United boss Chris Beech gave us his reaction to the Tuesday night game shortly after full time at his post-match press conference.
“It’s frustrating that we’ve come away with nothing because you want efforts rewarded and the efforts were there,” he said. “Sometimes it happens like that. We’ll play in a game that we possibly don’t deserve to win from now until the end of the season and we’ll get three points.
“We’ve not had that in the 17 games I’ve been here now. We’ve had to earn every point and victory. When we went behind we made the changes to try and support the fact that we wanted to respond.
“The players didn’t give up, and I’m proud of how they reacted because even though we did get knocked we definitely didn’t lie down. They gave everything. With a little bit more quality, or, I don’t like using the word luck, but sometimes it just isn’t there.
“We definitely had the efforts, crosses, shots, free-kicks, corners, contacts, even the ones they headed out, they almost fell our way. Everything seemed a yard left or right of everybody on those tiny incidents and, like I say, sometimes it’s like that.
“Overall I’m really pleased with the bodies we had and the areas we played in, and how we constantly attacked Cheltenham. I would be very disappointed if that wasn’t the case, and that’s why I come away pleased that we were the team really pushing for at least the point we felt we deserved.”
On the way the home side picked up the tempo after the break, he commented: “I put a bit of pressure on the lads for the second half because we’re in the business of wanting points and we weren’t getting them.
“There was probably more football played tonight than a lot of our home games. I said at half-time don’t get sucked in to the passing sequence with no shot. I wanted the lads to put Cheltenham’s defence under more pressure, and they did.
“If you noticed in the second half we played two forward passes, Omari should score, we did it again, had another shot within the first 60 seconds of the second half. The lads set the tone, bar the throw-ins on the bounce in the corner in the last 10 minutes, we spent the majority of the half in their half.
“Towards the end, I even stuck Byron [Webster] up front, he probably had 10 minutes up there, which posed different problems for Cheltenham. They didn’t really pose any threats in our defensive third, so it’s just frustrating that we didn’t turn what we were doing into at least one goal.
“With the one we conceded, it’s a bit of a dead rubber that goal. It was a soft goal. It happened and of course, as I’ve said, on the half chances and the ins we have we didn’t seem to get that rub either.
“When Nathan Thomas got through, it was close, that, for a penalty. There were a lot of close decisions from the sides or sliding lads in, balls getting flashed across goal a lot. I want to see contacts and goals from these situations, but we didn’t get it.”
The InvestAcc man of the match award deservedly went to defender Byron Webster, who is bang in the middle of a good run of personal form.
“He’s been brilliant,” Beech said. “He leads, he speaks well, tries his best, recovers well and does professional things to make sure he’s available for every game.
“Even when he had a slight flare-up of a hamstring tendon, he made sure he had his physio with Dolly. That’s because he’s older and he knows his body. He had extra treatment on it, he’s played higher league football and he knows that helps.
“He did it to make sure he’s available again. He’s doing everything he can to make sure he plays for Carlisle and represents him and us like he does.
“Out on the left we made the switch to bring Jack Iredale on. Nick [Anderton] has recovered from injury and he looked a bit tired on one of those through balls. He passed it over to Aaron Hayden and I thought Nick should have dealt with it. But he’s a great lad, really honest, and I felt Jack could give us a bit of energy in that final 15 to 20 minutes. He actually got four or five good crosses in but we didn’t score off them.”
One of the talking points from the evening was the injury to Callum Guy, which saw him stretchered off the pitch.
“Nobody likes to see that,” he told us. “I’ve seen that now in two home games, two poor tackles, two players injured that represent Carlisle.
“I did ask the referees’ boss, I rang him on Saturday night about the tackles on Harry, because I feel it’s important they look to protect players that want to play and run and do the right things in terms of playing football.
“It’s the referee’s job to provide that protection, not mine. The lads put themselves in that arena, fair play, they give one hundred percent, put their bodies on the line, their lives on the line, in a way.
“It’s their body and for them to go all in like they did, sometimes they do need a bit of protection. I think Callum’s just come off on a rough tackle. He could have pulled out, but he’s at home in front of his fans so he’s not going to do that. He’s another honest lad, and that’s why we signed him. I hope the news is good and not too bad.”
On whether or not the Saturday night phone call to the referees’ head shed, he told us: “Yeah, one, Harry knows I care and that it’s important we try and protect them.
“Two, I think it’s good that anybody in the game’s trying to improve it for the good of the game. It’s not to gain an advantage for us, it’s to say let’s try and play on a level playing field, that’s all you can ask.
“You can understand our fans’ frustrations with the officials. At the end of the game I have total sympathy with them for that one. I’m not going to get myself in trouble. It’s part of football, sometimes you have to accept that, but from our perspective, to see two good football players not available to carry on in that game, and Harry on Saturday, is difficult to take when, can it be protected a little bit more?”
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