Tranmere Rovers 2 Carlisle United 2: Carlisle United grabbed a point in the 98th minute of a hugely eventful and bad-tempered contest at Tranmere.

Sub Tobi Sho-Silva scored with virtually the last touch of the game to secure a 2-2 draw against hosts who had TWO men sent off.

Calum MacDonald and Kieron Morris both saw red for Micky Mellon's home side against the Blues.

But they still looked set to overcome the Cumbrians, Kane Hemmings and Elliott Nevitt scoring either side of an Omari Patrick effort at Prenton Park.

But then Sho-Silva headed home the rebound after Jordan Gibson had hit the post as United emerged with a dramatic point.

News and Star: Tobi Sho-Silva celebrates the late goalTobi Sho-Silva celebrates the late goal

There were also angry scenes during the game, as MacDonald's red card for a bad challenge on Kelvin Mellor led to a major flashpoint.

There was a huge melee and angry confrontations involving a host of players by the tunnel.

It saw six bookings - including both managers - amid a feiry contest in Birkenhead which lefet United 13 points above the relegation zone in 18th place.

Manager Simpson made three changes to his starting line-up, recalling defenders Mellor and Rod McDonald along with midfielder Danny Devine.

They replaced Joe Riley, Corey Whelan and Jack Armer, the latter omitted from the squad.

Morgan Feeney took the captain's armband while Gime Toure returned to the 18 for the first time since October and Jon Mellish moved into midfield.

News and Star: Morgan Feeney captained the BluesMorgan Feeney captained the Blues

Hosts Tranmere made two changes - Morris and Lee O'Connor coming in for Sam Foley and Chris Merrie, with ex-Blues defender Nathaniel Knight-Percival among the Wirral side's subs.

Neither side made much attacking headway in the early stages - but that changed in the 15th minute.

First, Carlisle saw an attack involving Gibson and Patrick break down.

Tranmere then swept down the right and got behind the Blues too easily as Josh Dacres-Cogley's cross found Hemmings in the six-yard box.

The striker - son of ex-United player Tony - fired home the simple finish.

News and Star: Tranmere's Kane Hemmings opens the scoringTranmere's Kane Hemmings opens the scoring

Tranmere then tried to build on their lead, with Morris testing Mark Howard when he met an inswinging Josh Hawkes cross, and Elliott Nevitt forcing a save from the keeper after taking on McDonald. 

Carlisle were unimpressive in the opening stages but came back at Tranmere on the 25-minute mark, keeper Joe Murphy just beating Gibson to a ball over the top, and defenders preventing Gibson and Mellish from converting rebounds. 

Hawkes went close from 25 yards for Mellon's side, before Carlisle carved out their best chance of the half when Patrick evaded challenges and then slipped in Kristian Dennis, who shot across goal and narrowly wide from the right of the box.

Another Blues foray down the left eventually saw the ball drop for Gibson at close range, but MacDonald denied the midfielder.

News and Star: Angry scenes as players clash after MacDonald's red cardAngry scenes as players clash after MacDonald's red card

MacDonald's next contribution sparked the game's major flashpoint, as he launched himself into a heavy challenge on Mellor.

Ref Breakspear deemed it worthy of a red card - to the home side's fury.

There then followed a huge, bad-tempered melee near the tunnel area, with most players and several subs involved as temperatures boiled over, MacDonald also confronting Blues physio Ross Goodwin and a steward taking a tumble.

Once the officials and stewards had restored order, Breakspear booked four players - Feeney, Simeu, Tom Davies and Hemmings - plus managers Simpson and Mellon.

Things eventually calmed down and got back under way, with Dennis denied an equaliser by a saving challenge from Davies.

Tranmere made a change at the break, Chris Merrie replacing Hawkes, as Carlisle tried to find a way back against the ten men.

Nevitt broke through early in the second half but his low cross went unrewarded.

Feeney then headed a Gibson cross over the bar at the other end.

News and Star: Patrick fires the equaliserPatrick fires the equaliser

But Carlisle then did find their way back on 55 minutes.

It came when Mellish battled against Lewis Warrington to win a corner, which Gibson played short to Patrick - who then burned past Merrie, cut into the box and fired into the top right corner.

It was the frontman's eighth goal of the season.

News and Star: Patrick and Dickenson celebrate Patrick and Dickenson celebrate

Tranmere then almost twice hit back to regain the lead - Feeney denying Hemmings, then Davies seeing a close-range header blocked.

Mellish then headed a Mellor cross wide as Carlisle looked to take the advantage against their depleted hosts.

United tried to spread play and stretch the home side, and aimed over a number of crosses to no avail.

And they were then hit by a 76th-minute sucker punch.

After Feeney had seen a header from a Gibson free-kick blocked, Tranmere cleared and Nevitt found himself in acres of space behind the retreating defence.

News and Star: Feeney in the thick of the actionFeeney in the thick of the action

He went clean through and slotted past Howard to restore the home side's lead.

Simpson responded by sending on Toure for Devine, with the hosts sending on Knight-Percival in an attempt to see out the victory.

Sho-Silva then came on for Simeu in United's next throw of the dice, with Morris firing over for Tranmere late on.

The Tranmere number seven then became the second home player to be dismissed - a straight red after a dangerous aerial challenge on McDonald, in the 90th minute.

Sho-Silva looked to have wasted United's last chance of a point when he sent a volley over the bar in the 95th minute.

The closing stages were extended as ref Breakspear went beyond the minimum six added minutes when the ball left the pitch and some Tranmere fans repeatedly booted it up the stand.

But that extra time ultimately benefited the away side as, after Gibson's 30-yarder came off the inside of the post, striker Sho-Silva was there to head home the rebound, sparking big celebrations among the away fans in the Cowshed end.

Tranmere: Murphy, Dacres-Cogley, MacDonald, Davies, Clarke, O’Connor, Warrington (Spearing 68), Morris, Hawkes (Merrie 46), Nevitt, Hemmings (Knight-Percival 85). Not used: Doohan, McManaman, Maynard, McPake.

Goals: Hemmings 15, Nevitt 76.

Booked: Davies, Hemmings, Mellon, Dacres-Cogley, Murphy. Sent off: MacDonald, Morris.

United: Howard, Mellor, McDonald, Feeney, Simeu (Sho-Silva 86), Mellish, Devine (Toure 78), Gibson, Dickenson, Patrick, Dennis. Not used: Norman, Riley, Whelan, Roberts, Omotoye.

Goals: Patrick 55, Sho-Silva 90.

Booked: Feeney, Simeu, Simpson, Mellor.

Ref: Charles Breakspear.