A dramatic injury time goal from Jordan Palmer earned Carlisle City a 2-2 draw against Penrith AFC and an aggregate 6-5 win in their COVID Cup friendly double-header.
Palmer, from Shap, had initially seen a 91st minute shot deflected agonisingly wide late in yesterday’s second leg.
But during a frantic scramble from the resulting corner, he forced the ball home to give his manager – ex-Penrith boss Jim Nichols – the local bragging rights over opposite number and work colleague Dave Hewson.
City striker Rob McCartney, whose hat-trick had helped to give his side a 4-3 win in the first leg at Frenchfield Park eight days earlier, had continued where he left off as he fired the hosts in front at Gillford Park.
But Penrith’s Kingsley Grandison then scored two sublime goals – one with either foot – in the final six minutes of the first half to give the Blues an interval lead on the night.
There were chances for both sides in the second period, Penrith keeper Luke Miller making two good saves, while his opposite number Sam Henderson thwarted Max Brown and turned away a dipping volley from substitute Mikey Williamson.
Matty Story also shot wide for the visitors before Palmer struck at the death.
“We’ve just got to give credit to Carlisle City,” Hewson said during an honest post-match assessment. “They were were the better team over the two legs.”