Heading into the final day, Carlisle had it all to play for. United started the day on 46 points, one point behind Scarborough who had a home game against Peterborough United. Carlisle faced Plymouth at Brunton Park, who had lost to Scarborough in the penultimate game of the season.
The day started well for Carlisle United, as it took Peterborough seven minutes to take an early lead at the McCain Stadium. Scarborough equalised three minutes before half time in what proved to be the last goal of the game on the Yorkshire coast. At this moment, Scarborough were safe.
It was a tense first half at Brunton Park in comparison. Plymouth Argyle were confirmed to finish in mid-table and had nothing but pride to play for. A horrific leg break to Plymouth player Paul Gibbs meant the Carlisle game was now behind the Scarborough one.
Carlisle manager, Nigel Pearson, spoke about how this could have been a pivotal moment for his side. Speaking about his side’s great escape, the man who also pulled off the great Leicester City Premier League survival stated “that added break gave us the ability to not get wrapped up in what was happening elsewhere”.
As the referee blew the whistle at halftime, Carlisle knew that if there were no more goals on the North Sea coast, they would have to win. Four minutes into the second half, all hope seemed to have been lost.
Lee Philip's superb solo run from the halfway line was unstoppable from a Carlisle perspective. His shot from 25 yards out nestled in the bottom left corner to give the Green Army the lead.