Carlisle went into the game in their heavily adapted red training kit, following concerns raised by the referee over a possible colour clash, but it was a controversial first half red card for midfielder Luke Joyce which will hog most of the post-match headlines.
More of that later, but disaster almost struck first for the visiting side with just 10 seconds on the clock when a hopeful ball forward brought a weak back header from Archibald-Henville. Hayes was onto to it like a flash but David Atkinson had tracked back to make a vital clearance off the line.
The Chairboys kept possession but Pierre nodded the back post cross over the bar as he stretched to keep it under control.
United settled and a Grainger corner caused problems as Archibald-Henville and Hope tried to keep it alive. It was luck more than judgement which allowed the home side to complete the clearance as the ball pinged around inside their area.
An offside flag prevented Hayes and Garry Thompson from celebrating a close range finish for too long as the tempo of the game remained high, and Carlisle probed again at the other end when Gilliead pulled wide. He beat his man and crossed low and Kennedy and Archibald-Henville were unlucky as they tried to apply a finishing touch.
A raking pass from Wood had Gillespie off his line as he scooped the ball off the feet of the marauding Paul Hayes, and his huge clearing kick turned defence into attack for the alert Cumbrians. Gilliead picked out Kennedy on the edge of the box and his through ball took Hope past his man. A deflection off Jacobson was enough to take the goal-bound effort over the bar.
Wide man Alex Gilliead switched to the left flank midway through the half and it almost paid immediate dividend when he cut across two challenges and ran into space. He went for an early shot but he couldn't quite get the connection it needed.
Carlisle were reduced to ten men on 24 minutes when midfielder Luke Joyce was judged to have been reckless and dangerous when he went into a meaty challenge with Sam Wood. The visiting bench were livid as the red card was shown for what looked to be a strong but legal tackle.
United should have taken the lead despite the set back as they regrouped, reshaped and played some excellent possession football. Hery fashioned a deep cross from the outside of his right boot and Archibald-Henville sent a downward header across the face of goal with Lynch well beaten.
It was Carlisle who looked the more likely and Lynch had to parry a snapshot from Wyke round the post as the big striker set himself and let a thundering shot fly.
A rare sight of goal came for the hosts when O'Nien crossed low on the run. Hayes got a flick but it was easy for Gillespie.
United had to defend in numbers in time added on when Bean volleyed a half cleared corner into the mix. The ball spun loose and Grainger was needed to make a sliding block when Pierre appeared from nowhere with a fierce drive.
Troy Archibald-Henville sent the fans in the away end wild when he crunched a towering header into the roof of the net to put the ten-men in front early in the second half. Danny Grainger takes a bow for the assist with another high quality corner delivery.
Wycombe threw men forward in search of an equaliser and Gillespie did well to save with his boot when Bean squeezed a shot through bodies. McCarthy put a header over the bar from the corner which followed.
Wyke and Hope combined for the latter to test Lynch at the other end, but it was straight down his throat and he showed good hands to pull it in close.
Keeper Mark Gillespie covered his lines well when a Bean volley ricocheted off three legs and squirmed through, and the keeper was there again when Pierre strode past two men. The angles were tight and the big stopper came out on top.
Hesitation from substitute Joe Thompson gave Marcus Bean half a yard but he was frustrated when his dipping shot cannoned back off the bar. Grainger cleared a McCarthy header off the line as the stakes rose, but Hayes struck a late and cruel blow as his touch looped over the back line and into the back of the net.
The five minutes of time added on seemed to last an age as shots and crosses rained in but it was a well-earned point for the ten men who, in all honesty, deserved all three for their fantastic efforts.
Wycombe - Hayes (90)
United - Archibald-Henville (48)
Wycombe - McCarthy (46), Jombati (58)
United - Wyke (72), Gillespie (84)
Sent off - Luke Joyce (24)
Wycombe Wanderers - Lynch, Jombati, Jacobson, McCarthy (Sellers 85), Pierre, Harriman, Bean, O'Nien, Wood (Amadi-Holloway 67), Hayes, Thompson (Ugwu 73). Subs - Richardson, McGinn, Bloomfield, Kretzschmar.
Carlisle United - Gillespie, Atkinson, Archibald-Henville, Grainger, Gilliead (Dicker 70), Hery, Kennedy, Joyce, Sweeney, Wyke (Asamoah 78), Hope (Thompson 74). Subs - Hanford, Rigg, Gillesphey, McQueen.
Referee - Mr Rob Lewis
Attendance - 3,457 (333 away fans)