Harley inspires Grecians to hard-faught point
A Ryan Harley brace helped City to a creditable 2-2 at Carlisle.
After Craig Curran had given the hosts an early lead Harley struck twice midway through the first-half.
But Francios Zoko`s close range finish just before the break earned Carlisle a share of the points.
Paul Tisdale made two changes from Saturday`s victory at Charlton, Liam Sercombe and Billy Jones replacing James Dunne and the injured Richard Duffy.
Nearly 200 City fans made the trip north for the game, an incredible effort on a Tuesday night.
A journey that a few may have been regretting when City fell behind with only eight minutes on the clock. Zoko found space behind City`s defence and his cut back was confidently slotted home by Curran for the opening goal.
Five minutes later though talismanic midfielder Harley had City back level. He skilfully twisted his way into space and unleashed a precise shot from distance that glanced the post on its way past the keeper.
Just before the half hour mark the Grecians went in front. Defending a corner Harley cleared a goal bound effort off the line which prompted a swift counter attack from City, Tully`s initial cross was cleared but when the ball was delivered back into the area Harley, having ran the entire length of the field was on hand to put City in front.
Just as City seemed to be heading for a half-time lead Carlisle mustered a scrappy equaliser. A deep cross was headed back across goal by Curran and Zoko eventually the ball under enough control to stab it passed Ben Hamer.
The second-half didn`t quite live up to the frantic pace of the first and chances were far less frequent.
Paul Tisdale, with the confidence of back to back away wins behind his team, threw on Daniel Nardiello as an extra forward to try and force a winner, but it wasn`t to be.
City withstood some pressure in the final stages as the hosts chased the three points themselves but the game finished all square between two evenly matched sides.
That makes it seven points from three home games for City. With Ryan Harley back to his flamboyant best City are well placed in thirteenth to have a strong finish to the season.
Next up for City are two home games, Hartlepool are the visitors on Saturday before Tranmere visit SJP next Tuesday.
City: Hamer, Tully Archibald-Henville, Taylor, Jones (Nardiello), Golbourne, Sercombe, Noble (Cozic), Harley, Cureton, O`Flynn (Dunne)
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