It was a disappointing afternoon for Pools at Victoria Park as a game that promised so much in the first half turned sour late in the match.
James Poole put Neale Cooper’s men ahead in the first half with Pools well on top but the visitors levelled after the break before Neil Austin picked up his second yellow card and former Pools’ man Matty Robson hit a late winner.
With the sun shining on Victoria Park and the fans in good voice, Pools started the game full of positivity.
Cooper’s men looked full of enthusiasm and ready to fight this afternoon for a second win in succession.
Peter Hartley was in fine form again, winning everything that Carlisle had to offer going forward for a spell, while James Poole and Steve Howard were both strong at the other end.
Jonathan Franks flicked a header at goal in the opening minutes after a cross in from Poole on the right, before Andy Monkhouse tried his luck with a turn and shot on the edge of the box, which went just wide of target.
The dominant Steve Howard, who won everything in the air this afternoon, got up to meet a Franks cross from this right but his strong header down was cleared before anyone could arrive to tap home.
Carlisle tested the Pools defence with some chances of their own; Danny Cadamarteri was their biggest threat using his presence to create space, while there were a couple of balls into the box from former Poolie Matty Robson and James Berrett.
But Cooper’s men were looking strong at the back as well, with Flinders supported well by his back line.
Paul Murray unleashed a lobbed effort from distance which pulled Mark Gillespie into action in the visiting goal – the Carlisle stopper reacted acrobatically to deny the Pools midfielder a goal against his former club.
Poole sent a volley just wide of the near post after good work by Monkhouse while Howard hit another long-distance volley at Gillespie as Pools continue to plug away.
And persistence paid off for Cooper’s side as a long kick upfield from Flinders found its way to Steve Howard who was bundled over on the edge of the area. But with the referee allowing the advantage, Poole continued to follow the ball to pick it up inside the box and slot home coolly past the keeper the make it 1-0.
Pools took their lead into the second half and will have been looking to build on a strong first-half display.
But it was Carlisle should have scored just after the break after a defensive slip allowed Jake Jervis through on goal. With Scott Flinders coming well outside of his area to close down, the tall striker had an empty goal to aim at. Fortunately for Pools, Jervis mis-kicked his effort and sent the ball horribly wide of goal.
Pools were soon back on the attack though and it was Andy Monkhouse causing the problems as he forced his way into the box to shoot on goal. Although his first effort was blocked, the winger picked up the rebound and hit another fierce effort at goal on the volley only to be denied by a great save from Gillespie.
The visitors had the ball in the back of the net on 65 minutes but, with Flinders clearly fouled in the build-up the referee was quick to blow his whistle to rule out the strike and play continued.
Steve Howard went desperately close to getting his first goal of his latest spell for Pools when he picked up a Neil Austin ball into the box, took a touch and fired at goal from a tight angle but his effort crashed against the crossbar and bounced back out.
And Pools were left to rue that chance just minutes later when Carlisle countered to equalise; a freekick into the area after Evan Horwood fouled Cadamarteri was blocked well initially by Flinders but Cadamarteri pounced to hit home the rebound to make it 1-1.
Things went from bad to worse moments later for Pools; with a foul on Steve Howard somehow allowed to pass, play continued up field and when Neil Austin challenged Matty Robson for the ball, the referee was quick to pull out his yellow card – Austin’s second of the game and Pools were reduced to ten men.
And with 85 minutes on the clock, former Pools man Robson pushed in from the left to fire home a powerful strike at the near post to put Carlisle United ahead.
Full Time: Pools 1 Carlisle United 2
Booked (Pools): Collins (13), Austin (72), Monkhouse (79)
Sent Off (Pools): Austin (77)
Booked (Carlisle United): Murphy (3)
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley (Baldwin 78), Horwood, Monkhouse, Sweeney, Murray, Franks (Lynch 66), Howard, Poole (James 88)
Subs Not Used: McHugh, Humphreys, Holden, Walton
Carlisle United: Gillespie, Simek, Robson, McGovern, Murphy (Livesey 90), Cadamarteri, Thirlwell, Edwards, Berrett, Jervis (Beck 58), Chantler
Collin, Madden, Potts, Symington, O’HalloranSubs Not Used: