Eight goal thriller at Brunton Park
Carlisle United twice came from behind before having their first victory of the season ripped out of their hands following a sending off and a late, late equaliser in front of an appreciative Brunton Park crowd.
Errors ruled the day through the opening exchanges and United fashioned their first chance when Fuller sliced a clearance right at Gillies. He took a touch and went for the shot but a deflection sent it wide.
Disaster struck at the other end for Dave Symington when he scuffed a back pass with Rigg in close attendance. He tried to recover but his second touch, also a scuff off the bottom of the boot, left the attacker with the simple task of dinking the ball over Gillespie and into the net.
Elliott and Sweeney had bites of the cherry as United went in search of an equaliser but Shea was able to gather when the second effort spun into his path.
It was good pressure from United and they deservedly leveled the scores when Patrick Brough sent a fantastic cross into the box. Kyle Dempsey jumped high to meet it and his measured header left the keeper with no chance.
The goal spurred the home side on and Sweeney was unlucky to see a firm connection from a Brough pass take a touch and bounce clear. Gillies looked like he was enjoying his football and he beat two to unleash another piledriver as Wimbledon sat deep. Kennedy got a boot in the way but his intervention left Elliott to move in and try his luck. He caught it well but Shea adjusted to pull it in.
The dangerous Matt Tubbs sprung into life when he handed his side the lead against the run of play. He controlled a long ball over the top and left Gillespie with no chance as his shot angled into the roof of the target following a touch from the diving keeper.
It was a body blow for Carlisle and they struggled to pick themselves as Wimbledon closed things down. A Gillies free kick almost changed that when Grainger made a move from the back stick to get his head to the cross. He had Shea beaten but it zipped just over the bar.
Rigg had another chance to score in an all-action ending to the first half when Tubbs pulled wide in possession. He bided his time and put it on a plate for the late arriving striker but he was left to explain himself when a poorly hit shot headed into the Warwick.
It was a blistering finish to an intriguing first 45 minutes and a run from Brad Potts, deep into time added on, brought a corner and an opportunity to flood the box. Dicker won the header and Kyle Dempsey swept the loose pieces past Shea with an emphatic and confident finish.
Keeper Mark Gillespie had to be on his toes at the start of the second half when Akinfenwa trapped the ball before curling it at the top corner with the outside of his boot. The keeper needed to change his position before getting it up to tip it away.
Carlisle took the lead for the first time in the game when Josh Gillies raced in from the left at a tight angle. He had plenty to do but his connection, from a tight angle, left Shea flapping at thin air as it curled into his top corner.
Grainger and Potts had long range efforts go close and O'Hanlon wasn't too far away when he made a Gillies free kick his own. The header was on target until Kennedy got a touch to send it wide.
Dempsey turned provider on 70 minutes when a calm and intelligent touch set Brad Potts free and clear. He showed a cool head and an unbelievable finish with a thundering volley which smacked sweetly into the onion bag.
Controversy raged on 80 minutes when Dicker was judged to have blocked an Azeez shot with his arm as he took a place on the line. Tubbs stepped forward to rattle the spot kick home but it was resolute stuff from the hosts as they dug deep to protect their lead.
Carlisle could have settled it when Dempsey ran forward from the edge of his own box, under intense pressure from Fuller, with just minutes left on the clock. He made his way into the Wimbledon box but his cut back was behind the supporting run from Mark Beck.
The Dons threw everything forward and they broke Carlisle hearts deep into time added on when Azeez kept his eye on the ball as it pinged around inside the box. Blocks and saves finally gave way to the header which made its way over the line to rob the home side of their first victory of the season.
United - Dempsey (13, 45), Gillies (52), Potts (70)
Wimbledon - Rigg (4), Tubbs (22, 81 pen), Azeez (90)
United - O'Hanlon (40), Dicker (sent off 80 - handball)
Wimbledon - Bennett (41), Nicholson (63)
Sent off - Gary Dicker (80 - handball)
Carlisle United - Gillespie, Symington, O'Hanlon, Grainger, Brough, Dicker, Gillies, Potts (Thirlwell 87), Sweeney, Dempsey (Amoo 90), Elliott (Beck 77). Subs - Hanford, Rigg, Hammell, Douglas.
AFC Wimbledon - Shea, Fuller, Bulman, Bennett, Moore (Saint-Luce 69), Tubbs, Akinfenwa, Rigg (Azeez 69), Kennedy, Nicholson (Beere 78), Barrett. Subs - Worner, Phillips, Nightingale, Harrison.
Referee - Mr Andy Haines
Attendance - 3,955 (420 away fans)