CARLISLE seemed determined to exorcise any demons they may have as they raced out of the blocks against Morecambe.

United had never beaten the Shrimps at home in the league before last night – but they took the lead with barely 25 seconds on the clock in bizarre fashion.

Lewis Alessandra made a driving run into the box before holding the ball up well, allowing Josh Kayode to make an overlapping run.

His low cross across the box inexplicably looped off Yann Songo’o and over a helpless Jake Turner in the Morecambe goal.

Not content with the flying start, Carlisle made it 2-0 three minutes in. Converted defender Jon Mellish notched his sixth goal of the season, when his deep cross from the right hand side struck the post, then Turner, then the back of the net.

The Blues then squandered two good chances to extend the lead – Kayode cleared a Morecambe freekick with a towering header and sent United on the break. Riley then picked out Kayode in the opposition box, but his touch let him down and the keeper was able to smother the ball.

Moments later, Alessandra ran clear of the defence and was through one-on-one. He tried to knock it past Turner, but the keeper was alive to the danger and gathered the ball with ease.

Morecambe continued to find it difficult to hold onto the ball and failed to create anything of note for most of the first half – but they did manage to stem the tide, for the rest of the first 45, and restricted Carlisle to just one more good chance.

A throw on the right hand flank was headed down and crossed into Alessandra, but his powerful shot from just outside the six yard box took a slight ouch off a Morecambe defender and went out for a corner.

The first booking of the night went to United’s Joe Riley on 37 minutes. He clattered into the unfortunate Songo’o just in front of the Morecambe bench.

Manger Derek Adams was screaming for a red card, but referee Ross Joyce showed him the yellow instead.

Morecambe’s only real chance of the first half came right at the death. Toure gave away a free kick for handball in a good position on the left of United’s box.

Aaron Wildig curled in a good ball to the back post, which was headed back across the face of goal – but nobody in red arrived to stab it home and United went into the break with a well-deserved lead.

Carlisle again started the half brightly, with three good chances in the opening eight minutes. Alessandra capitalised on a mistake from the defender on the right wing, and played a tempting ball across the box for Kayode, but the big man just couldn’t reach it.

Mellish displayed yet another good piece of skill with a good turn on the edge of the box, but Morecambe got back and were able to clear.

The ball came out to Tanner, who carried it into the centre of the park and hit a shot from the edge of the box, it was straight down the throat of Turner.

Adams perhaps sensed something wasn’t working and made the first change of the night on 58 minutes, with Carlos Gomes Mendes coming off for Adam Phillips.

The Burnley loanee is the Shrimps’ top scorer this season with five goals, and he nearly added to his tally, but for a brilliant save from Paul Farman.

The Carlisle keeper hadn’t had much to do all game, but he was alive to the danger when his defence switched off, spreading himself at Phillips’ feet well to block the shot.

Morecambe pulled one back on 79 minutes. Songo’o made amends for his early own goal when he leapt the highest to head home a corner and set up a nervy final 11 minutes, with Carlisle threatening to undo all their good work.

The game should have been out of sight with the chances they’d had, but Morecambe were buoyed by their goal and piled on the pressure with a succession of corners, leaving the Cumbrians fearing the worst – but a good break saw Callum Guy slip it to George Tanner.

The right-back drove forwards from space and hit an inch-perfect left-footed curler past Turner into the bottom corner for his first goal for Carlisle.

The goal came at the right time for United, and Morecambe’s momentum was cancelled out and United were able to see the game out comfortably.

Kayode had another good chance, racing forward with the defenders standing off him - but his shot hit the side netting and denied him the goal his play probably deserved.

The victory saw United climb into the play-off places, at the heady heights of fourth place. The Blues are now unbeaten in six games, and can look ahead to the long trip to Exeter this weekend with confidence.

Morecambe meanwhile have lost three of their last four

games, and slipped to 12th in the table.

George Tanner was rewarded for his efforts, and his first goal, with the man of the match award on the night.


Carlisle United: Farman, Tanner, Anderton, Hayden, Riley(Furman, 76), Guy, Alessandra (Obiero, 87), Mellish, McDonald, Kayode, Toure (Reilly, 72). Not used: Dewhurst, Devine, Hunt, Bell, Obiero.

Goals: Songo’o (O.G, 1), Mellish (3), Tanner (87).

Morecambe FC: Turner, Mellor, Hendrie, Knight-Percival, Lavelle, Slew, Diagouraga, Wildig, Gomes Mendes (Phillips, 58), O’Sullivan, Songo’o . Not used: Halstead, Kenyon, Pringle, McAlinden, Phillips, Cooney, Price. Goal: Songo’o (79),

Referee: Ross Joyce.