Carlisle 2-1 Crawley: New-look Carlisle win opener at Brunton Park
Last Updated: 03/08/19 7:32pm
First-half goals from Harry McKirdy and Stefan Scougall earned new-look Carlisle a 2-1 win against Crawley.
Bez Lubala grabbed a goal for Crawley in between and the visitors had second-half chances, but even with six minutes of added time they were unable to prise open the home defence.
Crawley had cause to rue an early close-range miss by Panutche Camara when Carlisle grabbed a sixth-minute lead through former Aston Villa forward McKirdy.
Nathan Thomas cut in from the right and his curling shot produced a brilliant save from Glenn Morris, but as the ball spun free, McKirdy was on hand to nod home from inside the six-yard box.
The visitors got back on level terms in the 16th minute when Lubala shook off a challenge and cut in from the left before firing a low shot through the legs of Carlisle goalkeeper Adam Collin.
The Cumbrians regained the lead in the 32nd minute and again the goal stemmed from good work on the right of the area by Thomas, whose firmly-driven shot could only be parried by the diving Morris. Scougall pounced on the rebound to hammer the ball high into the net.
Thomas very nearly had one for himself with a wicked left-foot shot that flew inches wide, but Crawley came into the game in the second half and Collin had to be at his best to claw away an effort from Camara then get across his line to block the follow-up.
As Crawley's frustrations grew, their head coach Daniele Cioffi was shown a yellow card by referee James Oldham after words from the bench.
Crawley defender Lewis Young was sent-off in the dying seconds of added time for violent conduct.