League Two - 2nd Leg
ExeterExeter City3CarlisleCarlisle United2

Exeter City 3-2 Carlisle United (agg: 6-5)

By James LawBBC Sport at St James Park
Jack Stacey
Former Carlisle loanee Jack Stacey had never scored for Exeter before

Jack Stacey's 95th-minute winner saw Exeter beat Carlisle to reach the League Two play-off final after an extraordinary 6-5 win on aggregate.

After the first leg had ended 3-3, Exeter led when David Wheeler pulled back for Ollie Watkins to net early on.

Watkins bent in his and Exeter's second on 79 minutes, but Jason Kennedy soon scrambled one back as Carlisle rallied.

John O'Sullivan headed a late leveller but there was still time for Stacey to drill into the top corner to win it.

Paul Tisdale's side will face Blackpool in the final on Sunday, 28 May for the right to play in League One next season.

The Tangerines beat Luton in the other semi-final - also 6-5 on aggregate and also courtesy of a 95th-minute winner on a remarkable night for League Two.

The Hatters had looked to be on course for Wembley when Danny Hylton's penalty put them ahead on aggregate, but Armand Gnanduillet's equaliser and a last-gasp own goal from goalkeeper Stuart Moore sent the Tangerines to the final.

Carlisle run out of fightback time

Carlisle, who spent much of the campaign in the automatic promotion places, had a strong first-half penalty appeal turned down when Troy Brown appeared to handle a Luke Joyce cross.

Keith Curle's visitors came from two goals down in both legs of the tie, with 25 goals now scored between the sides in their past five meetings.

O'Sullivan, who scored off the bench in each leg, got the Cumbrians' ninth equaliser against Exeter over that period but they had no time to respond to Stacey's fine winner, the Reading loanee's first goal for the club.

The former Carlisle loanee's stunning strike saw Exeter - who were last in League One in the 2011-12 campaign - finally beat a fellow play-off side this season at the eighth time of asking.

Exeter were bottom of League Two in November, with only Newport and relegated Leyton Orient spending more days in the drop zone than them this term.

Ollie Watkins
Ollie Watkins' brace had seen Exeter lead by two goals with 11 minutes to play
Carlisle
Carlisle looked to have forced extra time when John O'Sullivan made it 2-2
Paul Tisdale (centre)
But it was Paul Tisdale's side celebrating at the final whistle

Exeter boss Paul Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon:

"If it had gone to extra time we would've won it, because we had that mentality.

"Once they scored their goal there was a strange acceptance that we'd have to score another.

"They've come back at us so many times - they're so good at it - that we just thought 'crikey, we're just going to keep attacking'.

"It's been a very determined last 30 games to go from the bottom of the league to the play-off final, and we've still got more to go."

Carlisle boss Keith Curle told BBC Radio 5 live:

"I'm very proud of the players and the football club - we can walk out of here with our heads held high.

"We gave a very good team a run for their money.

"I had to walk into the changing room and listen to what success sounded like in Exeter celebrating and that hurts - that has to be a spur for us individually.

"The building blocks, the foundations are here - we've had to put them in place over a short period - you look at Exeter, the manager's been here for eight, nine, 10 years to do that."

Line-ups

Exeter

  • 1Olejnik
  • 28Stacey
  • 39Brown
  • 15Moore-Taylor
  • 3Woodman
  • 11Wheeler
  • 25Taylor
  • 6Tillson
  • 10HolmesSubstituted forGrantat 58'minutes
  • 7Harley
  • 14Watkins

Substitutes

  • 4James
  • 12Grant
  • 19McAlinden
  • 29Croll
  • 30Pym
  • 31Sweeney
  • 33Reid

Carlisle

  • 1Gillespie
  • 23Miller
  • 5RaynesSubstituted forKennedyat 75'minutes
  • 28Liddle
  • 3GraingerBooked at 58mins
  • 4Joyce
  • 16Bailey
  • 17DevittSubstituted forMillerat 57'minutes
  • 19LambeSubstituted forO'Sullivanat 63'minutesBooked at 70mins
  • 10Adams
  • 9Proctor

Substitutes

  • 7Kennedy
  • 12Gillesphey
  • 14Ibehre
  • 18O'Sullivan
  • 20Miller
  • 22Crocombe
  • 27Waring
Referee:
Dean Whitestone
Attendance:
7,450

Match Stats

Home TeamExeterAway TeamCarlisle
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home14
Away19
Shots on Target
Home9
Away4
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home3
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Exeter City 3, Carlisle United 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Exeter City 3, Carlisle United 2.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Exeter City 3, Carlisle United 2. Jack Stacey (Exeter City) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jake Taylor.

  4. Post update

    Jake Taylor (Exeter City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Nicky Adams (Carlisle United).

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ryan Harley (Exeter City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Joel Grant.

  7. Goal!

    Goal! Exeter City 2, Carlisle United 2. John O'Sullivan (Carlisle United) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Nicky Adams with a cross.

  8. Post update

    Jordan Tillson (Exeter City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Jamie Proctor (Carlisle United).

  10. Post update

    Offside, Carlisle United. Gary Liddle tries a through ball, but Shaun Miller is caught offside.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joel Grant (Exeter City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ollie Watkins.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Exeter City 2, Carlisle United 1. Jason Kennedy (Carlisle United) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner following a corner.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. John O'Sullivan (Carlisle United) right footed shot from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Jason Kennedy.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Shaun Miller (Carlisle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Luke Joyce with a headed pass.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Danny Grainger (Carlisle United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Carlisle United. Conceded by Jordan Moore-Taylor.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Exeter City 2, Carlisle United 0. Ollie Watkins (Exeter City) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by David Wheeler.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ryan Harley (Exeter City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joel Grant.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Danny Grainger (Carlisle United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Nicky Adams with a cross following a corner.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Carlisle United. Conceded by Jordan Moore-Taylor.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Portsmouth462691179403987
2Plymouth462691171462587
3Doncaster4625101185553085
4Luton462017970432777
5Exeter462181775561971
6Carlisle461817116968171
7Blackpool4618161269462370
8Colchester4619121567571069
9Wycombe461912155853569
10Stevenage46207196763467
11Cambridge46199185850866
12Mansfield461715145450466
13Accrington461714155956365
14Grimsby461711185963-462
15Barnet461415175764-757
16Notts County46168225476-2256
17Crewe461413195867-955
18Morecambe461410225373-2052
19Crawley461312215371-1851
20Yeovil461117184964-1550
21Cheltenham461214204969-2050
22Newport461212225173-2248
23Hartlepool461113225475-2146
24Leyton Orient46106304787-4036
View full League Two table

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