15 January 2022

Keith Millen hails Carlisle ‘desire’ after last-gasp leveller against Crawley

15 January 2022

Carlisle manager Keith Millen praised his side’s desire to fight until the very end to secure a stoppage-time 1-1 draw with Crawley.

Ashley Nadesan’s first-half effort seemingly sunk his former club before his missed penalty with 16 minutes left galvanised the hosts.

Lewis Alessandra came off the bench for his first appearance in two months to bag a dramatic late leveller at Brunton Park.

It would have been Town’s first win at the ground since 2012.

Millen said: “You get rewards when you keep going in games, that’s probably the best way to sum it up.

“We weren’t at our best for whatever reason. We never really got going from the start.

“The desire of the group and the willingness to keep going has reaped its rewards at the end there.

“The subs coming on have made a huge impact again which is great.

“For Lewis to come back from his injury and get a goal we’re really pleased.

“We’re pleased with the result there at the end but the performance wasn’t what we’ve come to expect in the past few weeks.

“It’s the sort of game we would have lost a few weeks ago.

“It’s generally if you take your chances you win the game in League Two so I was disappointed with how open we were in the game, we’ve not been like that for a while.

“Crawley exposed us in that respect and that’s something we need to look at and put right.”

Nadesan fired the visitors ahead in the 25 minute after James Tilley had hit the woodwork early on.

Carlisle stopper Mark Howard produced a good save to deny Nadesan a second.

After the break, Tilley was tripped in the box by Jack Armer before Nadeson blasted his spot-kick into the stands.

Glenn Morris produced a good save to keep Alessandra out before his stoppage-time header secured a point.

Head coach John Yems missed the game due to “personal reasons” and assistant Lee Bradbury said: “I thought the players were excellent in the way they applied themselves.

“It’s disappointing when you concede a 93rd-minute goal.

“We didn’t have much to do defensively. Glenn [Morris] made a good save just before that.

“They threw everything at us, you have to defend at this level and I think we done that. We switched off once and got punished.

“In hindsight it’s a good point but not when you’re 1-0 up with two minutes to go. We’re disappointed.

“The penalty miss was a big turning point.

“I thought we edged it but we didn’t quite get over the line.

“I think if we can play like that week in and week out then we can make the play-offs.

“The supporters who travelled up here can see the whole club’s pulling in the same direction. How far that can take us, who knows?”

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