Mark blogs the limelight at trophy final!
As Carlisle United were celebrating an historic afternoon at the Home of
Football in the final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, our resident
blogger Mark Donnelly was reveling in a day he will never forget with
13,000 fellow Cumbrians.
A sense of déjà vu swept over me as I walked down Wembley Way on Sunday. Carlisle were again at Wembley, and 13,000 Cumbrians had travelled down to London to witness the occasion.
I arrived at Wembley at roughly 11am and enjoyed a fantastic lunch in the Great Hall. A few familiar faces were also in attendance, such as Zigor Aranalde and John Halpin.
I then took up my seat, but not before seeing ex-Blues Gary Madine and James Chester placing a cheeky bet!
The game kicked off shortly after, and Carlisle started the brightest.
Francois Zoko hit a tame effort at Simon Moore, before his header was tipped around the post after it looked to be flying in.
Carlisle did however take the lead. From the resulting corner Zoko headed it back across goal, where new dad Peter Murphy volleyed home a superb opener.
Brentford then created two chances of their own, but both times Sam Saunders fired slightly wide.
Carlisle went in ahead at the break, but Brentford would surely try and press after the interval.
It was Carlisle who started the second half brightest, and after Robbie Nielson’s mis-kick, James Berrett was gifted possession. He cut the ball back to Tom Taiwo, but his shot was tame and didn’t trouble the Brentford defence.
Brentford themselves were starting to create chances, and came very close to scoring. Jeffrey Schlupp had scored twice against Carlisle when they met in the league recently, and after beating Lubo Michalik, he saw his shot cannon back off the post.
Carlisle fans were beginning to get nervous.
Brentford were dealt a knockout blow shortly before full time. Toumani Diagouraga was shown a yellow card for a foul on Paddy Madden, before seeing a second yellow for a lunge on James Berrett.
This didn’t seem to affect Brentford, who continued to press. A series of corners and free kicks resulted in nothing.
They did however have a golden chance with seconds of injury time left. A Robbie Nielson cross was met by Leon Legge, but his header was tame and drifted hopelessly off target.
And after that the referee blew his whistle and there was pandemonium in the Carlisle stands. The fans then realised that Mr Salisbury had actually awarded Brentford a free kick, and they had to endure a few more seconds of torture!
The next time the referee did blow his whistle the Carlisle fans were cheering for the right reasons. Carlisle United had won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, and had dispelled the memories of last years dismal display against Southampton.
Peter Murphy, who’s two day old son was in attendance, deservedly received the MOTM award.
So it was Paul Thirlwell who climbed the steps to the royal box to lift the trophy. Brentford’s players could only look on in the hope they could ‘Do a Carlisle’ and come back to Wembley next season.
Carlisle can now call themselves the most successful team (two wins) and least successful team (four defeats) in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy!
Johnstone's. Bringing colour to the beautiful game.