ST HELENS Town will be kicking themselves after Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat to Carlisle City.

When will they learn how to hold on to a lead?

They were 2-1 up with only injury time to play when they conceded an equaliser.

And while they were still arguing about the injustice of it all, Carlisle strolled through to score the winning goal with the last move of the match.

It was not as if it had not happened before.

In both games last season, Carlisle scored two late goals to snatch 4-3 wins and in September at Gillford Park, Town were only 1-0 down and conceded two freak goals in the last two minutes to lose 3-0.

Talk about history repeating itself!

St Helens were so far on top, it was unbelievable and there were more than enough chances to wrap up the points before the Cumbrians’ late push.

Wasted opportunities are becoming the order of the day at Ruskin Drive and most seem to fall at the feet of leading scorer Shaun Brady.

He is an outstanding talent with pace to burn, but he must learn to be a little more patient and he would score twice as many goals.

Luke Edwards had an outstanding game, tearing Carlisle apart down the left time and again and it was from his miss-hit corner that Town took the lead in the fifth minute, a City player inadvertently turning the ball past Adam Coward and into his own net.

Edwards made a lovely break 10 minutes later, setting up Brady, who turned his man, before hitting a fine shot on to the bar.

Then Danny Lomax saw his powerful drive turned on to the bar by Coward and it was all St Helens at this point.

The visitors came back into the game at the half-hour point, David Renyard hitting a good shot straight at Town’s debutant keeper Kieron Yong, who was outstanding in the home net.

He pulled off some wonderful, athletic saves and looked assured in his first game at North West Counties Division One level.

The sides went into the break with Town full value for their 1-0 lead, but Robert McCartney equalised for City in the 69th minute with a shot which beat Yong at his far post.

Brady had a great chance to restore Town’s lead immediately afterwards, but he snatched at his opportunity, then Renyard went close at the other end, pulling his shot wide of Yong.

St Helens went ahead again in the 76th minute when another debutant, Liam Diggle, headed home past Coward at close quarters and when Yong pulled off another great save and chances fell to Brady, Edwards and Tom Grimshaw, any one of which would have put the game beyond Carlisle, Town looked certain to hold on for the three points.

Then in the 91st minute and out of nowhere City surged forward and scrambled an equaliser through James Tose.

In the immediate aftermath, Edwards and substitute Paul Cliff protested to the referee that Edwards had been shoved in the back, but the only outcome to the objection was a yellow card for the Town wingman and, with that the whole team seemed to lose its composure.

Carlisle appeared to sniff blood and went in for the kill.

In a repeat of the same move, McCartney scored his second goal and, incredibly, stole the points once again for City.

St Helens are at home again on Saturday, this time to promotion-chasing Sandbach United, before a Boxing Day trip through the Mersey Tunnel to take on Cammell Laird 1907 at St Peter’s Road. Both games kick off at 3pm.