AFC Wimbledon ensured Carlisle United’s winless start to the League Two season continued after a dramatic 4-4 draw at Brunton Park.
After suffering relegation to the fourth tier last season, Carlisle have found life tough in the early weeks of the campaign and came into Saturday’s clash with two points from five outings – form which accounted for Graham Kavanagh’s sacking.
Co-caretaker managers Paul Thirlwell and Tony Caig must have felt they were on their way to a first league win with Carlisle 4-2 up with 10 minutes to go, until Gary Dicker’s dismissal changed the complexion of the game.
Wimbledon took an early lead through Sean Rigg, but Carlisle were back level in the 13th minute thanks to Kyle Dempsey.
Matt Tubbs restored Wimbeldon’s advantage midway through the half, only for Dempsey to send the sides in level in stoppage time at the end of the first period.
Second-half strikes from Josh Gillies and Brad Potts put Carlisle in front for the first time, until Dicker’s controversial dismissal gave the visitors a route back into the game.
Referee Andy Haines adjudged the Irishman to have handled inside the area, and Tubbs converted the resulting penalty before, deep into added time, Adebayo Azeez struck to snatch a point for Neal Ardley’s men.
Two of the top three met at the Globe Arena as Morecambe hosted Cheltenham Town, but the two sides cancelled each other out in a 0-0 draw.
After five-consecutive draws to begin the season, York City finally clinched maximum points with a 3-2 success at 10-man Stevenage.
Nigel Worthington’s men were two to the good inside 15 minutes thanks to goals from Michael Coulson and Wes Fletcher.
Andy Bond was then dismissed shortly after the half-hour mark, but Stevenage still managed to claw their way back on terms with quickfire strikes from Chris Whelpdale and Tom Pett.
Their good work was undone 15 minutes before the end, however, as Fletcher tucked away a penalty to seal the win for York.
Dominic Blizzard’s fine individual goal saw Plymouth Argyle beat Luton Town 1-0, while there was something of a shock as efforts from Charlie Wyke and Brad Walker saw Hartlepool United to a 2-0 win over previously unbeaten Shrewsbury Town.
Northampton Town were victors by the same scoreline away at Dagenham and Redbridge, while Southend United drew 1-1 at home with Oxford United.
Accrington Stanley came from 2-1 down with 12 minutes to go to defeat Tranmere Rovers 3-2 – their first success of the season.
Elsewhere, Mansfield Town won 2-1 at Exeter City, while the game between Wycombe Wanderers and Bury ended goalless.
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