Hartlepool headed to Cumbria for their first game of 2008 but came away with nothing
Danny Wilson stuck with the same side that held Leyton Orient on Saturday. James Brown, Ben Clark and Joel Porter all took places on the bench after their recent injuries.
The opening chance went Carlisle’s way when Simon Hackney’s long range effort went just over the bar. Michael Nelson had an effort go over the bar down the other end as the game got going.
Ritchie Barker had a great chance midway through the half. Gary Liddle made space and got a good cross into the box but Barker’s header was well saved by the home keeper.
After a period of Carlisle pressure, Pools took the lead. Ian Moore made a good run into the box and unleashed a great effort on goal. Keiren Westwood pulled off a great save but the ball came out to Ritchie Humphreys who blasted the ball into the back of the net.
The lead didn’t last long and the Cumbrians equalised just before half time. Danny Carlton made the run down the left and crossed the ball over for Joe Garner who nodded the ball ome from 6 yards.
Carlisle could have had taken the lead when a defensive error allowed Danny Graham one on one with Jan Budtz but the big Dane made a good save and Pools held out until half time.
HT: Carlisle 1-1 Hartlepool
Just 20 seconds into the second half Pools had another good chance, the impressive Ritchie Humphreys made a good run down the left and played the ball across to Ritchie Barker but his shot was well saved by Westwood.
Pools did take the lead minutes later when Ian Moore made a great run down the wing and played the ball across to Ritchie Humphreys who tapped home his second of the game.
Carlisle made a substitution which changed the game on 66 minutes. Another defensive mix up saw Jeff Smith score with his first touch of the game.
Things went from bad to worse when Carlisle took the lead for the first time in the game. A long ball went straight through the Pools defence and Joe Garner brushed Nelson aside and slotted home.
Pools had an effort from Gary Liddle go way over the bar and Ritchie Barker had a strong header saved but the visitors looked unlikely to equalise.
Joe Garner could have had a third but his long range strike went just over the crossbar.
Carlisle did get a fourth deep into injury time, another long ball sent the Pools defence into meltdown and Simon Hackney ran through and sealed the win with a neat chip over Jan Budtz.
FT: Carlisle 4-2 Hartlepool
We’ve now lost lost our last seven away games in a row, that is totally unacceptable. I’m sick of hearing ‘We’ll be good when we get our best players back’ and ‘I’ll improve soon’, it’s getting embarrassing.
I’d been saying that 5 points over Christmas would be a good return but to come away with just 2 is very disappointing. We threw away the lead twice today and made so many defensive mistakes. Michael Nelson needs dropping, he is now a complete liability at the back and makes more mistakes than the inexperienced Antwi and Nolan combined.
We have 11 days until our next game and Danny Wilson needs to have a serious think about his squad. We need new players quickly, and not some rookie from Blackburn, we need quality brought in.
At the time of writing the other games haven’t finished but i dread to think where we’ll be in the table at 5 o’clock.
Hartlepool: Budtz, Elliott, Nelson, Antwi, Nolan, Foley (Brown 84), Sweeney, Liddle, Humphreys (Robson 85), Barker, Moore
Subs Not Used: Clark, Porter, Gibb
Carlisle United: Westwood, Raven, Aranalde, Bridge-Wilkinson, Livesey, Lumsdon, Graham (Smith 64), Carlton, Garner (Gall 90), Hackney, Keogh
Subs Not Used: Howarth, Murphy, Arnison