Pools lost out to the odd goal in five as Carlisle United twice came from behind to take all three points on an entertaining afternoon at The Vic.
Pools got off to a great start, taking the lead in the sixth minute of a highly entertaining first half. Jake Carroll whipped a corner in from the right which sailed to the far post where Carl Magnay forced his way through to send it back across goal. And waiting in the middle of the box to smash home a volley was Scott Harrison who made it 1-0 with a convincing finish. And Pools maintained a real positive approach to this afternoon’s game, looking a real threat every time they pressed a shaky Carlisle United defence. While the visitors looked uncertain at the back, they were very bright going forward as they made the Pools defenders battle hard throughout the first half. Carlisle responded well to going a goal behind and should have equalised within minutes of the opening goal; Michael Duckworth clearing a Bastien Hery effort off the line with an effort midfielder should really have scored with. Tom Miller sent a long throw deep into the Pools box which was smacked over the crossbar by big defender Trop Archibald-Henville. In a real end-to-end opening half, Pools were soon in action at the other end as Carl Magnay fed the ball through for Nicky Featherstone inside the area. The midfielder wriggled his way forward to send a low strike at goal but was denied by the feet of Mark Gillespie. Rakish Bingham, who was lively for Pools this afternoon, did really well to set up Featherstone for another attempt but his effort this time was deflected wide. Danny Grainger whipped in a lovely ball for the visitors which picked out in-form striker Jabo Ibehre just six yards out on goal but he sent the ball over the bar with a poor effort. Bingham was back on the ball shortly after, as he showed some fancy footwork to carve out a chance on the edge of the box, after back-heeling the ball into space for himself, his final shot went just wide with the help of the woodwork. Jason Kennedy was next up to try his luck in a fast-paced first half, seeing his first shot denied by Bartlett with another impressive point-blank save and then scuffing the rebound wide. The final real chance of the first half fell to skipper Billy Paynter; more good work by Bingham set up Woods who in turn played in Paynter but with the goal in his sights, the former Carlisle United man sent the effort wide of the far post. The half-time break gave both sides – and those watching – a chance to draw breath as it looked certain that there would be more action to come in the second half. Carlisle United were first to try their luck after the re-start, with Archibald-Henville heading over from an early corner. With just over ten minutes of the second half having been played, the visitors were level; a floated ball over the top found Ibehre waiting to pounce inside the box. And the busy striker made no mistake as he rose high to guide a header past Bartlett to make it 1-1 on 57 minutes. Rakish Bingham linked up well with second-half sub Ebby Nelson-Addy to set him running on goal and, after a pacy run by Nelson-Addy, his final shot went wide. Jake Carroll found himself in an unlikely position deep inside the box as Scott Fenwick crossed from the right but the full back saw his shot also go wide of target. Back at the opposite end of the pitch, Ibehre met a cross from the right to shoot from close range but Bartlett got down quickly to collect the shot. Pools won a freekick mid-way inside their own half and, in the build-up to it being taken there was a real tussle for position between Fenwick and Kennedy. And when Woods sent the ball into the box, Kennedy continued the battle, grabbing hold of Fenwick’s shirt as the striker looked to push forward. The referee awarded the spot kick and there was only one man in blue and white to take the penalty: Billy Paynter stepped up and showed real composure as he smashed the ball into the top left corner of the net to restore Pools’ lead. Again Carlisle showed a positive response to going behind and set off in search of an equaliser – and it came on 76 minutes. Tom Miller cut in from the right to curl a brilliant effort past Bartlett and into the top left hand corner of his net to make it 2-2. Andrew Boyce put a great block in on 84 minutes to deny the visitors a third goal, before Jake Carroll arrived to clear the danger as the visitors pressed hard for a winner. That third goal arrived on 85 minutes as Jabo Ibehre was in the right place to meet a ball in from the left to hit home from close range, putting Carlisle United ahead for the first time in the game. Pools had just five minutes - plus six of added time- remaining if they were to get even a point from this hectic match but it was the visitors who went closest, with another Bartlett save denying Carlisle a fourth of the afternoon deep in added time. And so Ronnie Moore's men lost out on an afternoon that had begun in such positive style, twice losing the lead to a bright and pacy Carlisle United side. Full Time: Pools 2 Carlisle United 3
Attendance: 4935 (887 Carlisle United) Pools: Bartlett, Duckworth, Harrison, Boyce, Carroll, Magnay (Nelson-Addy 46), Featherstone, Woods, Bingham, Paynter, Oates (Fenwick 63). Subs Not Used: Denton, Worley, Jones, Oyenuga, Smith. Carlisle United: Gillespie, Miller, Grainger, Joyce, Raynes, Hery (Dicker 86), Ibehre, Archibald-Henville, Rigg (Asamoah 68), Kennedy, McQueen (Thompson 77). Subs Not Used: Hanford, Brough, Sweeney, Balanta.