Blues beat Harrogate in front of lowest ever crowd at Brunton Park

A crowd of just 716 were inside Brunton Park. Credit: PA

Carlisle United manager Paul Simpson was delighted with his sides performance as they defeated Harrogate Town 2-0 at Brunton Park.

Two goals from Jordan Gibson either side of the break was enough to separate the sides.

The winger scored his first as he followed up from a smart save by the Harrogate goalkeeper. He turned magnificently for his second as his quick feet found space in the box to slot home.

Speaking to Carlisle United following the match, manager Paul Simpson was delighted with a win and a clean sheet to go along with it.

He said: "I thought we showed really good control. When we had the ball I thought we were patient. Even in the second half when they put us under some pressure I still thought we showed some control as well. We didn’t panic and we stuck with the game and I thought there were some really strong individual performances.

The Blues recorded their first win since they defeated Burton Albion. Credit: PA

“Second half we kept trying and we kept passing and moving the ball. I thought Luke Plange was a real threat up front, Jordan Gibson absolutely worked his socks off and when he is working like that he is really effective for the team.

"I thought it was a really good performance from us, it is nice to get a win. That is the big thing for us, it seems a long time since we had that. It is a nice feeling and that will give everyone a bit of confidence to take into this little break we have got before the Charlton game."

Jordan Gibson was once again showing the form that earned him a player of the month nomination.

Simpson was delighted the performance shown by Gibson.

He said: "I talked after the game on Saturday about having a bit more desire to go and score and sprinting to go and get into the box. It is exactly what Gibson did, playing in an unfamiliar position at right wing back.

"With the personnel we had available I thought it was the right shape to go with tonight. I thought the second one he showed great composure, he really does have some ability. When his head is on it and he is working like he did tonight then he can be a real handful and he has got his reward with two goals.

“We knew that we needed to win 2-0 to go ahead of Harrogate, I believe that Accrington have to win 3-0, so it is out of our hands.

"The important thing for us tonight moving forward this season is we had a good performance and we got a win. I thank the 700 fans that actually did come tonight because I get why they wouldn’t have came tonight but there is hopefully some really exciting times ahead."

Youngsters Aran Fitzpatrick, Josh O'Brien and Romeo Park were all named on the bench for Paul Simpson's side. Simpson explains how the performance his young players showed in the Cumberland Cup match against Aspatria earned them a spot on the bench for the match against Harrogate.

He said: “I think so yeah, that was a late call with Sean Maguire going down with the sickness bug. In a way when I said they didn’t earn it after the way they went about the Barnsley game, I thought the way they went about it against Aspatria they deserved that opportunity.

"I didn’t feel as though there was a chance to get them on tonight but I wanted to win the game a minimum of 2-0 tonight so I didn’t want to take any chances. Unfortunately those lads didn’t get an opportunity but they have got a shirt number now and if they don’t use it again they have got something as a keep sake.

The Blues now have a gap between fixtures when they next take on Charlton Athletic at Brunton Park.

Attention now turns to the match against Charlton Athletic for Paul Simpson's side. Credit: PA

Simpson is looking forward to having some extra time on the training pitch with his players.

He said: “It is really good to go into off the back of a win. It is a working week for us and we are going to use the opportunity to work, if we can. With the amount of rain we have had I am not sure where we are going to be able to go.

"Thursday and Friday will definitely be work days and probably Saturday as well. Then we start building up for the next game.

"All of the talk is it is going to be an exciting day against Charlton so hopefully we can get a group of players together who are going to rise to the occasion and put on a performance for what will hopefully be a real celebration day."

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