did not just spy the chance - he executed it perfectly, sending a rising, swooping attempt high over Jones with just enough power and spin for it to skim the underside of the bar on its descent.

It was the last of McGovern's goals for Carlisle; let's be honest, how could he have followed that?


8. Danny Grainger v Dagenham & Redbridge, November 22, 2014

Grainger scored many a good goal for Carlisle - 34 was his overall tally - and that number included a number of excellent free-kicks.

Was his very first, though, also the best?

It might be less remembered than, say, his rocket against Hartlepool or other sweet set-pieces past Burton, Yeovil, Colchester and Oldham, because this one featured in a forgettable 4-2 defeat amid a barren toil of a Blues season.

As an exhibition of captain Grainger's left-footed technique, though, this consolation strike in the capital is right up there: a perfectly-weighted, curling effort from the centre to the right of the Daggers' goal, an acrobatic but totally futile dive from keeper Mark Cousins making it look all the better.

Nice one, skip.

9. Chris Lumsdon v Stevenage, May 14, 2005

You can keep your "goals". To hell with your "shots".

This - this is the real quiz. This is, by an enormous distance, the greatest set-piece not just in Carlisle United's history but in the entirety of association football.

The circumstances have long been grooved into the memories of Blues fans who were at Stoke for 2005's Conference play-off final: Magno Vieira's counter-attacking dribble, his failure to spot an open goal, Stevenage's despairing foul just outside the 'D'.

A free-kick, in the final moments. A chance to kill time? An opportunity to garnish a 1-0 victory with a last-minute second?

Don't be so totally ridiculous. Stevenage, bless them, put 10 men between ball and the goal. Hahahahaha.

Lumsdon ignores them all, also ignores the goalposts, and instead belts it miles to the left, far into the heights of the stand. He knows what is coming: the final whistle, which is blown just as the ball sets off on its long-haul flight.

Thousands of Blues celebrate. Lumsdon roars as if he's just scored. He hasn't. He's done something far, far better.