Football - Kavanagh refuses to be downbeat

Carlisle manager Graham Kavanagh refused to be downbeat following his side's 2-1 home defeat to Carlisle even though they lost a chance to put some space between themselves and the relegation places.

PA Sport Report

Gillingham took the lead in the 44th minute when Cody McDonald put the Carlisle rearguard under pressure and Joe Pigott drilled a low shot past debutant goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from 15 yards.

Carlisle piled on the pressure in search of the equaliser, but left themselves short at the back allowing McDonald to profit from a weak Courtney Meppen-Walter back pass in the 88th minute, finding space to slip the ball wide of Pickford.

Carlisle's last-minute goal came from a Leon Legge header which flew in past his own keeper.

He admitted: "We dominated most of the game and the defeat was incredible and very cruel. We hit the post and bar and their keeper pulled off saves. They got away with three points while we are left scratching our heads and wondering why.

"I feel the lads should be rewarded for their effort and I am positive we can put it right. Their heads never dropped and overall we were the better team."

Kavanagh was pleased with the performances of his recently acquired on-loan players including Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford who impressed on his debut. "He was outstanding and will become a top class keeper," he said.

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