TWO second-half mistakes from Mark Gillespie inched Carlisle United closer to the League One relegation zone yesterday, but they will not cost the goalkeeper his place in Monday’s team.
The 21-year-old was at fault as Shrewsbury Town twice took the lead only for Lee Miller to drag them back with penalties.
Gillespie was caught under an over-hit Matt Richards’ free-kick, and then compounded his error in failing to come for a 77th-minute set-piece by letting a cross squirm through his grasp for Yado Mambo to tap in.
No wonder Adam Collin unwisely let his Twitter followers know on Thursday how frustrated he was to lose his place. Manager Greg Abbott, though, is determined to stand by the youngster.
“A young player’s made a couple of mistakes but he needs every bit of encouragement,” said the Carlisle manager. “He’s going to be a bloomin’ good goalkeeper and he’s playing Monday (at Sheffield United). He’s made a couple of mistakes and I’m not going to say any more about that.
“If we’re going to go with young players we’ve got to stick with them. It’s easy for me to say it’s all his fault but it ain’t his fault. He was the first person everybody went to (after the game) because they all love him.
“We want him to be successful. He’s made a couple of mistakes, so be it.”
It had been a fairly uneventful hour until Gillespie’s first error and Carlisle’s quick response enlivened it. A few speculative efforts had been all either goalkeeper had to worry about until then. Even Richards’ free-kick looked more like a miscued cross than a shot.
But within a minute Carlisle had gone down the other end, Luke Summerfield handling to gift Miller his first spot kick.
Shrewsbury’s second goal, with 13 minutes left, was a Cumbrian calamity, centre-back Mambo finally getting his reward for the initial confusion he caused at Richards’ latest delivery. Carlisle were perhaps fortunate referee Mark Haywood looked so favourably on it when Jon-Paul McGovern tumbled at the feet of goalkeeper Chris Weale after collecting impressive substitute Mathieu Manset’s pass.
Miller’s penalty was a repeat – again to Weale’s right – and although the goalkeeper guessed correctly this time, it was too well struck to keep out. Other results meant that the two points dropped move Carlisle one closer to the relegation zone but a seven-point cushion ought to be enough with six games to go.
CARLISLE UNITED: Gillespie; Simek, Livesey, O’Hanlon, Mustoe; McGovern, Berrett, Thirlwell (Noble 81), Robson (Symington 9); Miller, Beck (Manset 62). Subs (not used): Collin, Murphy, Loy, Potts.
Booked: Miller 73 Goals: Miller 65pen, 83pen
SHREWSBURY TOWN: Weale; Hurst, Jones (Goldson 20), Mambo, Jacobson; Taylor, Summerfield, McGinn, Richards; Morgan (Asante 73); Eaves. Subs (not used): Purdie, Parry, McAllister, Wildig, Anyon
Booked: Hurst 59, Summerfield 64, Weale 82, Taylor 90+4 Goals: Richards 63, Mambo 77
Referee: Mark Haywood Attendance: 4,472