Reggie Lambe, the Carlisle United midfielder, said he and his team-mates are “staying positive” after losing ground in pursuit of a spot in the Sky Bet League Two play-offs at the weekend.
Carlisle dropped two precious points on their home turf at Brunton Park after being held to a 1-1 draw by Colchester United on Saturday.
Carlisle are thirteenth in the standings, ten points adrift of the fourth and final play-off spot, heading into the business end of the season.
“We are dissatisfied with a draw and we need to be picking up maximum points because the playoffs is still within reach,” Lambe told The Royal Gazette. “But we have 14 games left so we’re staying positive.”
Lambe played an integral role in helping Carlisle earn a share of the spoils in his first appearance on the pitch in four outings.
The Bermuda captain entered the fray as a 66th-minute substitute and won a free kick after being brought down on a direct run that led to midfielder Jamie Devitt’s stunning 79th minute thunderbolt into the roof of the net.
The hosts grew into the game after soaking up some early pressure with forward Cole Stockton and midfielders Mike Jones and Kelvon Etuhu, the former Manchester City player, each having efforts saved.
But all of Carlisle’s hard work came undone just before the interval when Colchester winger Courtney Senior swept in a rebound off goalkeeper Jack Bonham, on loan from Brentford, during a counter attack that caught the hosts out of shape.
The game tightened up thereafter with both sides battling hard for control in midfield.
Devitt went close to grabbing an equaliser when his curling free kick struck the bar.
Apparently the visitors did not heed the warning as the midfielder scored his third goal in as many games to add parity to scoreline and salvage a point for the home side.
Both teams created late chances to secure all the points but were unable to capitalise.
Lambe and his team-mates are in action again on Tuesday away to fourth-placed Notts County at Meadow Lane.
“We have a difficult game on Tuesday night against a side that’s right up there in the mix so we will be looking to get a result there and hope it can give us the lift we need to make a late push,” Lambe said.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Nahki Wells came on as a late substitute in Burnley’s 1-0 away defeat by Swansea City in the Premier League.
The Bermuda striker entered the fray a minute before Ki Sung Yueng’s 82nd minute winner that extended Burnley’s winless run in the top flight to ten games.
Saturday’s cameo was Wells’s fourth appearance since joining the Clarets from top-flight rivals Huddersfield Town during the August transfer window.
It was also his first run out against Swansea since playing against them for Bradford City in the 2012-13 Football League Cup final at Wembley Stadium, which Bradford, then of League Two, lost 5-0.