Carlisle United 2 Salford City 1: Jon Mellish was the matchwinner as Carlisle United got the better of big-spending Salford City at Brunton Park.

The midfielder fired home his first goal of the season from close range on the hour mark.

That came after Brennan Dickenson's opener had been cancelled out by Josh Morris before the break.

Mellish's effort in a man-of-the-match display was enough to cap a good second-half display for the Cumbrians who earned their first home win of the campaign in front of 4,761 fans.

Chris Beech's side moved up to eighth in League Two as Kelvin Mellor enjoyed a solid right-back debut with sub Jordan Gibson also helping United get on top in the second half.

Beech handed right-back Mellor his first outing after this week's deadline-day move, also bringing Dickenson back into the side in two changes to the XI that started at Hartlepool last weekend.

Salford threatened early on when Ian Henderson slipped Morris in to the left of goal, but Magnus Norman saved well.

United then went up the other end and took the lead, as Joe Riley's long throw was headed on and found Dickenson in space to the right.

He sent a volley low and in off the right-hand post for his first goal at Brunton Park in the eighth minute.

News and Star: United celebrate Dickenson's openerUnited celebrate Dickenson's opener

Gary Bowyer's side, though, responded with some good passing and movement and could easily have gone in at the break in front.

Mellor made a crucial interception to deny ex-Blues loanee Morris at the near post.

And then it was Norman's turn to save United with an outstanding reflex stop as Matty Lund climbed to head a cross towards goal.

Norman was called upon again on 25 minutes to deny Conor McAleny after the keeper had miscued a clearance, Jason Lowe missing the target from the follow-up.

United's counter-attacking efforts only brought half-chances but Zach Clough was flagged offside when he went through to shoot past keeper Zach Jeacock.

Jon Mellish, fed by Mellor, was then denied with a shot on the turn but otherwise Carlisle created little as the half went on.

The sliding Morris, for Salford, just failed to reach a Henderson cross in the box and though Tristan Abrahams had the chance to grab a United second late in the first half, when Jack Armer's long, low ball forward put him behind the defence, keeper Jeacock made a comfortable save.

News and Star: Salford level as Josh Morris's shot beats Magnus NormanSalford level as Josh Morris's shot beats Magnus Norman

And Salford then got the leveller their play merited in the 44th minute when McAleny was first to the ball on the right and fed Morris, whose low shot went across Norman and into the bottom corner.

The visitors started the second half on top, McAleny failing to converte a Liam Shephard cross and then being denied by a Corey Whelan block.

Beech then made a change early in the half, sending on Gibson for his debut at Clough's expense.

He went onto the right of the attack and the change brought about significant improvement for United as they went on to regain the lead.

First, a long Riley throw caused problems, and when Callum Guy sent the ball back into the box, Salford struggled to clear under pressure from Abrahams - and Mellish then stole in to fire the ball home from close range.

News and Star: Mellish is congratulated by Abrahams after restoring United's leadMellish is congratulated by Abrahams after restoring United's lead

Bowyer responded with a change of his own, Ash Hunter replacing Brandon Asante, but Carlisle threatened again when, following a corner, Gibson drove the ball across from the right and Salford scrambled it away as Jack Armer tried to pounce.

With Dickenson sending over a number of good deliveries, Mellor later popped up with an overhead kick attempt which dipped just over the bar, following a corner earned by a good run down the left from impressive skipper Guy.

Sub Lewis Alessandra was next to go close when fed by Mellish, keeper Jeacock saving the shot, and then Riley sliced wide when Alessandra crossed after a counter-attack.

Dickenson, after going down for treatment, was then replaced by Mampala, with Alessandra denied by a block after linking with fellow sub Gibson.

Salford had struggled to create anything for a long period, as Carlisle broke time and again, with Alessandra having further chances for the Blues.

News and Star: United players roar to the Warwick Road End after Mellish's matchwinnerUnited players roar to the Warwick Road End after Mellish's matchwinner

Matty Willock had a late opportunity for the visitors but Corey Whelan capped a good defensive display with a block, while Mellor was watchful to nod a dangerous diagonal ball safely back to Norman as United ended a run of six draws on home soil dating back into last season.

United: Norman, K Mellor, Armer, McDonald, Whelan, Guy, Riley, Mellish, Dickenson (Mampala 83), Clough (Gibson 54), Abrahams (Alessandra 73). Not used: Jensen, Charters, Feeney, Young.

Goals: Dickenson 8, Mellish 59

Booked: Abrahams, Clough, Guy

Salford City: Jeacock, Touray, Lowe, Ndaba, Lund (Willock 82), Morris, Turnbull, McAleny, Shephard (Elliott 79), Thomas-Asante (Hunter 60), Henderson. Not used: Torrance, D Mellor, Smith, N’Mai.

Goals: Morris 44

Booked: Turnbull, Lowe

Ref: Martin Coy.

Crowd: 4,761 (172 Salford fans)