Whelan's first Carlisle United goal earns Blues a point at Newport

Corey Whelan fires home the equaliser (photos: Richard Parkes)
Corey Whelan fires home the equaliser (photos: Richard Parkes)

Newport County 1 Carlisle United 1: Corey Whelan's first Carlisle United goal saw the Blues come from behind for a point at Newport.

The defender was not even supposed to be in the team at Rodney Parade.

But after being promoted to the XI after a pre-match injury to Morgan Feeney, he pounced to rescue a draw for Paul Simpson's side in south Wales.

Whelan's goal in the 76th minute cancelled out Nathan Moriah-Welsh's first-half opener.

Paul Huntington hit the bar in the dying minutes as United left with a fifth draw in ten League Two games, seeing them move up a place to 12th.

It came on a day of more injury concerns, with Feeney pulling out of the game after the warm-up due to a hamstring problem and Whelan called up from the bench to start and captain the side.

United were also without Omari Patrick to the hamstring injury that saw him substituted in the first half of Tuesday's Papa John's Trophy game against Fleetwood Town.

Morgan Feeney, back right, on the bench after pulling out of the game in the warm-up

That saw Derby County loan striker Jack Stretton brought into the XI for his first league start.

Top scorer Kristian Dennis was fit to continue in the side after a hamstring issue, while teenage forward Nic Bollado was among Carlisle's subs.

Newport boss James Rowberry made two changes from their last league game, James Clarke and Will Evans replacing Priestley Farquaharson and James Waite.

Newport's Omar Bogle had the game's first attempt, a low shot comfortably saved, while Owen Moxon cleared the bar from 25 yards for United.

Long throws from Micky Demetriou were to no avail for the hosts, while Moxon could not keep his balance when attacking a Jack Armer lay-off in the box on 14 minutes, shooting wide.

Bogle headed over for Newport before Dennis could not make the most of a counter-attack, Armer eventually tackled as he tried to reach the chance.

Real chances were scarce, James Clarke heading a home free-kick wide, but on 30 minutes Rowberry's side found themselves in front.

Thierry Nevers was the architect, breaking away from Jordan Gibson to cross from the left, but Carlisle failed to deal with the ball as it broke between Huntington and keeper Tomas Holy, Moriah-Welsh profiting from the indecision as he nipped in to divert the chance over the line.

United then had Holy to thank for being alert to intercept a Bogle run, before Fin Back failed to beat keeper Nick Townsend from a good position after being set up by Dennis.

Carlisle's top scorer lost his balance when found by Jon Mellish as Simpson's side applied more pressure, with Back seeing an effort blocked moments before the break, the visitors not ruthless enough from any of their promising first-half positions.

Owen Moxon shoots

The second half took time to produce any chances, Gibson picking up a needless booking as he reacted to a free-kick decision by grabbing Moriah-Welsh's shirt.

Moxon picked out Armer on the left but the latter's pass inside for Dennis was intercepted.

Simpson sent Jon Mellish into midfield on the hour mark as Carlisle tried to find a way back, and Dennis scuffed a shot after Gibson's cross had broken his way.

United's boss, on the 65th minute, then made a double change, Gibson - who was flirting with a second yellow - withdrawn along with Moxon, as Sonny Hilton and Jayden Harris came on.

Rowberry then sent on James Waite in place of Nevers for the final 20, but Carlisle finally got themselves level in the 76th minute amid a spell of better pressure.

Whelan celebrates his equaliser with Callum Guy

When Newport failed to clear Guy's corner from the right, Whelan pounced to send a shot spinning past Townsend.

As well as his first Blues goal, it was only a second Football League goal for the defender.

United then survived a scare when a Demetriou long throw was helped into the six-yard box but Clarke couldn't get enough on an attempted finish.

At the other end, Hilton made a bright run down the right but his cross was just out of Dennis's reach.

Simpson then sent on Bollado, handing the 17-year-old his league debut in the 90th minute in place of Stretton.

And United came so close to winning it in the 92nd minute when a Guy corner broke to Huntington and the big defender's volley hit the crossbar.

Paul Huntington's late effort hits the bar

Hilton then sent a shot rising over the bar as the Blues looked in vain for a late winner in front of their 188 travelling fans.

Newport: Norman, Clarke, Demetriou, Adam Lewis, Bennett, Lindley (Willmott 90), Moriah-Welsh, Nevers (Waite 70), Bogle (Zimba 90), Evans. Not used: Day, Drysdale, Aaron Lewis, Wildig.

Goal: Moriah-Welsh 30.

Booked: Demetriou, Nevers, Evans, Bennett.

United: Holy, Whelan, Huntington, Mellish, Back, Armer, Guy, Moxon (Harris 65), Gibson (Hilton 65), Stretton (Bollado 90), Dennis. Not used: Kelly, Charters, Idehen, Ellis.

Goal: Whelan 76.

Booked: Gibson.

Ref: Keith Stroud.

Crowd: 3,876 (188 Carlisle fans)