Wallace heroics not enough as Wyke strikes late
Charlie Wyke scored with the last kick of the game as Pompey were cruelly denied victory at Carlisle.
Jed Wallace had earlier scored one and provided another as the visitors fought from behind to reach the brink of an away win.
Kyle Dempsey fired the struggling hosts ahead with a fine effort in the opening seconds.
But an exocet from Wallace brought the Blues level before the impressive midfielder sent in a delicious cross for Matt Tubbs to gobble up.
Pompey dominated after the break and looked like they had done enough before Wyke popped up at the death.
Andy Awford made four changes from the side beaten by Shrewsbury the previous week.
Wes Fogden was handed his first start in 11 months in the hole behind lone striker Ryan Taylor.
Dan Butler, Josh Passley and Nigel Atangana also returned as the Blues switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
But they got off to the worst possible start by falling behind with just 88 seconds on the clock.
A cross from the right was not properly dealt with and Dempsey volleyed into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Pompey looked all at sea after that and Joe Devera was forced to hack clear when Wyke hooked the ball goalwards.
The visitors did create an opening on 12 minutes when Fogden and Taylor combined well to feed James Dunne, whose drive was deflected wide.
And they grew into the game as the half progressed, although Carlisle still looked dangerous on the break.
United were almost gifted a second on 25 minutes when Ben Chorley lost possession and the ball was worked to Steven Rigg, who scuffed an effort wide.
Pompey were seeing more of the ball, but were limited to half-chances like an Atangana header that landed on the roof of the net.
Fogden did have a decent opportunity to level soon after when, at full stretch, he could only turn Butler’s cross over.
But the Blues did get back on level terms on 38 minutes thanks to a stunning long-range strike from WALLACE that rocketed into the net.
Rigg and Paul Corry were unable to take advantage of chances for Carlisle as the half started to drift towards its conclusion.
But it exploded back to life deep into stoppage-time – and this time Wallace was the provider for a second Pompey goal.
The wide-man collected a fine pass from Butler and sent in a teasing low cross that TUBBS tapped home from just a yard out.
Half Time: Carlisle 1 Pompey 2
Awford made a change at the start of the second half as Chorley, who had hurt his back, made way for Nyron Nosworthy at the heart of Pompey’s defence.
The on-loan Blackpool man was immediately in the wars and had to depart down the tunnel for stitches after receiving a deep gash on his head.
But he failed to return, so Adam Webster was the latest man to partner Devera, who then had to trudge to the sidelines himself to get a cut elbow cleaned up.
Pompey had the first decent chance since the restart when Wallace spun and fired in a shot that United keeper Dan Hanford did well to tip over.
The hosts, meanwhile, were struggling to keep hold of possession, with the Brunton Park faithful growing increasingly frustrated.
Wallace tried to add to their woe on 71 minutes by delivering a dangerous cross that Patrick Brough had to turn over his own crossbar.
The Carlisle defender then made a well-timed challenge in the box to deny Tubbs after Wallace had played an incisive pass.
Tubbs soon had a couple more chances, but saw his angled drive claimed by Hanford before diverting another Wallace cross over.
Taylor thought he had given the Blues a cushion when he was quick to react after Hanford failed to hold Dunne’s drive, but the striker was flagged offside.
The visitors looked comfortable as the game entered stoppage-time, but in the fifth minute of that Wyke took advantage to slot in when the ball bounced into his path.
Carlisle (4-1-4-1): Hanford; Atkinson, O’Hanlon, Grainger (c), Brough; Kennedy; Potts, Dempsey (Dicker 78), Corry (Paynter 64), Rigg (Asamoah 77); Wyke
Goals: Dempsey 2, Wyke 90+5
Subs not used: Gillespie, Buddle, Young, Beck
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones; Passley, Devera, Chorley (c) (Nosworthy 46 (Webster 54)), Butler; Dunne, Atangana; Wallace, Fogden, Tubbs (Hollands 84); Taylor
Goals: Wallace 38, Tubbs 45+3
Subs not used: Cornell, Close, Chaplin, Westcarr
Referee: Nigel Miller
Attendance: 5,230 (789 Pompey fans)