News & Star column 31.12.20

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Congratulations to head coach Chris Beech on extending his contract with the Blues until the summer of 2022.

CUOSC welcome the stability this brings to the club amidst these Covid-stricken times for football.

United were in dire trouble and facing the real possibility of dropping out of the League when Beech took over just 13 months ago.

 But with hard work and some astute signings he has turned things around to get the Blues competing at the other end of the League Two table.

His honest approach has won over supporters and there is little doubt he deserves the chance to see how far he can take us.

Indeed, it was great to see the Blues sitting in the top three over Christmas, a position that exceeded most peoples’ pre-season expectations.

Now our promotion credentials are about to be given a severe examination.

 Early in the New Year we are facing a run of games against four of the fancied teams – Forest Green, Newport, Exeter and Cheltenham.

However, the Blues, despite a low playing budget, have already shown they have no reason to fear anyone.

 If we are still in the promotion picture through February Beech will be earning even more plaudits – and the contract extension will look an even wiser move.

It was disappointing to see Tuesday night’s match at Harrogate abandoned after just 10 minutes. But the pitch looked more like an ice-rink and the referee made the right decision.

Our Boxing Day 3-3 draw with Bolton at Brunton Park was also weather-affected. The ‘lucky’ 2000 fans allowed in had to brave gale force winds and driving rain. It wasn’t much fun for anyone, least of all the players.

It was suggested we threw away a three goal lead but more likely it was blown away in atrocious conditions.

CUOSC are continuing our Carlisle REUnited campaign as Covid-19 continues to have a major impact on football.

The aim is to raise funds and bring the fans and the club closer to together so that the Blues can come out of the pandemic in a strong position.

Our Face in the Crowd initiative is still proving popular while there is still time to support our Christmas raffle to win a signed and framed Mark Gillespie shirt (the draw is on January 2).

To find out more or to donate to Carlisle REUnited click