Carlisle United 1 Peterborough United 1: Jordan Gibson saved a point for Carlisle with almost the last kick of a controversial game.

The midfielder rifled home from outside the box in the 96th minute to send Brunton Park wild.

It cancelled out Ronnie Edwards' Posh opener - and most in the ground felt the comeback was justified.

That is because United failed to get what seemed a string of clear decisions as ref Scott Simpson denied them a host of strong penalty appeals in the second half.

He ignored Sean Maguire's claims as he appeared to be fouled by Edwards, then a shirt pull by Peter Kioso on Gibson was waved away - before an apparent handball by the same defender was deemed fair.

News and Star: Gibson salutes the crowd after his goalGibson salutes the crowd after his goal (Image: Ben Holmes)

Yet Carlisle fought to the end and remained outside the League One relegation zone thanks to Gibson's late show.

United boss Paul Simpson made three significant changes to his side for the 11th game of the league season.

Captain Paul Huntington was dropped to the bench alon with Luke Plange.

In came Alfie McCalmont and Joe Garner, while Tomas Holy replaced the suspended Jokull Andresson in goal.

News and Star: Tomas Holy was back in United's goalTomas Holy was back in United's goal (Image: Barbara Abbott)

That saw teenager Gabe Breeze step up to the bench, Jayden Harris also back among the substitutes.

Peterborough made two changes, Kioso back from suspension and Ryan De Havilland also returning to the side with Hector Kyprianou banned and Jadel Katongo dropping to the bench.

Carlisle began with a 4-1-3-2 formation which they later adapted to leave Garner as the lone centre-forward as Maguire moved to the right.

The visitors made a rapid start and should have been ahead inside two minutes, when Ricky-Jade Jones' cut-back from the left reached Jonson Clarke-Harris.

But he fired over the bar from a good position inside the box.

Captain Sam Lavelle then denied Clarke-Harris as he turned onto another opportunity as the visitors broke at speed.

Carlisle were denied the ball for long spells in the opening stages with Holy saving well from Jones, although the offside flag would have reprieved United in any case.

The Blues competed for a foothold with Jordan Gibson slicing a shot off target after Owen Moxon's free-kick had been cleared.

But the visitors twice then nearly took the lead, Holy at full stretch to save a goalbound Clarke-Harris shot, then the keeper saving an Ephron Mason-Clark drive with his feet.

Peterborough's pace out wide was regularly stretching United, Ajiboye then ghosting in front of Moxon to see a shot blocked.

At the other end, Maguire and Garner combined for a 30-yard attempt from the latter which rose well over the bar, Carlisle struggling to get closer to the visitors' box with any real chances.

United's best spell of first-half possession then resulted, though, in a better opening as Callum Guy sent Maguire beyond the defence, but the Irish frontman was forced wide and, after his shot was blocked, Moxon sliced a lay-off wide of the right-hand post.

Jones hit the side-netting late in the half for the visitors before Carlisle began the second half in much more confident fashion - only to be denied repeatedly by the officials.

News and Star: Owen Moxon on the attackOwen Moxon on the attack (Image: Ben Holmes)

After Gibson went close, Maguire went down under a Ronnie Edwards challenge only for the referee to ignore the Blues' penalty appeals. 

Moments later, after a double Peterborough change, Kioso's clear pull on Gibson's shirt was also blanked by the referee.

And then what seemed a blatant handball in the box by Kioso was also waved away by ref Simpson.

Brunton Park was fuming at the officials and then, on 72 minutes, the Blues went behind when a disputed free-kick on the Posh left was whipped into the box by sub Joel Randall, and Edwards headed home.

United boss Simpson responded by bringing on Terry Ablade and Luke Plange, who headed over an Armer cross ten minutes from time with Ablade then also denied a penalty shout.

News and Star: Jordan Gibson is buried under a pile of players after his late equaliserJordan Gibson is buried under a pile of players after his late equaliser (Image: Ben Holmes)

But a final free-kick, floated in from the left by Guy, was then cleared as far as Gibson, and his powerful shot flicked off a Posh player and flew past keeper Nicholas Bilokapic to save a point for Carlisle.

United: Holy, Back, Armer, Lavelle, Mellish, Guy, Moxon, McCalmont (Edmondson 85), Gibson, Maguire (Ablade 73), Garner (Plange 73). Not used: Breeze, Huntington, Harris, Robinson.

Goal: Gibson 90.

Booked: Back, Moxon.

Peterborough: Bilokapic, Burrows (Sturge 71), Edwards, Knight, Kioso, De Havilland (Katongo 71), Collins, Ajiboye (Poku 56), Mason-Clark, Jones (Randall 56), Clarke-Harris (Wakeling 79). Not used: Talley, Crichlow.

Goal: Edwards 72.

Ref: Scott Simpson.

Crowd: 6,014 (296 Peterborough fans).