The Sky Bet League Two Play-Offs got off to a stunning start with the semi-final first legs producing 11 goals, and twists and turns aplenty.Six of those came at Brunton Park, and were evenly shared by Carlisle United and Exeter City after a spirited fightback by the hosts.
Exeter took the lead through a Joel Grant header, but were pegged back when a Nicky Adams delivery found its way in via the unfortunate Jordan Moore-Taylor.
Ryan Harley restored the Grecians’ lead on the stroke of half-time and, when David Wheeler made it 3-1, the visitors looked like taking a healthy lead with them back to Devon.
However, John O’Sullivan halved the deficit in the 72nd minute when his cross ended up in the back of the net, and Shaun Miller headed home a minute later to ensure a winner-takes-all second leg on Thursday night.
In the night’s other tie, Mark Cullen was the hero, scoring a hat-trick as Blackpool won a topsy-turvy meeting with Luton Town.
Cullen’s opening goal was cancelled out by quickfire efforts from Dan Potts and Isaac Vassell, but the striker found the net from 25 yards to restore parity just after the break.
The former Hatter had the last word too, after Tom Aldred had been hauled down inside the penalty area. Cullen scored the spot-kick, took home the match ball, and handed the Seasiders a first-leg lead to take to Kenilworth Road.