Stevenage 2 Carlisle United 2: Carlisle fought back twice for a battling point on the road as Sean Maguire and Joe Garner struck at Stevenage.

Substitute Garner earned a dramatic draw against Steve Evans' high-fliers with a 90th minute header at the Lamex Stadium.

It came as the Cumbrians looked to be heading towards defeat after Jamie Reid's double, either side of a Sean Maguire strike, put the hosts on top.

But Garner's second goal in successive league games saw Paul Simpson's side pick up their first point away from home in the League One campaign.

Carlisle, who handed a first league start to Joshua Kayode since his deadline-day move, had scares in the second half with Carl Piergianni hitting the crossbar for Stevenage.

Blues keeper Jokull Andresson also made a series of outstanding saves to keep the Cumbrians in it - giving Garner the chance to be the late hero in front of 428 vocal travelling fans.

United boss Simpson handed Kayode a start in place of Luke Plange in the only change to Carlisle's previous league line-up.

It was Rotherham loanee Kayode's first league appearance for the Cumbrians since 2021, and his third league debut for the club.

Keeper Andresson made his third start against the club where he made three outings on loan last season.

News and Star: Sean Maguire scores United's first equaliserSean Maguire scores United's first equaliser (Image: Barbara Abbott)

Stevenage boss Evans, meanwhile, also made one change from their previous league side, with Louis Thompson coming into the side for Luther Wildin.

As United sought a first away win of the season against their third-placed hosts, Stevenage made the stronger start and dominated the opening exchanges.

Reid had an early sight of goal as Charlie McNeill caught Callum Guy on the ball, before Maguire almost closed down keeper Taye Ashby-Hammond at the other end.

Dan Sweeney strode out of defence before shooting wide from the edge of Carlisle's box, with Reid then missing the target from 25 yards.

But Stevenage then struck as United failed to deal with a Dan Butler free-kick, Reid running untracked onto Piergianni's flick as he poked the ball past Andresson.

Jordan Roberts was next to go close for Evans' side but Carlisle then hit back, when Jack Armer's long ball out of defence saw Ashby-Hammond hesitate as Maguire raced onto it.

News and Star: Sean MaguireSean Maguire (Image: Barbara Abbott)

The striker, behind the defence, declined to shoot first-time but then turned and saw his eventual effort spin off the keeper and loop into the net for his first goal for the Cumbrians.

The quick leveller was followed by a yellow card for home assistant boss Paul Raynor for his protests, the hosts having called unsuccessfully for offside. Carlisle grew further into the game, before ref Darren Drysdale called a drinks break in the 25th minute amid the sweltering conditions.

The official had further words with an irate Evans and Raynor before the restart, with McNeill shooting over for the hosts.

Later, an end-to-end spell saw Kayode play Jon Mellish in only for the defender fail to get the shooting chance under control, before Reid drew a good save with his legs by Andresson.

United survived a barrage of corners at the start of the second half, Stevenage having replaced McNeill with Kane Hemmings at the break, before Simpson made a triple change in the 56th minute, Alfie McCalmont, Terry Ablade and Garner replacing Jordan Gibson, Maguire and Kayode respectively.

The Blues had a major scare on the hour mark as home skipper Piergianni rose to meet a Butler corner, but saw his header hit the underside of the bar before the Blues scrambled it away.

News and Star: Joe Garner heads home late onJoe Garner heads home late on (Image: Barbara Abbott)

A further succession of corners put United under more real pressure, Andresson saving another Piergianni header, with Simpson's side pushed to the limit aerially.

Carlisle forced a rare corner as they looked to ease some of that pressure but Stevenage dealt with it and then swept upfield to regain the lead, Reid getting the better of Callum Guy to the right of the box before beating Andresson.

Andresson denied Reid his hat-trick after the home frontman battled past Mellish, while United believed they should have had a penalty when Sweeney fouled Ablade - but ref Drysdale felt the challenge was outside the box.

Moxon's free-kick whistled wide before Simpson sent on Luke Plange with his last throw of the attacking dice, the Cumbrians having failed to create much throughout the second half.

The hosts had a late third disallowed when Andresson spilled a free-kick and Piergianni prodded home, the offside flag denying Stevenage.

Moxon fired over for Carlisle from 22 yards after good work from sub Plange - but then United dramatically levelled in the 90th minute when Garner rose to head Moxon's corner towards goal - Ashby-Hammond diving to claw it out, but the assistant referee indicating it had crossed the line.

News and Star: United's fans in vocal mood at the end of the gameUnited's fans in vocal mood at the end of the game (Image: Barbara Abbott)

There was jubilation in the away end but more defending for Carlisle to do, as Andresson superbly kept out a header from Stevenage sub Elliott List.

United then survived late pressure in eight added minutes to take a hard-earned point home.

Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond, Butler, N Thompson, Piergianni, Sweeney, Freeman, Burns, L Thompson (B Thompson 79), Roberts, Reid (List 90), McNeill (Hemmings 46). Not used: Mitchell, MacDonald, White, Neal.

Goals: Reid 15, 74.

Booked: Raynor (asst mgr), McNeill, Roberts.

United: Andresson, Lavelle, Huntington, Mellish, Back, Armer, Guy (Plange 84), Moxon, Gibson (McCalmont 56), Maguire (Ablade 56), Kayode (Garner 56). Not used: Holy, Whelan, Robinson.

Goals: Maguire 20, Garner 90.

Booked: Gibson, Guy.

Ref: Darren Drysdale.

Crowd: 4,228 (428 United fans).