Gripping thriller ends all-square ...Another exciting encounter ended all-square as both sides went for it on a cold night at Blundell Park.
It was strong early pressure from United as they got down the right flank to good effect with a series of set pieces and throw ins. The mini-spell was brought to an end by the referee's whistle as he spotted a push at the back post.
Defender Michael Raynes went close with just five minutes on the clock when Nicky Adams bent a lovely free kick into the box from deep. The header was firm but it was always looping over the bar.
Former-Blue James Berrett had the first chance of the game for the home side when he cushioned a crossfield pass with his right boot. He stepped inside and crashed a poor effort wide.
More good visiting pressure brought a cross from Tom Miller, as he stayed forward, but it was behind Raynes and difficult to deal with. He went for an overhead kick but it lacked power and dropped wide of the target.
The Mariners responded with some big balls into the area, which caused problems, but the Blue defence weathered the storm and broke at pace when a loose pass left Lambe with space to exploit. He had only one thing in mind but his grasscutter skipped off the slick surface and went past the upright.
Grimsby fashioned a chance from next to nothing as they started to find their passing boots and it was Bolarinwa who did the leg work as he was suddenly presented with a chance to go on a run. His cross found Bogle but Gillespie was off his line quickly to smother it.
Bogle rattled a snapshot from a half cleared corner into the side netting as clear cut chances remained at a premium, but Carlisle raised hopes of a breakthrough when Kennedy and Adams probed down the left. Their crosses were cut out as Lambe and Wyke lurked.
It was head in the hands time just before half time for the visitors when a long throw from Tom Miller was flicked on by Raynes. Kennedy went for the volley and McKeown was extremely relieved to see it trundle past his post.
Kennedy was involved again when he was chopped to the floor on the edge of the area by Gowling, and Nicky Adams wasn't too far away as he popped the free kick over the bar.
But Carlisle were handed the lead on a plate when keeper James McKeown attempted to play out from the back. He sent a weak pass straight to Wyke and the big striker made easy pickings of it as he clipped it past a despairing dive and into the bottom corner.
United conceded a penalty early in the second half when Berrett went down under a late challenge and Omar Bogle levelled the scores when he thundered the spot kick past Gillespie.
The home noise levels went up a notch or two after the equaliser but Carlisle set about calming the waters with some very considered play. And they tested McKeown again when Adams slipped a low free kick towards Kennedy. He got there with a toe poke but the stopper dived across to make the save.
The Cumbrians were back in front after a wonderful piece of play in midfield left Adams with time to find Ibehre with a floated pass. He had plenty in support but they weren't needed as his low cross was turned into the back of the net by the unlucky Zak Mills.
More defending was needed by the Mariners when Adams crossed in full flight on the left flank. Kennedy was ready to slot it home until Gowling got in the way.
Bogle went close with a smart shot from 19 yards as Grimsby tried to pick up the pace of the game but, on a night for defensive errors, a Grimsby attack appeared to break down as Brisley robbed possession from Summefield inside his own area.
A loose touch and a deflected clearance eventually invited a cross into the danger area and Tom Bolarinwa was there to meet it with a stunning header. Gillespie spread himself to block it on the line but Bolarinwa reacted first to slot it away.
Luke Joyce had a chance to win it deep into time added on when he got on the end of a flowing move. He connected with power but his shot rose over the bar.
Grimsby - Bogle (49 pen), Bolarinwa (78)
Carlisle United - Wyke (44) Mills OG (67)
Grimsby - Gowling (41)
Carlisle United - Raynes (28), Jones (83)
Grimsby Town - McKeown, Andrew, Gowling, Bogle, Mills, Jackson (Browne 87), Berrett (Vose 71), Bolarinwa, Summerfield, Collins, Comley (Disley 46). Subs - Henderson, Pearson, Vernon, D Jones.
Carlisle United - Gillespie, T Miller, Raynes, Brisley, Grainger, Kennedy, Jones (McKee 87), Joyce, Lambe (Ibehre 64), Adams (Asamoah 90), Wyke. Subs - Crocombe, Ellis, Gillesphey, S Miller.
Referee - Mr Nigel Miller
Attendance - 4,818 (250 away fans)