Match report: Carlisle City 2 AFC Blackpool 3

Carlisle City FC
Carlisle City FC
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AFC Blackpool came back from Cumbria with all three points in a vital encounter to keep their play-off hopes alive.

READ MORE: Big fundraiser follows massive win for AFC Blackpool
Dave Worthington had a strong squad and they took the lead in the sixth minute, when Alex Caunce headed home a free-kick.

Kit Gregory shot just over the bar and home keeper Michael Ballantyine made a couple of saves, first from Billy McKenna and then from Ben Duffield’s point-blank header, as AFC dominated the early stages.

The home side were continually being caught offside and Gregory went close again but his shot was too high.

With their first shot on target City equalised in the 40th minute through debutant Thomas Hickey.

The game was turned on its head in the second half as the home side dominated and took the lead when Kyle Armstrong slotted home his penalty kick.

The home side looked to increase their lead and Callum Kirkland made a couple of vital point-blank saves to keep AFC in the game.

Dave Worthingon brought on Conah Bishop and Jack Williams, while Matt Cassidy was pushed forward from defence. All three subs were used as Jamie Nay was replaced by Fran Donaghy.

With time running out, AFC knew that they had to win to stand any chance of reaching the play-offs and they stormed forward looking for the equaliser.

And in the 80th minute Cassidy’s long range shot beat Ballantyine to make it 2-2.

Winger Carnan Dawson saw excellent free-kicks just miss as AFC continued to pour forward.

Another Dawson free-kick curled and dipped, rebounding back off the crossbar with Ballantyne beaten but just eluded Duffield.

Dawson was rewarded in added time, when his corner was headed home by captain Danny Pickering to send the small band of loud and colourful AFC fans wild and ensure the long drive back down the M6 was a pleasant one

Up next is Cheadle Town at home on Saturday (3pm). The game is also a fundraiser for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, a charity close to the heart of Jamie Nay and his family as his son receives vital treatment there. There will be a bouncy castle on the day.

AFC Blackpool: Kirkland, Nay, Betteridge, Cassidy, Caunce, Pickering, McKenna, Hargreaves, Duffield, Gregory, Dawson; subs: Bishop, Fishwick, Williams, Baird, Taylor.