Late Magpies double steals the points ...Carlisle had victory ripped out of their grasp as Notts County bagged two late goals to take three points away from Brunton Park on a frustrating afternoon for the home side.
The visitors started on the front foot as they found balls into the box but United held their concentration and dealt with the deliveries.
United settled as they started to pass the ball around and a neat touch from Grainger found Bailey with his back to goal. He fed it to Devitt and the midfielder twisted and turned his way into a shooting position. He got it through legs but Collin watched it all the way.
County got forward quickly and a nod down from Stead left Grant with time on his hands. He took a touch but sent his volley right at Gillespie.
Another good visiting move found Stead with his back to goal and he dropped his shoulder to get into space. He tried his luck from distance but he bent it wide of the mark.
A set piece almost paid dividend for the Cumbrians when Grainger sent a free kick long from his own half. Raynes tussled for it, O'Sullivan nodded it, and Raynes wasn't too far away as he tried to hook the bouncing ball towards the target.
United enjoyed a good spell of pressure and O'Sullivan and Bailey had shots blocked as blue shirts occupied the area just outside the box. It eventually fell to Lambe but he curled a rising effort wide of the angle of post and bar.
County responded with a good counter attack when Stead spread it wide for Milsom to cross. He lofted it high and Ameobi connected with a firm header which took Gillespie out of the equation. Defender Shaun Brisley scampered back to hook it away before it could cross the line.
The Cumbrians had another scare when a Milsom corner bent at the goal with Gillespie off his line in anticipation of a cross. The keeper readjusted and beat it away with his fists. A quick throw set Lambe on the move and he gave O'Sullivan plenty to work with when he spotted him on the overlap. His early cross hit two legs as it skipped across the face of goal and Devitt should have done much better as he wrapped his boot round it and popped it well wide of the post.
Chances dried up for both sides ahead of the break but dogged work from County in the Carlisle half left Grant with a difficult opportunity at a very tight angle. He looked for the top corner but he couldn't quite find the mark.
The second half started with a weak effort from Stead which Gillespie had covered and Tootle blazed another attempt wayward and high as the sides battled to take the upper hand. Next to fluff his lines for the visitors was Adam Campbell as he rattled a skewed volley high into the air.
Curle went for a double substitution on 57 minutes and the impact was immediate as a flick took Ibehre through with just Collin to beat. He didn't disappoint with a stunning shot which zipped into the roof of the net past the shell-shocked keeper.
County probed but United could have doubled their lead when Ibehre burst through to get control tight by the corner flag. His cut back found O’Sullivan and his shot almost turned into the perfect through ball as Proctor steamed in. He stretched but he couldn’t find the touch to put it away.
That should have been it as Carlisle started to look comfortable but the Magpies stole the points courtesy of some horrible mix-ups late in the day.
A loose ball inside the area sat between Brisley and Gillespie and a touch from the defender sent the ball towards the net. Stead nipped in to claim the glory.
And it turned into a horrible ending to the game when Tootle unleashed a firm strike from well outside the area. He caught it crisply but keeper Mark Gillespie looked on in desperation as it squirmed through his hands and spun over the line.
Ibehre had a late opening when a long ball put him through to face Collin but the former-United keeper spread himself to make an important block and to preserve the win for his side.
Carlisle United - Ibehre (57)
Notts County - Stead (85), Tootle (90)
Carlisle United - Gillespie, Miller, Raynes, Brisley, Grainger, O'Sullivan, Bailey, Liddle, Devitt (Ibehre 57), Lambe (Kennedy 57), Proctor (Joyce 79). Subs - Crocombe, Waring, Joachim, Nabi.
Notts County - Collin, Tootle, Dickinson (Bola 80), Duffy, Hollis, Ameobi, Milsom (T Campbell 84), Grant, Hewitt, A Campbell (O'Connor 67), Stead. Subs - Searson-Smithard, Smith, Forte, Clackstone.
Referee - Mr Seb Stockbridge
Attendance - 4,361 (295 away fans)