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10 October 2018

Like you, Middle-Aged Diary is too much a Town fan not to have noted with pleasure that Ahkeem Rose made his first start last night; Brandon Buckley made his first appearance, as a substitute; and that Ollie Battersby, Rumarn Burrell and Mattie Pollock were included in the squad. Too much a fan not to have looked for reports on their performance even as I boycotted the game as a whole. Their achievements emphasise the need for a cup competition that is not distorted by and on behalf of the Premier League and the massive inequalities it imposes on the game.

Over to your feedback now. Yesterday I asked if Phil Jevons' goal at Anfield was really our greatest. No-one has taken me up directly on that but a couple of other goals have got mentioned, and it is always good to be reminded of Matt Tees (courtesy of Barry Whittleton):

Matt Tees header in the opener v Scunny in 1971-72 for me. The amazement of a 4-1 thumping of our local rivals and the majesty of the timing of the jump and power of the header. It is still my favourite picture from football (you know the one I mean): it captures it perfectly.

...and Neil Woods (remembered by Ian Jackson):

It was 1990, an evening game v Orient. We drew 2-2, and I don't know the order of the goals, but I seem to think Neil Woods equalised in the second half, quite late on. It was a goal in front of the Pontoon, made by neat passing and Woods' control down the left, a one-two with somebody into the box and a controlled finish. I remember telling my mate we might need that point later on in the season, and we did; we went up on goal difference.

Carlisle, we correctly anticipated last week, is too far to go to return empty-handed. But in every town and city, there'll always be the odd fan for whom the visit of the Mariners represents their only home game of the season. Last week it was Malcolm Carson:

I have supported the Mariners since the days of Tweedy and Briggs, through to the fabulous eras of Crosby, Chilton, Rafferty, Scott and Whitefoot (all too briefly). And then times on and off after that. I have lived in Carlisle for 27 years but have never switched allegiance. How could I?

So I set off to the visitors' entrance last Tuesday and joined the other 142. When we scored, the feeling of relief was palpable. I screamed and shouted like the best, just as I had when we got promoted in the mid-1950s from the third division north. Even better was the grit we showed. The support of my fellow 142 was incredible, and wonderfully mad. Michael Jolley, as your reporter said, got a great reception. He is good.

So I had a 20 minute walk across Rickerby Park back home but there was no doubting where my footballing love lies, however infuriating they may be. For those couple of hours it was as though I didn't live here in Carlisle, as much as I love the city.

Thanks Malcolm. May we all have many more such days.