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1994/95 - Recovering from a first setback

Through September and into October

20 April 2020

United’s excellent start to the league campaign continued through September with a home win against Mansfield and an away win at Wigan which kept things chugging along quite nicely.

Yet again, both sides were fancied to do well in a division that was packed with a decent level of quality.

The game against the Stags was typical of the confidence flowing through Wadsworth’s blossoming side as they dominated from the first kick, with Thomas and Currie both going close just before the break.

Patience was the key, with the breakthrough coming when Rod Thomas smashed a flying volley into the roof of the net, courtesy of a lovely assist from David Currie.

To be fair to Mansfield, they got back into after the setback, and they picked United apart to claim an equaliser and to temporarily silence the buoyant home crowd.

But Carlisle were made of determined stuff, and their one-goal advantage was restored just 14 seconds after the game restarted when the hosts went straight for the jugular. Currie suddenly had only the keeper to beat and he made no mistake with a low, drilled finish.

It ended 2-1, making it six wins from seven league outings, and the impressive momentum continued to gather pace as a sizeable travelling Blue Army witnessed another excellent display at Springfield Park just a few days later.

The scene was set when local lad Darren Edmondson popped a header on the bounce home from close range, in front of the already celebrating fans, and some of the worst defending ever seen from the Latics gifted Carlisle a second, with David Reeves the beneficiary of a woefully under hit back pass.

The following midweek fixture brought a break from league action, with Premier League side Queen’s Park Rangers the visitors to Brunton Park for the second round of the Coca Cola Cup.

Visiting manager Gerry Francis was already rumoured to be a potential target for London rivals Spurs, but he brushed aside the speculation to bring a strong side up the M6 (note – he eventually made the switch to White Hart Lane just a few weeks later).

Just under 10,000 fans turned out for the Tuesday night game, and United gave as good as they got, despite going behind in the first half to a towering header from Les Ferdinand. Chances came and went for both sides, but it was QPR who took the slender lead into the second leg.

Back to the main action and United found themselves on the wrong end of a result in the league for the first time when they headed down the M1 to face Northampton Town.

David Reeves possibly didn’t know too much about his close-range equaliser, as the away side pulled level having gone behind in the first half, but there was no coming back when the Cobblers grabbed the lead again right in front of another big and now subdued away following.

Local rivals Darlington were the first team at Brunton Park in October and the hosts were given a tough task when David Currie was given his marching orders for an off-the-ball incident with the game still at nil-nil.

The afternoon got worse when Darlo took the lead, but the 10-men mounted a second half fightback, with the home crowd behind them every step of the way.

Tony Gallimore bagged a penalty in front of the Warwick to turn things up another notch, and the unlikely victory was sealed when Dean Walling got on the end of an inswinging free kick to leave the keeper with no chance.

It was still early days, but people were really starting to believe.

Watch the highlights from these games here:

We’ll have more from the 1994/95 promotion winning season later this week.

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