Carlisle United rounded off their 2017/18 season with a home game against Newport County on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
The sides had to settle for a draw in what was a largely entertaining affair, with United shading it in terms of chances created and effective possession.
A Ben Tozer shot from distance followed a period of loose possession from the hosts as they twice missed the opportunity to clear their lines of early pressure. Bonham was able to watch in comfort as it bent past his upright.
Carlisle responded with a lovely long pass from Ellis which gave Nadesan something to chase. He beat his man to the ball and then set it for Campbell-Ryce to cross, but Day was well placed for the header from Bennett which was heading for the roof of his net.
Another eye-catching build-up followed with Campbell-Ryce pulling strings as he exchanged passes with Devitt and Jones. Grainger pulled wide for the cross but it was too close to the keeper and he gathered it into his chest.
United were on their game and more slick passing left Devitt unmarked and with time on his hands. His cross was a teaser and it needed Reid to guide it behind before Bennett could pounce.
The hosts were well on top and Campbell-Ryce was unkucky when he stepped inside to let loose with his right boot. His shot was on target but it was blocked by the unsighted Ashley Nadesan.
The Blues got the goal they deserved when Grainger sent a corner into the mix. Ellis shrugged his marker off and left Day with no chance as he thundered a header into the bottom corner.
Newport came to life after the goal and Bonham had a scare when Tozer got on the end of a deep delivery. It looped high into the sky and the Carlisle keeper was relieved to see his miscued punch spin just wide of the upright.
A neat bit of footwork from Liddle took him past his man and into a shooting position at the other end when he overlapped to meet a pass from Joyce. It was a tight angle but he was a whisker away as he drilled his effort at the target.
Campbell-Ryce showed excellent pace to make space for a low cross as he hugged the left hand touchline. Bennett called for it and Day had to take care as a crunching shot came his way.
The best chance of the half for the Exiles came for O'Brien as he went forward for a corner. The half clearance went only as far as Willmott and his delivery was met on the full by the defender. Bonham was beaten, but so was the post.
Another cross from Liddle had Bennett and Nadesan interested but it skipped up wickedly off the surface and the big forward could only do his best to get something on it as he found himself wrong-footed. It spooned high and dropped beneath the bar but it was another easy one for Day to take.
A shot from Nouble took a deflection off Campbell-Ryce and raced wide, as the game settled to a much steadier pace in the Spring sunshine, but the visitors stunned the home crowd when Willmott took matters into his own hands with a decisive 20-yard run. A cross from the outside of his boot was met by a thumping header from Amond which had goal written all over it from the moment it left his forehead.
Devitt wasn't too far away from restoring the lead when he sent a 24-yard free kick over the wall. It had plenty of venom but it dipped too late. The sting was then taken out of a Campbell-Ryce shot when he spun in possession and went for glory. Day stood his ground and gathered it up.
The first action of the second period was another free kick from 26-yards which Devitt once again took charge of. Day was well beaten on this occasion but there was disappointment all round as it bounced back off the angle of post and bar.
Carlisle started to spray the ball around with confidence and that created space for Joyce as he ghosted in from deep. His curling shot was parried by Day and O'Brien completed the clearance.
Carlisle hit the woodwork again when a Hill header spooned high and caught Day on the hop. Bennett and Nadesan got in the way of each other when the loose ball bounced up off the line and it fell harmlessly behind.
Excellent work from Liddle saw him turn defence into attack as he sprinted out of his own half before releasing Bennett with a slide rule pass. The forward cut it back for O'Sullivan, but he was off balance and the clearance was made.
Veteran defender Clint Hill left the field to a standing ovation with 15 minutes to play, with his future still be resolved going forward, and the game slowed visibly as the temperature rose.
Both sides had late half chances, but the whistle blew on another season at Brunton Park with the fans saying farewell to their manager during the closing lap of appreciation.
Carlisle United - Ellis (14)
Newport County - Amond (39)
Newport County - Willmott (78)
Carlisle United - Bonham, Liddle, Ellis, Hill (Lambe 74), Grainger (Parkes 46), Devitt, Joyce, Jones, Campbell-Ryce (O'Sullivan 61), Bennett, Nadesan. Subs - Miller, Brown, Stockton, Twardek.
Newport County - Day, Butler, Willmott, Dolan, Amond (Pipe 90), Nouble, Tozer, Reid, O'Brien (Collins 58), Demetriou, Sheehan (Touray 79). Subs - Bittner, Jackson.
Referee - Mark Heywood
Attendance - 5,311 (270 away fans)