Diagouraga rescues point for Brentford

Carlisle United 2 Brentford 2

Toumani Diagouraga was Brentford’s hero again, rescuing a point for his team and sparing David Clarkson’s blushes.

Clarkson netted at both ends and his own goal midway through the second half looked like condemning Uwe Rosler’s side to a third defeat in four league matches before the fit-again Diagouraga came up with an 88th-minute equaliser.

On-loan Bristol City striker Clarkson gave Rosler’s men an early lead, firing home after being teed up by Jonathan Douglas.

But James Berrett equalised and worse followed for the visitors when Clarkson’s attempted clearance ended up in his own net.

Diagouraga, brilliant in the midweek win at Charlton, was making his first league start of the campaign having recovered from the knee injury he suffered during pre-season.

And he again underlined his importance, this time cutting inside after being found by Clarkson and scoring his second goal in as many matches.

Brentford were looking for a seventh consecutive away victory and some consolation for their defeat to the Cumbrians in last season’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.

They were on course to achieve both after Clarkson’s strike, but were unable to maintain their early momentum.

Carlisle were without Lubomir Michalik, who is away on international duty, and are yet to win a game without the Slovakia defender since he joined them last year.

They seemed to miss his presence in the box when Douglas got his head to Adam Thompson’s ninth-minute cross, allowing the well-placed Clarkson to get first goal for the Bees.

But Carlisle dominated the rest of the first half and hit back with a deserved equaliser on 23 minutes.

Full-back Matty Robson crossed from the left and Liam Noble knocked the ball on to Berrett, who shot into the bottom corner.

Brentford improved after the break and Douglas and Kevin O’Connor both fired over as the visitors put United under pressure.

But Carlisle went ahead when Berrett lofted a free-kick into the danger area and Clarkson stuck out a leg – and inadvertently diverted the ball past goalkeeper Richard Lee.

Rosler made a necessary change with 18 minutes remaining, sending on striker Clayton Donaldson in place of defender Marcel Eger.

Six minutes later he made another attack-minded substitution, replacing Blair Adams with Sam Saunders, and Brentford eventually did come up with the all-important leveller.

It came when Clarkson atoned for his unfortunate mistake by showing good composure to set up Diagouraga, who shot through the legs of keeper Adam Collin.