Carlisle pounce on Smith gaffe
Cumbrians up to second as Graham strike defeats Forest
By James Dall. Last Updated: 03/03/08 9:52pm
Graham: Vital strike
An error by Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Paul Smith saw Carlisle United climb to second in League One as they claimed a 1-0 success at the City Ground.
Forest and The Cumbrians headed into Monday evening's encounter aware that victory would see one of them rise into the automatic promotion places.
And it was John Ward's men that ran out victors as they put in a steely defensive display with Danny Graham scoring the only goal of the game in the 71st minute.
Both sides began the game full of endeavour; however clear-cut chances were few and far between early on as the players struggled to find their range.
But Forest soon began to create, and Kris Commons threatened twice in a matter of minutes - striking an effort down the throat of goalkeeper Kieran Westwood before twisting on the edge of the area and firing wide.
Carlisle responded though, capitalising on a Kelvin Wilson error; but Grant Smith lacked composure as he blazed over from inside the area.
Goalscoring opportunities continued to present themselves, and the home side went mighty close when Julian Bennett's close-range header was expertly tipped over by Westwood in the 27th minute.
With the first half drawing to a close, Forest had a penalty appeal waved away by referee Martin Atkinson after Grant Holt appeared to make contact with Evan Horwood just inside the penalty area.
Five minutes into the second period Marc Bridge-Wilkinson was left with the his head in his hands when he lashed at thin air after the impressive David Raven had drilled a tantalising ball across the face of the goal.
And in the 71st minute Danny Graham put The Cumbrians ahead after goalkeeper Smith had burst out of his goal in an attempt to retrieve a loose ball only to fumble his claim, allowing Graham to finish expertly from a difficult angle.
Colin Calderwood's side rallied, but failed to test Westwood again until the 83rd minute when Commons' wicked free-kick was acrobatically parried away by the Forest shot-stopper.
Sky Bet League 1
|2||Milton Keynes Dons||46||91|
|3||Preston North End||46||89|