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Managers in bust up during friendly as Carlisle player is sent off after claims he punched a Chester player

A footballer getting sent off in a pre-season friendly is a rather rare occurrence, but that wasn’t the case in Carlisle United’s match with Chester last night.

The Cumbrians’ Hallam Hope was shown a straight red card in what has been described as a controversial first half of what ended up being a goalless draw at the Deva Stadium.

The former Bury player accused of ‘swinging an arm’ or punching Chester’s Kevin Roberts, minutes prior to half time. Though some fans denied this happened.

As he made his way off the pitch, managers Steven Pressley and Anthony Johnson had a bust up in the dugouts during their heated discussion, as you can see in the video below.

Pressley later said he would be looking back at what happened before making any further comment.

He said, as quoted by the News & Star: “I just said to him at half time that a player of his experience couldn’t get involved in such a thing. We need to learn from that.”

“Obviously we’re disappointed with the sending off – I haven’t seen it as yet so I’ll not make comment.

“But it’s not something we needed at this time, especially at the top end of the pitch where we’re very thin.

“I’ll have a look at it. Hallam’s a very important player to us, but I’ll look over it in the next 24 hours and take the appropriate action if required.

“The outcome might well be that Hallam misses several games. I just hope the pre-season games count for them.”

Joint Chester manager Bernard Morley said after the match, as quoted by Cheshire Live: “I had a go at the lad coming off, I was bound to. Not only do you manage these players but they become your friends, some might think that’s not right.

“Kevin Roberts has been an unbelievable pro since he’s come in. The way he talks to players, the way he applies himself and gives them information. To be punched in a friendly is not right. At what stage do you get to in terms of your adrenaline to want to punch somebody in a friendly.

“If Kevin Roberts comes for him knee high and tries to end his career then I get the reaction, but it was from nothing. Then we had the sort of joke that they (Carlisle) had been boxing this week, whether Hope thinks he was still in the gym and can get away with throwing punches, I don’t know.

“It’s not acceptable. It’s not acceptable from us, it’s not acceptable for them and it spoiled a good game for Carlisle because in terms of me and Jonno watching from the outside, they were a good side. They moved the ball really well and asked massive questions of us but I thought we defended really well.”

Carlisle are currently waiting to hear back from the referee’s report before saying anything further or deciding any action on Hallam Hope.


After finding out that Carlisle United’s Hallam Hope got sent off in a pre-season friendly, fans took to give their reaction as well as mock the player – find out what they had to say on the next page.


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