Cheltenham Town 1-1 Carlisle United: Robins secure promotion with hard fought draw 
Photo by Dan Mullan / Getty Images

Cheltenham Town confirmed their promotion to League One with two games to spare after a hard fought draw against Carlisle United at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

A spectacular second-half free-kick from Chris Hussey was enough to cancel out an early goal from Carlisle forward  Joshua Kayode and split the points on a night where both teams struggled to create clear cut chances.  

Story of the match

League leaders Cheltenham came into the game knowing that just a point would be enough to confirm their promotion to the third tier, and they made a promising start to the game, enjoying the majority of the early possession and coming close to a quick breakthrough when a curling free kick-from from Chris Hussey caused a scramble at the back post before just being cleared away by the Carlisle defence in the eighth minute. 

The Robins then came close again not long after when George Lloyd made a dangerous break into the penalty area after shrugging off a weak challenge from Jack Armer, before seeing his powerful shot well blocked by centre-back Aaron Hayden

Carlisle slowly began to grow into the game as the first half went however, and managed to take a surprise lead after 33 minutes when Joshua Kayode got his head on the end of an enticing free-kick from Callum Guy and sent the ball looping over 'keeper Joshua Griffiths

United then almost doubled their lead just moments before half time when a Guy set-piece once again caused problems for the hosts defence, causing a large scramble in the box before being cleared by defender Charlie Raglan. 

Michael Duff's team responded well after the break though, coming close to scoring just minutes after the restart when top-scorer Alfie May got in behind the Cumbrians defence before seeing his effort sail over the bar. 

The Gloucestershire side did not have to wait much longer for their equaliser however, with Hussey getting them level after brilliantly curling in a free-kick from the edge of the box which beat goalkeeper Magnus Norman and just clipped the underside of the bar on its way in after 55 minutes. 

As the game began to enter its closing stages both sides pressed for a winning goal, with Cheltenham coming close when the ball fell into the path of Matty Blair on the edge of the box who's drilled shot was denied only by a superb low save by Norman with 79 minutes gone.

Kayode then came just inches away from giving Carlisle all three points in the 84th minute when he got his head on the end of a dangerous cross from Nick Anderton before seeing his effort slam back off the bar. 

Both sides applied late pressure but neither could find a winning goal, with the shared points being enough to confirm Cheltenham's promotion while effectively ending Carlisle's slim play-off hopes. 

Man of the match - Chris Hussey 

The winger did not just score the goal that secured Town's promotion but proved to be a constant threat throughout the game. 

Hussey's set-pieces caused chaos among the Carlisle defence on a number of occasions and could have easily lead to his side snatching all three points. 

Moreover, his ability to carry the ball forward and make dangerous runs out wide created problems for the visitors numerous times.