Carlisle United 1 Swindon Town 1: Aaron Hayden headed his first league goal as Carlisle United fought back for a well-earned point against League Two leaders Swindon.

The defender nodded home an Elliot Watt corner in the 62nd minute as Chris Beech's side came from behind to extend their unbeaten run to five games.

Rarmani Edmonds-Green had shot Swindon in front in the first half but United responded well in the Brunton Park clash.

Beech's team remain 20th in the table, now 12 points above the relegation place, after keeping the Robins at bay in a gritty second half showing.

Swindon, who included ex-Blues duo Jerry Yates and Hallam Hope, were first to settle and opened the scoring in the 12th minute.

Defender Edmonds-Green had space in the box to fire home, Nathan Thomas on the line unable to prevent the ball finding the net, after United had struggled to clear a Paul Caddis corner.

Swindon held their lead through to half-time despite Carlisle improving midway through the opening 45 minutes.

After Edmonds-Green's opener, Eoin Doyle had a shot blocked and the tricky Diallang Jaiyesimi was denied by Adam Collin as United again failed to deal with a corner.

A better spell then saw Mike Jones see a shot deflected wide, before Harry McKirdy was superbly denied by visiting keeper Steven Benda.

McKirdy was fed by Thomas and an equaliser looked likely, but the Robins No1 managed to parry the shot.

United maintained their pressure with full debutant Callum Guy rifling wide when running onto a Jones flick.

Other chances were scarce, Watt seeing a free-kick blocked after Nick Anderton was fouled, while Richie Wellens' side finished the half strongly, Gethin Jones getting in the way of a Doyle shot and Hope unable to control a Doyle cross at close range.

Carlisle were forced into a substitution in first-half added time, McKirdy limping off after being on the receiving end of some strong challenges, and Omari Patrick coming on for his debut.

After the break, Michael Doughty curled a free-kick over the bar and United were short of chances until an attacking burst on the hour led to their leveller.

After Swindon survived one corner from the right, Watt's delivery from the other side saw keeper Benda stranded as Hayden rose to head in.

There were then boos and cheers from United fans as Hope, who had a quiet game on his return, was substituted by Swindon.

Hayden was denied by Benda from another header before Robins sub Admiral Muskwe went close at the other end.

Collin pushed over a Doyle shot but Swindon otherwise struggled to find a way through an obdurate Blues defence.

United, for whom Patrick led the line well, tried to grab a late winner with Thomas breaking well down the left but seeing his cross cleared, and a last-gasp corner spilled by Benda before Byron Webster glanced Watt's cross wide.

Guy and McKirdy had come into the side with Jack Bridge dropping to the bench, while Joshua Kayode was out of the squad through injury.

United: Collin, G Jones, Anderton, Webster, Hayden, M Jones, Watt, Guy (Charters 84), McKirdy (Patrick 45), Thomas, Alessandra (Bridge 78). Not used: Gray, Iredale, Loft, Hunt.

Swindon: Benda, Caddis, Fryers, Hunt, Edmonds-Green, Grant, Doughty, Jaiyesimi (Isgrove 90), Hope (Muskwe 66), Yates, Doyle (Woolery 90). Not used: McCormick, Broadbent, Palmer, Lyden.

Ref: Graham Salisbury.

Crowd: 4,620 (531 Swindon fans).