Football: Carlisle raise a Glass to survival - Carlisle United 2 Plymouth Argyle 1

Struggle for League status: Goalkeeper's injury-time winner condemns Addison's side to Conference in thrilling finale

"IT FELL to me, wallop, goal, thank you very much." That was how Jimmy Glass, a journeyman goalkeeper who has spent most of the season playing for Swindon Town reserves, described the moment which will mean his name is never forgotten in Carlisle - or Scarborough.

Before Saturday's final game of the Third Division season Carlisle, who briefly led the old First Division 25 years ago, were at the very bottom of the Nationwide League. The catastrophe of relegation to the Conference loomed unless they could gain a better result than Scarborough, the only other team in danger of the drop.

Scarborough could only draw at home to Peterborough, and as the match at the McCain Stadium finished with about 10 minutes still to play at Brunton Park, the Carlisle fans knew that their team had to beat Plymouth to stay up.

As the game reached the 90th minute and the fourth official decreed that four minutes of injury time would be added, the score was 1-1. Lee Phillips had put Plymouth ahead with a well-taken first League goal and Carlisle had equalised with a long-range shot from their captain, David Brightwell. Argyle were keeping possession and the desperate home side looked as though they would need a miracle to conjure a winner. That was what they got.

With the referee, Frazer Stretton, looking at his watch, Carlisle won a corner. Graham Anthony's well-flighted kick found Scott Dobie at the near post. The forward's header was on target but James Dungey, the Plymouth keeper, clawed it out - only as far as Glass, who gleefully drove the ball into the net for the most dramatic and crucial winning goal in the Cumbrian club's 71-year Football League history.

"My first thought after I scored," a drained Glass said after the game, "was: `Oh my God, I'm about to get 2,000 people on top of me.' Then someone whacked me in the face and I got a nose bleed." He was mobbed by not just his team-mates but by hordes of ecstatic fans who rushed on to the pitch. As soon as they were back in the stands and Plymouth kicked off again, Stretton blew for full-time. Carlisle were safe - just.

"Football is a game of highs and lows," Nigel Pearson, Carlisle's director of football, said, "and that was the highest high I've ever experienced." Amazingly, three weeks ago the former Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough defender had never heard of Glass.

With one keeper sold on transfer deadline day and another injured, Carlisle were relying on Richard Knight, on loan from Derby, to wear the No 1 shirt. Then he was recalled by the Rams and Pearson had a problem: three games to play and no goalie.

Jimmy Quinn, the Swindon manager, came to the rescue by contacting Pearson and offering the services of Glass, who once had his kit sponsored for a season by Specsavers. The loan transfer was only made possible, however, by the Football League giving special permission for the deal to be done after the deadline.

Little did Pearson know that he was signing the player who would score such a vital goal. "He had started to go up for the corner before I waved him forward," the director of football said. "He can bask in the glory now. Jimmy Glass will go down in the history of this club."

Glass, who once scored a hat-trick playing as a striker in a friendly for Bournemouth, one of his previous clubs, may never play for Carlisle again as he is under contract at Swindon for another three years. "When I was asked to come here I didn't know what position they were in," he said. "When I found out I nearly turned round and went home again."

Carlisle's supporters - over 7,000 of whom turned out on Saturday - will be eternally grateful that he did not change his mind about joining their club. While the fans were singing their new hero's name long into the night, however, they were also loudly expressing hatred for the man they feel is to blame for their club's recent decline.

Michael Knighton was once an ambitious director of Manchester United. Seven years ago he opted for the lesser lights of Carlisle, but his ambitions were not dimmed.

After taking over as Carlisle's chairman, Knighton said he would turn them into one of the top clubs in the country within a decade. Instead, he led them to the brink of oblivion.

Threats to not just himself but to his family have made him think about quitting the club this summer, but Knighton still defends his achievements - especially last season's pounds 1.4m profit. "We've had seven fantastic years with not a dull moment," he said. "But of course the abuse hurts. I know I am the man who gets the grief, but I love them all. They can shout as much as they like but they turned up. That's what matters."

Knighton insisted that he "shared the fans' emotional involvement" and he had clearly enjoyed the game's dramatic conclusion as much as anyone. "That was history out there," he said. "It was folklore."

The chairman even claimed that divine intervention had saved the day. "I believe in the hand of God," he said. "He had a little wink at me in the 90th minute, and I thank him very much." The fans will be hoping that, if he stays, Knighton relies on more traditional methods of securing success next season.

Goals: Phillips (49) 0-1; Brightwell (62) 1-1; Glass (90) 2-1.

Carlisle United (3-4-3): Glass; Bowman, Whitehead, Brightwell; Hopper (Bass, 74), Anthony, Prokas, Searle (Clark, 72); Tracey (Bagshaw, 55), Stevens, Dobie.

Plymouth Argyle (4-4-2): Dungey; Ashton, Heathcote, Collins, Beswetherick; Phillips (Wotton, 82), Barlow, McCall (McGovern, 74), Gibbs (Bastow, 44); Crowe, Guinan.

Referee: F Stretton (Nottingham). Booked: Plymouth: Barlow.

Man of the match: Glass.

Attendance: 7,599.

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living