Having somewhat distanced themselves from the drop zone in recent weeks, Carlisle United will look to continue their upwards trajectory when they take on mid-table Crawley Town this weekend. A run of three consecutive wins has seen the Blues leap from 23rd at the end of November, to their current position of 19th in the table.
Having taken nine points from their last trio of League Two outings, Carlisle have provided themselves with some breathing space at the bottom of the fourth tier. It means the Blues have taken as many wins from their previous three league fixtures, than they had managed in all 20 outings before. After keeping three consecutive clean sheets, should Carlisle achieve a shutout on Saturday, it will be the first time since March 2008 United have gone four games without conceding a goal.
Home advantage is something Carlisle have relied on this season, picking up 14 points during their matches at Brunton Park, compared to 11 when on the road. Hoping to continue that record when Crawley come to visit, they’ll be facing a side who are unbeaten in their previous four away matches in League Two.
Free from the threat of relegation, Crawley can spend the second half of the season looking to consolidate on their current midtable position, whilst dreaming of an unlikely, but not impossible playoff push. As one of the form sides in the division, John Yems’s team will feel confident of bridging the four-point gap between themselves and the top seven.
It’s seven seasons since Crawley last competed in League One, and if the Red Devils have any hopes of a return to the third tier, it is matches against sides below them that they’ll need to win. However, a cause for concern will be their woeful record against Saturday’s opponents, as Carlisle have won the previous three between the pair held at Brunton Park.
Crawley may struggle away to Carlisle, but they should have enough to snatch at least a point.