This game never really got going. Carlisle came with a plan tostifle and at times looked dangerous without really giving our keeper too many problems.
The start was very low key and the first chance fell to Harding who had come in from the left but he was leaning back as he shot and ballooned his shot over the bar.
Carlisle packed the midfield and at times Saints were struggling to overcome their opponents thus causing the game to be mainly a stuttering stop start type of game.
Chamberlain was effective at times with his pace causing a few moments of threat to the Carlisle back line, and Borrowdale got booked in the 20th minute for a foul on him which stopped Alex in full flow.
Moments later Rickie Lambert had a chance as he met a Harding cross but his shot was screwed wide, and the chance had gone.
Minutes later another chance came our way when we got a free kick approximately 25 yards out. Surprisingly Lambert left the kick to Guly but his effort was also screwed wide.
With the game having little real excitement it was almost half an hour before Davis had to do anything. A cross into our box was put behind by Jaidi for a corner.
The corner from Berrett was met by Michalik but his header was aimed close enough to Davis for him to make a comfortable save.
On 36 minutes though Dean Hammond burst forward and then fed a lovely pass to Guly who went down the line. Reaching the bye-line he crossed, and N’Guessan was on hand but with a fairly simple chance to shoot, and with the goal gaping, he managed to blaze the ball way over the bar.
Great move and chance wasted. The next chance came soon after though. Chamberlain again found himself on the line running forward until fouled by Borrowdale. Borrowdale kept arguing his case and received a second yellow to receive his marching orders. Presumably for dissent which proved costly.
The free- kick was headed goalwards by Fonte but the ball was collected by Collin. The pressure from Saints continued as Carlisle tried to reshuffle and Saints scored shortly afterwards.
Saints pressed forward through Chamberlain who found Lambert with a cross. The cross was met with a firm header which gave Collin no chance and Saints led with just a few minutes left to go till the break.
Straight after the goal Carlisle brought on Robson for Loy as they shuffled their remaining ten players to try to stay in the game.
Gary Abbott the Carlisle manager was reported to have been sent off at half-time for remonstrating with the officials in the tunnel. He sat the second half in the stands.
As the sides came out for the second half we could see Adam Lallana had come on for Chaplow. This may be because Chaplow had already been cautioned, and with a Carlisle player being sent off it may have been deemed prudent by Nigel Adkins.
The change of formation didn’t seem to make much difference though and two minutes after the re-start Lambert fired in a shot which was deflected straight into the arms of Collin.
Then Hammond tried his luck from distance but his shot flew narrowly over the bar.
Carlisle then showed that they were still likely to cause a threat when another corner from Berrett was met by Michalik. Davis again making the save without looking too concerned.
nigel Adkins kept shouting for Sainmts to use more width so carlisle were stretched but the general flow of the game remained the same slow stuttering style of the first half.
On 65 minutes with possibly the best move of the match Chamberlain broke quickly. He found Lallana who swiftly returned the ball in a glorious one two. Chamberlain bore down on goal and let fly but Collin made a the save from the firmly struck shot to thwart the youngster.
Saints were still struggling to make the game safe and in the 76th minute Barnard arrived to replace our scorer rickie Lambert. Forte then replaced N’Guessan for his home debut.
Four minutes of extra time were added on and at the final whistle a relieved crowd knew that the points were safely added to our haul. Not a good performance but at least Saints had continued with a much needed win.
With a lot of away fixtures looming and none looking easy Saints may have to show more of the stubbern determination necessary to obtain sufficient points to stay near the top of the league.
Nigel Adkins 7
may be nit picking but I don’t understand the reasoning behind some of his selections at times. We seem to have lost the strength in midfield lately and hope to see Schneiderlin return in the very near future.
Garry Abbott 6
Apparently sent off at half-time, Gary had his side set up in a way that blunted our attacking. Not a great deal of threat from his team however.