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It's Day plight robbery.

DROP-FEARING Carlisle forced Blackpool into a real white knuckle ride to cling on as Second Division top dogs.

But a late and perhaps harsh penalty, followed by defender Linighan's second goal of the day, finally saw the Seasiders pressing on for promotion with their eighth win in nine unbeaten outings.

Carlisle can certainly curse Linighan. His only other Blackpool goal was a last gasp winner at Brunton Park on New Year's Day!

But Mervyn Day's Cumbrians, facing an instant return to Division Three after nine matches without a victory, could count themselves unfortunate.

Their bright and breezy start shocked a Blackpool side warned by boss Sam Allardyce to expect spoiling tactics from the relegation strugglers.

There was none of that as Carlisle went quickly ahead with Edmondson taking advantage of a blunder by Gouck to tee up Reeves to sweep in his 18th strike of the campaign.

And Carlisle could have wrapped it up as two drives by Hayward went close and tricky winger Thomas bobbled a clear chance across the goalface.

Blackpool mustered little in response until just before the break when Linighan's head splendidly guided a Mellon free kick through a crowded six-yard box.

They improved with the arrival of Philpott, a pounds 100,000 signing from Leicester on Friday, and sneaked ahead when keeper Elliott barged into Preece in chasing a short back pass and Quinn stroked in the spot kick.

Carlisle were still not dead and, when keeper Nixon failed to hold a vicious low free kick from Gallimore, he was mighty relieved that the rebound eluded three on-rushing Carlisle forwards.

But the game was up when Robinson, trying to clear a Preece header, succeeded only in sending the ball upwards where it bounced kindly for Linighan to underline his liking for Carlisle as opponents by nodding Blackpool's third.

BLACKPOOL: Nixon 7 - Bryan 6, Bradshaw 7, *LINIGHAN 8, Barlow 7 - Quinn 6, Mellon 6, Gouck 5 - Watson (wdrn) 5, Ellis 6, Preece 6. Sub: Philpott 7.

CARLISLE: Elliott 5 - Edmondson 7, Walling 6, Robinson 6, Bennett 5, Gallimore 6 - Aspinall (wdrn) 6, *HAYWARD 8 - Thomas 6, Currie 6, Reeves 6. Sub: Conway 6.

Ref: W Burns 7.
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Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Meadows, Keith
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Mar 24, 1996
Previous Article:STONE ME!; Steve puts skids under Liverpool.
Next Article:SCOTT FREE!; Lacklustre Sunderland steal late win.

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