Carlisle United 2 (Buaben 29, Noble-pen 53)
Wolves 2 (Sako 8, Griffiths 41)
A Bonfire Night cracker at Brunton Park finished all square as a hard working Carlisle side showed their qualities to twice come from behind and take a point from second placed Wolves.
Leigh Griffiths returned in place of Björn Sigurdarson as the only change to the Wolves starting line-up.
Carlisle kicked-off and they made a few early inroads on the visiting defence without actually troubling Carl Ikeme. In the seventh minute Lee Evans was deemed to have fouled Prince Buaben outside the area and Danny Batth had to dive to head clear Conor Townsend’s free-kick.
A minute later Wolves were ahead. Griffiths, wide on the left, swept the ball inside into the path of Bakary Sako and he ran to the 18-yard line before powering a tremendous left-foot shot along the floor and into the corner of the net (pictured).
Griffiths then laid a ball into the path of James Henry who cut inside and hit a shot that struck a defender and ballooned to safety on the far side.
Max Ehmer, stationed on the 18-yard line, managed to divert a Sako cross behind for a corner with Griffiths waiting behind him for any slip.
Then the lively Henry intercepted a wayward Carlisle pass in midfield and released Griffiths who fired over from just outside the box.
On 20 minutes, Sako won a tackle in the centre-circle and beat a challenge as he sped towards the home area but the ball appeared to bobble as he took his shot and the result was a complete mis-kick and a throw in!
Richard Strearman ventured forward and took a return pass from Henry as he ran into the box but his shot was blocked by a defender.
After being under the cosh for much of the game, Carlisle drew level in the 29th minute as Buaben curled the ball beyond the outstretched fingers of Ikeme to the delight of the home support.
Wolves almost immediately regained the advantage as Sako struck the inside of the post from the edge of the area. Kevin Doyle pounced on the loose ball but his shot from an acute angle was brilliantly saved by Mark Gillespie in the home goal.
Henry dragged a shot wide of the far post after taking a return pass from Evans before Carlisle missed the chance of taking the lead.
Matty Robson’s cross from the left was helped on by Buaben to Liam Noble who held his head after putting the ball wide at the far post from close in.
Scott Golbourne slipped a pass inside to Sako and from a similar position to that from which he opened the scoring, this time the winger planted the ball into the arms of the keeper.
David Amoo had a shot deflected narrowly wide before Wolves retook the lead in the 41st minute. Golbourne’s cross from the left was headed against the post by Griffiths. The ball rolled along the line and hit the other post before rolling over the line.
Gillespie then saved at his near post from Griffiths who had been played in by Henry, and the half ended with a Sako free-kick from the right that he drove across the face of goal over the heads of his team-mates.
Half-time: Carlisle 1 Wolves 2
Five minutes after the restart, Ikeme had to have his wits about him as an angled shot from Amoo struck Golbourne and was going inside the near post until the keeper dived and turned it behind.
But Ikeme was beaten from the spot in the 53rd minute after Evans fouled Buaben in the box. After the Welsh midfielder had been booked, Noble slammed home the penalty. Evans was replaced by Jamie O‘Hara shortly afterwards.
Ikeme had to turn aside a fierce long range drive from Robson before, in the 73rd minute, Lewis Guy missed an absolute sitter as Amoo’s low cross reached him at the far post only for the Carlisle man to completely fluff his kick.
With 15 minutes remaining, Kenny Jackett changed his front men with Doyle and Griffiths being replaced by Sigurdarson and Jake Cassidy.
Both sides went close within the space of a few seconds in the 76th minute. Ikeme could only parry Amoo’s 25-yard shot and Buaben looked a certain scorer as he ran in on the loose ball only to put it wide.
Then Cassidy tried his luck from an acute angle on the right of the box. Gillespie appeared to get something on the ball but it went through him and rolled along the line before trickling out for a corner on the far side.
In the 88th minute Wolves almost grabbed a winner. Samuel Ricketts crossed and when O’Hara returned the ball into the middle it rolled in front of the line just needing a touch. It was only half cleared to Sako but his shot was blocked.
There could be no complaints though from the 1,335 Wolves supporters that made the long trip to Cumbria as Carlisle’s second-half showing fully merited the point they took from the game.
Carlisle: Gillespie, Townsend, Robson, Buaben, Amoo, Noble, Thirwell (capt), O’Hanlon, Ehmer, Guy (Symington 74), Chimbonda.
Unused subs: Livesey, Gillies, Potts, Beck, Fleming, Berrett.
Wolves: Ikeme, Ricketts, Golbourne, Davis, Batth, Stearman, Henry, Evans (O’Hara 56), Griffiths (Cassidy 75), Doyle (Sigurdarson 75), Sako.
Unused subs: Edwards, Forde, Ebanks-Landell, McCarey.
Booking: Evans (53 – foul).
Referee: S. Mathieson.
Attendance: 5,369 (1,335 away supporters).