Carlisle 3 Hartlepool 2: Pools beaten by 10-man Cumbrians

Nathan Thomas.
Nathan Thomas.

Hartlepool United's six game unbeaten run came to an end at Brunton Park this afternoon, courtesy of a late Michael Raynes header for 10-man Carlisle.

Jabo Ibehre had given the hosts the lead in the opening 45 before a moment of madness from Shaun Miller saw the Blues reduced to 10-men before the hour.

Lewis Alessandra then netted his second goal in two games to level before full-back Danny Grainger scored a corker from 30 yards.

Padraig Amond scored his fifth of the campaign for 2-2 before Raynes rose highest to continue the Cumbrians unbeaten start to the League Two campaign.

On the selection front Liam Donnelly and Trevor Carson, back from international duty with Northern Ireland Under-21s and senior side respectively, came into the team. Adam Bartlett and Nicky Deverdics dropped out.

While it had been expected Donnelly would slot back into the centre of defence, he was deployed in a holding midfield role, adding yet another string to his bow.

After more than a month out with a knee problem picked up at Stevenage, Michael Woods returned to the Pools bench.

Pools continued where they left off away from home this season by dominating proceedings early on - Lewis Hawkins going close with a shot from the edge of the area and Nathan Thomas taking the paint off the foot of the post with a low, skidding effort soon after.

Against the run of play Carlisle took the lead, though.

With 22 minutes on the clock Jordan Richards was caught out with a long ball down Pools' right and Shaun Miller crossed to in to give Ibehre the easiest of finishes from eight yards.

Not fazed by dropping behind, Pools continued impress.

On the half hour Alessandra's cross from the left found the head of Padraig Amond, but the Irishman, who did well to get anything on it, could not guide goalwards.

Four minutes before the break Pools were almost caught out again. A free-kick was headed clear by Toto Nsiala, but it dropped to Miller on the edge of the area. The forward snapped at the effort and the powerful drive rose high over Carson's bar.

After the break Pools had the returning Carson to thank for preventing the deficit increasing to two, when he made one of his now customary jaw-dropping saves.

A ball in from the right found Jason Kennedy at the far post and from point blank range, somehow Carson managed to block. Ibehre smashed the rebound over.

Hope came in the form of a moment of madness from Miller just before the hour mark.

The forward needlessly handled the ball and gave ref Darren Bond no option but to send him to the stands.

And within minutes Pools were level. On 65 Alessandra reacted quickest in a crowded area to smash into the top right-hand corner of Mark Gillespie's net.

Pools' joy was short-lived, though. Within the blink of an eye Grainger was tee'd up from a needless free-kick, given away by Scott Harrison, and hammered in from 30 yards.

Hignett's men were level again though on 75 when Alessandra then turned provider, squaring for Amond to net from six yards.

Again, though a defensive lapse allowed the 10-man home side to edge in front. A corner from the left was nodded in by Raynes, despite the best efforts of the full-stretch Carson.

And despite a rally by Pools, who attempted to capitalise on Keith Curle going 4-5-0, that's the way it stayed.

The last action of note coming when Billy Paynter saw an added time effort chalked off.