There is some history between Carlisle and Graham Westley pre-dating his short tenure at Deepdale. Last season the Carlisle boss accussed Westley and his charges of taking gamesmanship to the limit. This time it appeared to eb the reverse.
I have no idea why Abbot instructed his players to fall at evry opportunity feigning injury but it spoilt the game and if Westley is that bad (which I must admit he hasn't shown any eveidence that he is) they why did Carlisle feel the need to sttop to such a low level.
The most comical yet derisory moment came in the second half when Carlisle born Huntington went head to head with a Carlisle attacker. There was noting on either side when the visiting player went down clutching his head feigning injury. He was duly booked with not a bruise in sight.
Anyway onto the game or more to the point the lack of game. Westley likes to keep a settled side these days so Welsh who was suspended at the weekend was left out again. There were only two changes with Bailey Wright coming in at left back for the injured Sherrif and Amoo replacing the suspended Monakana. Both needn't have bothered.
The game was poor. Preston lacked any invention whilst Carlisle looked happy to sit back and soak up what little attacking Preston did but the game was determined by two mistakes as so often id the case when to very average sides play against each other.
The first mistake came early on. Laird swung in a corner from the left. Carlisle didn't have a man on the front post and it was either opportunism or a mis-kick from Laird (my guess is the latter). Anyway the ball headed to the near post and the visiting keeper scrambled across to keep the ball out. On the night it appeared that the ball had gone a significant ditance over the line. Replays confirm it was at least a foot if not more over the line. Frankly as well as playing without Wright and Amoo we could have done without the referee and the assistant for all the use they were.
Preston's attacking intent was summed up in that one corner int he first half. Westley will cling to the fact that an early goal could have changed the game but the reality is Preston are not good enough to break down a mid-table looking side.
The second moment of controversy came when Carlisle played a ball through the back line. The ball was heading away from goal but was being chased down by a Carlisle attacker. Simonsen had a number of options available to him with no immediate threat to goal. He's a footballer so obviously choose the most harmful option to his team by rushing out and taking the Carlisle man down. Garner converted the penalty.
Preston improved int he second half. That was msotly due to the fact that Lee Holmes came on at half time with Sodje joining him midway through the second half as Wright and Amoo departed. Sodje should have scored immediately after coming on but headed over.
Preston had the odd shot here and there with the keeper being relatively untroubled until the 94th minute. Substitute Graham Cummings managed to put his head to a Holmes cross giving Preston an equaliser. It was his first goal in league action for the club.
In fairness Preston deserved a point but no more after the officials made a horrible decision early on with the goal that never was. North End did not deserve to win due to the fact that they lacked creativity and drive. The fact that Carlisle spoilt the game with feigning injury at every opportunity was justly rewarded by a late equaliser. It was so sad to see bearing in mind that in the correspondingfixture last season there actually was a serious injury to a player.
Preston now travel to Stevenage where unless they show some marked improvement they will come away with very little on Saturday.