Barclays League -
Managers: Harry Gregg,
Final pos: 23rd
Player of the season: Malcolm Poskett
Avg attendance: 2236
Archie Stephens fires home -
v Burnley Jan 1988
|DOWN AMONGST THE DEAD MEN
The downward spiral of the previous two seasons continued as United maintained their freefall, finishing just one place above Newport County and the trapdoor to the Conference.
Fortunately for Carlisle, Newport were so dire that there was never any real danger of them finishing above United, their eventual haul of just 25 points leaving them fully 19 behind the Cumbrians.
Two Malcolm Poskett goals against the Welsh side at Somerton Park in April which helped Carlisle to a 2-1 win were the final nail in County's coffin. They were also Poskett's last goals for United as he retired at the end of the season. Thanks to him and his striking partner Brent Hetherington, who was a discovery from local football, goals were not too hard to come by, but United leaked 86 at the other end to ensure another season of dire under-achievement.
United banged in fourteen goals in their first five home games but away from home, they conceded four at Cardiff, five at Bolton and four each at Crewe and Wrexham as their hopes of climbing the table faded.
In November, Harry Gregg was given the sack and Clive Middlemass, a former Workington player, took over the reins. At least he was able to welcome back John Halpin after 11 months out with the second broken leg of his career. There was also the sight of a certain Dean Holdsworth in a United shirt. Holdsworth played four games on loan from Watford, scored once, and came very close to signing in the close-season. Instead, he went on to Brentford and then to Wimbledon, a fat salary and Premiership fame.