Carlisle onslaught not quite enough ...Carlisle dominated much of the game on Easter Monday but Stevenage dug deep to hold onto a point in the face of the Cumbrian onslaught.
Stevenage fashioned the first chance of the day when Hinds cut in from the right to find space. He looked up and went for the shot from the angle but he couldn't keep it down.
United stuck to their tasks as they edged on top and a corner from Devitt was cleared by Wilkinson before Ibehre could pounce. Gillesphey was on to it in a flash but his 30-yarder rose high into the stands.
The Cumbrians were a whisker away from taking the lead on 12 minutes when Lambe took a quick throw as Devitt moved his marker to make room to twist. A touch from the wide man was followed by a low cross and Grainger put his right boot through it as the defence stood and watched. His connection was firm but it whisked just over the bar.
Defender Macaulay Gillesphey announced his return to action from injury with a run which took him past three challenges as he turned defence into attack tight by the touchline. His cross was just too high for Proctor and the return from Devitt was cleared as three strikers waited.
Carlisle kept the ball well as they pulled the midfield strings and Bailey gave Grainger room to cross with a slide rule pass which took him past his man. Devitt got there with a glancing header but it zipped over the target.
More good home work saw Ibehre leave his man on the floor as he took the ball to the left hand corner flag. He had time to pick his cross but Proctor was on the stretch as he headed it wide.
Stevenage registered their first attempt on target for the day just before the half hour when Lee got on the end of a set piece delivery. His header was decent but Gillespie was well placed to gather it into his chest.
The hosts showed how to break in style, as they dealt with a Stevenage corner, with Lambe and Devitt at the heart of it from deep inside their own half. Devitt was clattered as he spread the play to Grainger and Bailey was just an inch away from an excellent cross as the visitors were able to clear.
Carlisle were handed a corner from nothing just ahead of the break when Jones failed to deal with a long ball forward. He was left with explaining to do as it rolled off his boot and bobbled behind. The delivery from Grainger was nodded down by Raynes and he was on hand to take a return pass from Joyce. His first time cross found Proctor on the six yard line but a brave block from King stopped him from heading it home.
Another deep corner followed and Raynes thought he'd done enough as he headed it over the stranded keeper. The stopper watched in relief as it dropped just the wrong side of the upright from a Cumbrian perspective.
United kept the pressure on and Proctor took the ball round the keeper from a direct kick from Gillespie, only to be thwarted by a last ditch challenge from Wilkinson.
Disaster struck for the hosts with just four minutes on the second half clock when Lambe was judged to have impeded Nthle as he tried to control a ball inside the box. The referee waited before pointing to the spot and former-Blue Steve Schumacher did the rest with a rasping drive from the penalty spot.
McAnuff almost made matters worse with the very next attack when he went for glory as he broke through from the middle of the park. He tried his luck from distance but it crept over the bar.
A poor pass from Raynes caused defensive problems as McAnuff was gifted possession when the ball needed to be cleared. Schumacher arrived in support and it needed a superb save from Gillespie to prevent him from doubling his tally.
Carlisle regrouped and came again with good movement from Ibehre and Devitt putting them in decent crossing areas. The ball went into the danger area but Stevenage closed ranks to survive three goal mouth scrambles in quick succession as Liddle, Ibehre and Proctor tried to make a mark.
Schumacher dragged a poor effort from distance wide as the game hit a scrappy patch, but United were right back in it when Proctor sent a lovely ball to the far post. Ibehre made it three goals in three games with an expert finish.
Carlisle started to turn the screw and a thunderbolt from Adams was tipped wide by a full length dive from Jones as the nippy wide man started to make an impact on his return to the side. The corner, put into the six yard box by Adams, spun up off Proctor and fell onto the roof of the net via a fingertip touch from the stopper.
United should have taken the lead when O'Sullivan made it past the back line before cutting the ball back. Ibehre was in space, 14 yards out, but he scuffed his first time shot and it went well wide of the target.
McAnuff wasn't too far away as the visitors mounted a rare late attack with an instinctive cross from a tight angle.
Tempers flared through the closing stages as Ibehre and Proctor got into an argument following a close range miss, but Stevenage closed ranks to protect what they had much to the frustration of the massed blue ranks.
Carlisle United - Ibehre (73)
Stevenage - Schumacher (50 pen)
Carlisle United - Joyce (66), Ibehre (90)
Stevenage - Gorman (32), Ogilvie (37), Schumacher (40), Franks (63), Wells (90)
Carlisle United - Gillespie, Liddle, Raynes, Gillesphey (Tomlinson 82), Grainger, Lambe (O'Sullivan 67), Bailey (Adams 68), Joyce, Devitt, Proctor, Ibehre. Subs - Crocombe, Brisley, Waring, Nabi.
Stevenage - Jones, King, Wilkinson, McAnuff, Schumacher, Pett (Loft 80), Gorman (Franks 60), Ogilvie, Lee, Hinds (Wells 90), Nthle. Subs - Day, Tonge, Mckee, Gray.
Referee - Mr Ben Toner
Attendance - 4,572 (121 away fans)