By Malcolm Nugent - CUOSC

The Paul Simpson bubble was finally burst on Tuesday when he suffered his first defeat since his Blues homecoming.

But his objective was never to win every game – it was always just to keep us in the Football League #whateverittakes. That is still the only thing that matters.

And despite a 2-1 home defeat against Newport there were enough positives to keep fans believing he can do just that.

We came back strongly in the second half to give the Welsh side a good run for their money but this time there was to be no injury-time heroics.

A couple of days earlier we battled bravely to beat Northampton, another team in the top three, so we have shown we can now compete with the best in the division - something old boss Keith Millen reckoned the players didn’t have the mindset for.

Things are looking much rosier under Simpson. But there’s still plenty of work to be done and we will need around ten points from the last ten games to be safe.

Next up is a big Cumbrian derby at Barrow on Saturday. The Blues have sold out their allocation of just over 600 tickets and, thanks to the Simpson buzz, we could have sold three times as many.

United have welcomed a new EFL crowd conduct campaign – ‘For Football’s Sake’ – which comes in response to a rise in the number of incidents at matches around the country this season.

Some recent home matches at Brunton Park have been disrupted by fans invading the pitch.

It is unacceptable behaviour, spoils the enjoyment for other supporters, and will have consequences. The fans involved will receive banning orders while the club risks being sanctioned or even fined by the football authorities.

The club are pleading with fans to keep off the pitch – ‘For Football’s Sake.’ Pleasingly, against Newport there were no invasions.

Meanwhile CUOSC want to thank fans for their generosity before the Northampton game. Just over £2,300 was raised for the Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal in a bucket collection held by representatives of the area’s Ukrainian and Polish communities.

The same game also illustrated the progress being made by the Blues, supported by CUSG (Carlisle United Supporters Groups) on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).

Nearly 200 guests from a mixture of cultures helped the club celebrate International Women’s Day.

Multi-Cultural Cumbria, Anti-Racist Cumbria, The Mosque, Cumbria Pride and Pride in North Cumbria and Women’s Panah were all represented.

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