FULL-TIME: Carlisle United 1 Scunthorpe United 1
SCUNTHORPE United maintained their unbeaten start to the year with a 1-1 draw at Carlisle United, but could have come away with all three points.
Karl Hawley put the Iron in front five minutes after the break with his seventh goal of the season following an impressive first half, but a stunning equaliser from David Symington earned a point for the home side.
After the disappointment of seeing their home game with Portsmouth postponed, United made one change from the side which triumphed at Colchester.
Mark Duffy missed out against the U's due to illness, but returned to the starting line-up against the Cumbrians, taking the place of striker Mike Grella.
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It meant Hawley was back in his usual forward role, while with Christian Ribeiro out injured Tom Newey filled in at right-back, with Callum Kennedy on the left.
The Iron made a positive start, enjoying plenty of possession and creating the better openings, though just lacked the end product.
Andy Barcham had the first chance inside the opening three minutes after lovely link-up play with Akpo Sodje, though failed to trouble Mark Gillespie with his effort from distance.
Duffy was at the heart of much of the visitors' positive play. A fine marauding run saw him lay the ball on for Barcham on the edge of the penalty area. But the latter's finishing once more let him down and Gillespie comfortably saved.
The Liverpudlian was at it again 10 minutes later, slotting a free-kick on the right across to Jimmy Ryan, who should have done better from inside the area. Carlisle keeper Gillespie didn't even have to break a sweat as Ryan blasted over.
Hawley tried his luck barely a minute later, but his ambitious strike from range never looked like finding the target. Tom Newey though, went a little closer with a header from Duffy's corner.
At the half hour mark, all Carlisle had to show for their efforts was an early attempt from Andy Welsh, who cut inside from the left and fired tamely at Sam Slocombe.
The home side though, began to work their way into the game as the clock ticked towards half-time.
Niall Canavan had to be on his guard when Slocombe failed to cut out Matty Robson's left-hand cross. The defender kept his cool to hack the ball clear just a few yards from goal.
United had a great chance to break the deadlock five minutes before the break. Hawley did all the hard work to escape the home defence on the right-hand edge of the area, but couldn't find the target from close range.
The visitors could have been left to rue those missed chances as Carlisle were quick out the blocks at the start of the second half.
Slocombe made a superb save to deny Sean O'Hanlon, tipping over the defender's header from a free-kick.
And the Iron keeper was called into action twice more in the space of two minutes.
A lovely passing move by Carlisle saw Liam Noble roll a shot goalwards, while Bradley Potts' sidefooted effort was well caught following a cross on the left.
Still, against the run of play, United found a breakthrough.
Newey got the better of Robson down the left and used the space to find Hawley, who was well placed in the penalty area to tap home and give his side the lead.
The goal sparked the Cumbrians back into life and Slocombe again did well to deny an O'Hanlon header from point-blank range, but with the home fans restless, Scunthorpe held firm.
A volleyed effort from Hawley and a blocked shot from Sodje kept Carlisle on their toes at the other end.
However, just when it looked like Scunthorpe were going to be rewarded with a clean-sheet, substitute David Symington bagged an equaliser.
And he did it in style.
From full-on 30 yards out, he arrowed a brilliant free-kick past Slocombe and into the top corner with 75 minutes gone.
Buoyed by their goal, Carlisle snatched the momentum and put their hosts under pressure in the final 15 minutes.
Scunthorpe though, managed to cling on in a frantic finish and could have snatched a winner when substitute Grella saw his effort saved.
CARLISLE: Gillespie, Simek, Livesey, O'Hanlon, Robson, Noble (Beck 66), Berrett, Potts, McGovern (Symington 73), Miller, Welsh. Subs not used: Collin, Loy, Cadamarteri, Thirlwell, Todd.
SCUNTHORPE: Slocombe, Newey, Reid, Canavan, Kennedy, Duffy (Grella 90), Collins, Ryan, Barcham (Mirfin 90), Sodje, Hawley. Subs not used: Severn, Godden, Howe, Wooton, Adelakun.
ATTENDANCE: 3,829 (123 away).