Exciting game ends all square
United and Wolves came together for the first time since the late 80's in a rearranged Tuesday night fixture with the visitors looking to hit the history books with their first ever run of six consecutive away victories.
For the Cumbrians it was a case of looking to get back to winning ways following their disappointing and frustrating weekend away trip into Kent.
The home side started well and a chest down from Guy on the edge of the box found Buaben in space. He volleyed first time but Stearman stepped across to make the block.
Attractive one-touch passing on the right flank opened things up for a cross from Chimbonda as he linked with Buaben and Amoo. Matt Robson raced into the box but the delivery was slightly too high and his header skimmed away to safety.
The visitors dampened home spirits with their first meaningful attack with just 8 minutes on the clock when Griffiths fed a lovely pass through to the unmarked Bakary Sako. He took one touch and picked his spot with an unstoppable thunderbolt which sped into the bottom corner past the stunned Mark Gillespie.
Carlisle worked hard to get back into it, with Amoo patrolling the edge of the area with his movement, and Wolves remained dangerous on the break as they utilised Sako's considerable pace. A quickfire push from deep involving the mobile forward brought a last ditch clearance from debut boy Max Ehmer as he stretched to take the cross away from the late arriving Lee Griffiths.
A wayward midfield pass from Thirlwell allowed Wolves to come again but Griffiths wasted the opening as he went for glory from distance. His shot had plenty of power but it sailed high over the bar.
Hesitation from Prince Buaben brought another piercing attack from Sako as he skipped past two challenges to get into the danger area. One dip of the shoulder too many shifted his balance and his shot, when it came, screwed off the top of his laces and made its way apologetically for a home throw in.
Crunching tackles from Buaben and Robson lifted the volume from the home crowd and their players responded with a determined passage of play as they blocked two attempted crosses from Golbourne. The ball broke kindly and Prince Buaben took over deep inside the Wolves half with his back to goal. He spun on the spot and took everyone by surprise when he poked a lovely shot past Ikeme and into the back of the net.
The visitors attacked from the restart and Sako found the ball at his feet right on the edge of the box. Griffiths wanted it but the striker created space and crunched a low shot through a ruck of bodies. Gillespie was beaten but it rattled against the upright and straight into the path of the unmarked Kevin Doyle. He had the goal at his mercy but he needed too many touches and Gillespie recovered to make a fine reaction save at his near post.
Another flowing move put James Henry through the back line but his ambitious spin and shot brought howls of despair from Sako and Doyle as it bobbled past the target.
Quick thinking from Guy sparked another Carlisle attack when he let the ball run for Buaben. Robson called for it and his cross got a touch from Guy as he volleyed for goal. Buaben picked up the loose pieces and put it on a plate for Noble but the instant shot was scuffed into the side netting right in front of the relieved visiting fans.
United were on top and a dinked delivery from Townsend was met by Guy on the six-yard line. His nod down was inviting but Evans was there to hook it away. Amoo pulled off his man and shouted for it and he was a whisker away as his piledriver skimmed off a thigh before shaving the post.
The home side were made to pay for the miss when Sako again raced forward towards the byline. Chimbonda stopped him in his tracks but Doyle followed up to send it to the far post. Lee Griffiths held his position and nodded it over the line via both posts after an agonising wait.
Another Griffiths shot tested Gillespie at his near post and Wolves ended the half in control as they sent men forward. Sako thumped a sizzler of a set piece, which just needed the slightest of touches, but Doyle and Griffiths pulled out and the moment was gone.
Wolves survived loud appeals for a penalty early in the second half when Amoo appeared to be clipped inside the area but the officials waved play on following the briefest of consultations.
The Cumbrians kept up the pace of their game and a half clearance was fed to Amoo as he came under pressure. Golbourne slipped and that allowed the wide man to pull the trigger as he searched for the far post. A deflection wrong-footed Ikeme but he did enough to make the save low to his right.
United got the goal their play deserved on 53 minutes when Townsend overlapped on the left. His cross picked out Buaben and a push from behind from Lee Evans left Mr Mathieson with no choice on this occasion but to point at the spot. Liam Noble did the rest with a confident penalty finish.
Matt Robson was next to test the target with a dipping free kick from wide on the angle, and confusion at the back from a Townsend grass-cutter brought a corner which caused all kinds of problems as Guy flicked it on with his heel. Robson peppered the box with a string of decent deliveries but Wolves survived as they brought every man back to defend.
Carlisle were again the team calling the shots but they were reminded that there was work to do when O'Hara came forward in support of his strikers. His cross spun up off Townsend and Griffiths could do little else but hook it on and into Gillespie's hands.
The response from United was immediate with a quick ball out to Robson who had found a yard on the half way line. He took three paces and let one fly and it needed a touch from Ikeme to keep it away from his net.
A beautiful pass from his own half from Noble set Amoo on a path to the edge of the area and his cross had the crowd on its feet as Lewis Guy opened his legs to try to make the touch. He lunged at it, with Ikeme beaten, but it was just too far away and he couldn't quite stab it home.
Carlisle had an even better chance to take the lead on 76 minutes when Buaben battled his way through two tackles. His first shot was saved by the prostrate Carl Ikeme and he was left with his head in his hands as he prodded the rebound wide with the width of the target to aim at.
Substitute Jake Cassidy almost found a gap when he wormed his way past Townsend on the United left and Gillespie had to get a touch as it threatened to find its way in.
Symington and Robson had long range free kick efforts which failed to trouble the target and a neat turn from Sigurdarson brought a moment of panic as he ran on and fed it inside. Gillespie dropped low as O'Hara tried to find a touch.
And Wolves were close again with 90 seconds to play when Sako cushioned the ball on his chest. He found Sigurdarson and a volley from O'Hara somehow stayed out as it ran the full length of the goal line before being cleared to safety.
Both sides went for it as the clock ticked into time added on but it was a share of the spoils from what was an extremely entertaining fixture.
United - Buaben (29), Noble (53 pen)
Wolves - Sako (8), Griffiths (41)
Wolves - Evans (52)
Carlisle United - Gillespie, Chimbonda, Ehmer, O'Hanlon, Townsend, Thirlwell, Noble, Buaben, Amoo, Guy (Symington 74), Robson. Subs - Fleming, Livesey, Gillies, Potts, Beck, Berrett.
Wolverhampton Wanderers - Ikeme, Stearman, Batth, Henry, Davis, Griffiths (Cassidy 75), Sako, Evans (O'Hara 57), Ricketts, Golbourne, Doyle (Sigurdarson 75). Subs - Edwards, Forde, Ebanks-Landell, McCarey.
Referee - Mr Scott Mathieson
Attendance - 5,369 (1,335 away fans)