AARON Hayden’s second half header restricted Swindon to a draw at Brunton Park on Saturday as more than 500 of the bravest Town fans returned south having watched a 1-1 draw.

On loan defender Rarmani Edmonds-Green put the visitors ahead with 11 minutes on the clock after his volley couldn’t be cleared off the line by Nathan Thomas.

And in a game of few chances, it was Hayden that nodded Carlisle level on the hour mark after a well-weighted corner from the left was guided beyond Steven Benda’s left reach.

Title rivals Crewe grabbed a late winner at home to Oldham while Exeter beat Stevenage, meaning Town's lead at the top of the table is now two points.

Richie Wellens made one enforced change from his squad that defeated Exeter City last weekend.

Mathieu Baudry missed out after he picked up a slight knock in training, Zeki Fryers played in his place while deadline day signing Matt Palmer was named on the bench.

Carlisle only threatened through Byron Webster in the opening minutes, the defender’s volley from 25 yards out was blasted over Benda’s crossbar after a free kick from inside the visitors’ half was cleared by Doyle.

The game’s staggered nature denied any further chances in the opening 10 minutes, though centre half Rarmani Edmonds-Green soon had Town a goal to the good.

After Yates won a corner, Caddis’ outswinging delivery was initially tapped down by the 21-year-old to defensive teammate Fryers.

Intentional or not, Fryers’ return pass granted Edmonds-Green the chance to shoot. In truth, his effort should’ve been comfortably cleared off the line by Nathan Thomas.

But Thomas guided the on-target attempt into the hosts’ bottom corner, gifting Town a soft lead.

Edmonds-Green was unlucky not to have an assist to his name minutes after his goal. A corner from the left was nodded down by the centre half for Doyle to strike, though that effort was blocked.

But after winning a second ball from the block, Edmonds-Green picked out Jaiyesimi. The winger proceeded to shoot from close range at a tight angle and forced an excellent left-footed save out of Collin.

Talking of good saves, Benda made the stop of the match with half-an-hour on the clock. A poor clearance by Fryers on the edge of the visitors’ penalty area that never left the ground fell to Thomas who picked out the advancing McKirdy well.

McKirdy, under extreme pressure, pierced Town’s penalty area to go one-on-one. But Benda’s reaction save low to his right kept Town ahead.

Besides the three mentioned chances, goalscoring opportunities in the first half were at a premium as Town battled the increasingly tricky head wind.

Hallam Hope could’ve been sent through by Doyle on the stroke of half time, but the Irishman’s delivery was blocked in a move that epitomised a rather dull opening half.

Storm Ciara’s presence grew as the second half started – perhaps to the advantage of Town who were now playing with the wind behind.

Smart playmaking moves by Hope and Jaiyesimi went without reward as chances at the start of the second were again at a premium.

And while Carlisle were without a chance in the opening quarter-of-an-hour of the half, they did equalise through Aaron Hayden from a corner.

United’s delivery from the left was nodded down with ease by Hayden with 61 minutes played.

The Croydon-born defender could’ve easily grabbed a second in similar circumstances five minutes later. But Benda’s instinctive save low to his right denied the youngster a quick brace.

Play sparked into life off the back of Hayden’s equaliser. Doyle stung the palms of Collin with a vicious effort from distance after Yates offloaded play from the left.

A series of half chances for United went without punishment as play entered its final five minutes, during which Wellens made two changes as pacey options Isgrove and Woolery entered play.

Though Benda dropped an injury time corner, Town left Cumbria a point better than the arrived.

Carlisle: Collin, Hayden, Thomas, Jones, Alessandra (Bridge, 77), McKirdy (Patrick, 45), Watt, Jones, Webster, Anderton, Guy (Charters, 83).

Town: Benda, Caddis, Edmonds-Green, Fryers, Hunt, Grant, Doughty, Jaiyesimi (Isgrove, 90), Hope (Muskwe, 65’), Yates, Doyle (Woolery, 90).