A piece of broadcasting history was made at Carlisle United some 26 years ago this week when the television cameras descended on Brunton Park.

United had featured on Match of the Day and other highlights shows before, but never, until November 26, 1995, had a Blues home game been screened live.

That all changed with the autumn visit of Wycombe Wanderers in Division Two, with Border TV televising the game at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon.

“Sky recently talked about covering a match at Brunton Park, but as the local television station we were anxious that we should be the first,” said Neil Robinson, Border’s controller of programmes.

“We chose Wycombe because they kept Carlisle down two seasons ago, and this is a chance for United to gain revenge.”

Border had also presided over coverage of United’s 1995 Auto-Windscreens Shield final. Seven months on, former CFM DJ John Meyers fronted the coverage of the Wycombe encounter, with Dave Roberts providing the commentary.

United, it’s fair to say, were not in vintage form as they prepared for their day in the spotlight. Mick Wadsworth’s team had won once in their previous nine games in all competitions and faced a Wycombe side sitting fourth in the third tier.

It had not been the surge up the table many had expected after the previous season’s promotion. Carlisle’s defence had been weakened by the controversial departure of Derek Mountfield, Everton loanee Neil Moore a temporary addition before Wadsworth snapped up Sunderland veteran Gary Bennett.

At the other end, United’s attack was pepped up by the loan signing of Preston’s Allan Smart, who took the place of Tony Philliskirk as the latter returned to Burnley after making modest impact.

Smart was handed his debut and Bennett his home debut against Alan Smith’s Chairboys, who had gone up from the fourth tier in 1994 after beating the Blues in the play-off semi-finals. In the event, though, it was some of United’s more established favourites who came to the fore on people’s television screens (along with the building site that was the old Scratching Pen, which was in the process of being converted into a new all-seat East Stand).

News and Star: Warren Aspinall on the attackWarren Aspinall on the attack

The coverage was certainly not short of action as Carlisle swept into an early and contentious lead. Only four minutes had passed when Darren Edmondson’s cross was helped on by Steve Hayward to Warren Aspinall, who looked yards offside when he received the ball.

The flag, though, stayed down as ‘Sumo’ shifted inside a defender and rifled past keeper Paul Hyde to put the Blues in front.

Wycombe protested vehemently to ref Terry Lunt as their 14-game unbeaten league run was immediately on the rocks – and they had cause to curse further when, just four minutes later, Carlisle made it two.

This time David Currie was the provider with an inswinging corner, and Dean Walling – back from suspension – leapt with trademark timing to head home.

United’s goals burst was a treat for viewers, but Wycombe threatened to change the plot when pulling one back in the 14th minute. Miguel De Souza dispossessed Edmondson before racing forward to feed Dave Carroll, who shot past Tony Caig.

News and Star: United defend a Wycombe attackUnited defend a Wycombe attack

Carlisle, though, clearly had a taste for the TV limelight, for they went 3-1 ahead eight minutes on. The breathless start to the game continued as Hayward sent Smart into space on the right, and the new signing squared for captain David Reeves to tap home his 10th of the season.

The rest of proceedings were not quite as action-packed, Carlisle remaining in reasonable control without producing their best football. They did, though, add a fourth when Hyde upended Reeves in the box and the reliable Tony Gallimore stroked the penalty into the bottom right corner to make it 4-1.

Smart was substituted midway through the half to a warm ovation, while Aspinall kicked his way into ref Lunt’s notebook for booting the ball away. Wycombe were long since beaten, but did battle for a consolation goal, which came when Aspinall brought down Jason Cousins in the box. Carroll stepped up and his spot-kick narrowly beat the attempted save of Tony Caig, who was wearing a particularly lurid goalkeeper’s jersey.

News and Star: David Currie closes down a Wycombe defenderDavid Currie closes down a Wycombe defender

Carroll hit the woodwork late on, but United’s got their 4-2 victory in the can. It was a much-needed boost, as Wadsworth noted: “We deserved our luck because it was an excellent performance.

“Our general performance showed we shouldn’t be in this position in the league and now we have got to maintain some consistency.”

News and Star: David Reeves with his man of the match trophyDavid Reeves with his man of the match trophy

Bennett, the director of coaching added, had given the team a “calmness” at the back – but further turbulent times awaited the Blues. A couple of months after their TV date, Wadsworth was off – lured by an assistant manager role at Norwich City.

That left his No2 Mervyn Day in charge, and he was unable to prevent the Blues sliding to an underwhelming relegation. Chairman Michael Knighton had threatened to quit should the Blues ever reach the second tier – but that dream, like much else in that dramatic decade, was starting to look a little more remote.

United: Caig, Edmondson, Gallimore, Walling, Bennett, Hayward, Smart (Thorpe), Currie (Thomas), Reeves, Aspinall (Murray), Prokas.

Wycombe: Hyde, Rowbotham, Bell, Howard, Cousins, Brown (McGavin), Carroll, Patterson (Evans), De Souza, Garner (Clark), Farrell.

Crowd: 4,459.