Carlisle 3 Hartlepool Utd 3: Memorable comeback as Pools finish season in style

Hartlepool, in their staggeringly bright new away strip, take on Carlisle today
Hartlepool, in their staggeringly bright new away strip, take on Carlisle today

HARTLEPOOL United came back from 3-0 down at half-time to grab a point away at Carlisle United to finish a memorable season in style.

Ronnie Moore’s side had gone into the break trailing thanks to goals from Kyle Dempsey, Steven Rigg and Jason Kennedy in the space of 12 first half minutes.

But they came out a different side and fought back to gain a deserved point at Brunton Park in front of 2,000 travelling supporters.

Hundreds had dressed in Bob Marley-inspired reggae costumes to mark the last away game tradition.

And they were rewarded thanks to goals from Michael Duckworth and a Jordan Hugill double.

There was a bizarre sight before the match as Pools boss Ronnie Moore took to the field - complete with rasta wig - to clap the travelling away supporters.

It isn’t often you see a manager doing a pre-match lap of honour but it just showed the strength of feeling between Moore and the Pools fans.

The rain was teaming down at Brunton Park as both sides looked to gain the upper hand.

Carlisle - who named former Pools players Antony Sweeney, Nathan Buddle, Charlie Wyke and David Atkinson in their side - had the best of the early openings.

Scott Flinders palmed over a looping Jason Kennedy header before then blocking well from a deflected-Wyke effort from close range.

On-loan Preston North End striker Jordan Hugill should have at least tested Mark Gillespie in the home goal, but his header was skewed wide.

Then, with 25 minutes on the clock, Carlisle took the lead, their captain Kyle Dempsey curling an effort past the Pools stopper from 25-yards.

Flinders was unsighted as Dempsey was allowed too much time to take advantage from distance.

It got worse for Pools just past the half hour mark, Brad Potts whipped in a free-kick on the half hour mark to the back post where Steven Rigg volleyed it past Flinders.

Kennedy made it 3-0 shortly after some shocking defending from Moore’s side.

It came from a corner, Flinders came and missed the ball and Duckworth had to be alert to clear it off the line.

The ball fell to Kennedy and he headed home to make it 3-0.

Half-Time: Carlisle 3 Pools 0

Both sides made a change at half-time, with the injured Scott Fenwick hooked with Marlon Harewood coming on for what was likely to be his last appearance.

Meanwhile, Sweeney was replaced by Connor Hamnmell for the home side.

Harewood made an immediate impact, showing strength to play in Hugill, who struck a fierce shot from 20-yards that had Gillespie flying to his left to palm wide.

Nelson-Addy, who was making his first start for the club, was next to be subbed by Moore after 56 minutes.

Middlesbrough loanee Jordan Jones coming on in a bid to spark some life into a subdued Pools side.

The substitutes worked as Pools pressed Carlisle back, Harewood making a nuisance of himself up front.

The breakthrough came in the 63rd minute, Harewood played in Aaron Tshibola but his weak shot from the penalty spot was poor, the ball fell to Hugill though and he tapped it in from close range.

It got even better for Pools two minutes later, Michael Duckworth and Harewood exchanging passes before Duckworth rifled a 30-yard effort into the top corner to make it 3-2.

Tshibola then shanked an awful free-kick high over the crossbar midway through the second-half from a dangerous position.

Carlisle should have made it more comfortable for themselves but Neil Austin cleared off the line three times in the second-half - the acrobatic third attempt in the 84th minute the pick of the bunch.

The turnaround was complete with five minutes to go.

Tshibola and Harewood combined well on the edge of the area before the Reading loanee produced a perfect pass to the back post where Hugill tapped the ball in.

They could have won it late on but Franks failed to cross for Harewood in the box, the chance going missing as both sides settled for the draw.

It was an entertaining end to the most dramatic of seasons.

Full-Time: Carlisle 3 Pools 3

Carlisle: Gillespie, Brough, Atkinson, Buddle, Kennedy, Sweeney (Hammell, 45), Potts (Thirlwell, 74), Rigg (Taylor, 61), Dempsey (C), Wyke, Young.

Subs Not Used: Hanford, O’Hanlon, Douglas, Griffith.

Booked: None

Goal: Dempsey (25) Rigg (30), Kennedy (32)

Pools (4-4-2): Flinders (C), Austin, Bates, Harrison, Duckworth, Franks, Nelson-Addy (J. Jones, 56), Featherstone, Tshibola, Fenwick (Harewood, 45), Hugill

Subs Not Used: Maxted, Parnaby, Richards, Miller, Walker.

Booked: None

Goals: Hugill (63, 85), Duckworth (65)

Referee: Scott Mathieson

Attendance: 8,105 (Pools, 2,224)