Grimsby Town 1 Carlisle United 0: Carlisle United's play-off hopes suffered a blow as sub Joe Grayson's 90th-minute volley earned victory for Grimsby.

The late strike meant a first win in 11 for the struggling Mariners - and left the Blues two points outside the play-off places with two games to go.

It proved a damaging day at Blundell Park as the Cumbrians also lost Kelvin Etuhu to a first-half injury.

Nathan Thomas and Callum O'Hare had their best chances but United, having beaten leaders Lincoln on Good Friday, were left to rue a much poorer display.

Midfielder Etuhu, passed fit to play after a recent ankle problem, lasted 27 minutes before limping off.

Both sides struggled to find a way through in a below-par spectacle in the first 45 minutes.

United captain Anthony Gerrard presented Grimsby with an early chance with a poor cross-field pass, but Harry Clifton's shot deflected wide.

Reece Hall-Johnson's battling then drew a foul from Tom Parkes just outside the box but Grimsby couldn't make the free-kick count.

At the other end, Hallam Hope and Thomas failed with half-chances while O'Hare saw an attempt blocked as he met Thomas' pass.

The second half was a livelier affair with Thomas denied from close range by keeper James McKeown after linking well with O'Hare.

Another Thomas effort was blocked before Adam Collin produced a fine save to deny Charles Vernam, Parkes then heading a home effort off the line.

Pressley sent on fit-again Mark Cullen for his first outing since early March, O'Hare then having United's next attempt, firing just wide from 25 yards after beating a man.

Vernam curled over at the other end with Jason Kennedy then on for the closing stages for the Blues.

It seemed a 0-0 draw was destined before Grimsby scored at the death, Vernam's cross from the right turned past Collin by Grayson, who had replaced the injured Kristian Dennis seven minutes earlier.

United could not find a leveller in nine added minutes and now have it all to do with their remaining matches against Crawley and Yeovil.

Pressley called Thomas back into his side with Jamie Devitt missing out with a hamstring injury.

Grimsby: McKeown, Hall-Johnson, Whitmore, Davis, Hendrie, Ring (Woolford 63), Clifton (Pollock 90), Hessenthaler, Vernam, Dennis (Grayson 83), Rose. Unused subs: Russell, Burrell, Curran, McPherson.

United: Collin, Liddle, Miller, Gerrard, Parkes, Jones, Etuhu (Glendon 27), O'Hare, Scougall (Cullen 64), Thomas, Hope (Kennedy 81). Unused subs: Gray, Gillesphey, Slater, Branthwaite.