Carlisle United like to do things the hard way, or so it seems. They were riding high in League Two earlier in the season with an automatic promotion place looking to be within their grasp, however following a lengthy slump in form they can consider themselves extremely lucky to still be in with a shout of promotion.
That is exactly where they find themselves however and following a dramatic victory at Exeter City on Saturday evening, the Cumbrians are now through to the play-off semi-finals. Keith Curle’s men desperately needed three points at St James’ Park to ensure that they finished in the top-seven although things didn’t go to plan when the visitors went a goal down in the ninth minute. This was the start of a dramatic encounter with two Carlisle penalties, a second Exeter goal and a header from Proctor ensuring that the Cumbrians set themselves up for another date with the Grecians next weekend.
The Cumbrians will once again make the lengthy journey to Devon a week on Thursday although it will be the Grecians who make the initial journey up to Brunton Park on Sunday. Exeter are 11/5 to head home with a win from this first-leg clash and 13/5 to negotiate the play-offs and climb into League One, however we believe the winner of this play-off will be facing Luton Town in the Wembley final and they would certainly take some beating.
The Hatters are 15/8 to make it through the play-offs and into the third tier, however they will certainly be in for a tough time against Blackpool. As for Carlisle United, their weekend win in Devon will have given them the edge over their semi-final opponents and one feels that it will be the Cumbrians who will be winging their way to Wembley for the play-off finals.