Carlisle 2-2 Leyton Orient: Honours even at Brunton Park
Last Updated: 02/03/16 7:26am
Defender Michael Raynes grabbed a late equaliser for Carlisle as they shared the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 draw with fellow play-off hopefuls Leyton Orient.
The Cumbrians had led at half-time through Macaulay Gillesphey's free-kick, but Orient came back strongly to lead through goals by Jay Simpson, his 23rd of the season, and Ollie Palmer before Raynes rescued a point for the home side.
The first clear-cut chance, in the 17th minute, led to Carlisle's opening goal. Jason Kennedy did well to rescue Jabo Ibehre's misplaced pass and was brought down just a couple of yards outside the box.
On-loan Newcastle youngster Gillesphey stepped up to fire the free-kick into the top left-hand corner, giving goalkeeper Alex Cisak no chance.
Charlie Wyke should have doubled Carlisle's lead a couple of minutes later when he raced through one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Cisak was out quickly to make the block as Wyke tried to slip the ball past him.
It was not the striker's night as he was forced off in the 25th minute, looking shaken after a heavy collision with a post as he tried to get his head on the end of a cross from the right.
Simpson had been kept quiet for much of the first half but he sounded an early warning to Carlisle after the break when Mark Ellis had to produce a timely tackle to prevent the striker getting his shot in.
Simpson's sharpness in the box gave Orient their 50th-minute leveller. The O's forward worked space with some clever footwork before drilling a low shot across Mark Gillespie to find the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
If Carlisle had the edge in the first half, Orient looked a different side after the interval and it was the pace of substitute Palmer that took him clear of the Cumbrians' defence. Palmer had time and room to coolly slip the ball past Gillespie and give his side a 72nd-minute lead.
There was still some fight in Carlisle, though, and Raynes headed their second goal in the 84th minute, getting on the end of a pinpoint Alex Gillead cross.