Jon Mellish is already on course to become Carlisle United's most prolific central midfielder for more than 25 years.

The Blues man continued his remarkable scoring form with the consolation goal in Sunday's 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Doncaster.

That was Mellish's 12th of the season, with all those goals coming in the last 14 of his 19 appearances so far.

Although the campaign is less than three months' old, Mellish has already equalled the best goalscoring return by a Carlisle midfielder since the 1990s - Jamie Devitt's 12-goal haul in 2018/19.

And the next goal scored by the ex-Gateshead man will see Mellish as the highest-scoring Blues midfielder since Simon Davey hit 13 in the 1993/4 campaign.

News and Star: Simon Davey: 13 goals in 1993/4 campaignSimon Davey: 13 goals in 1993/4 campaign

With 32 league games still to go, the likelihood is that the 23-year-old will surpass that.

He has already gone past the double-figure returns of other midfielders in recent United seasons, such as Jason Kennedy and Kyle Dempsey, who each hit 11 in 2016/17 and 2014/15 respectively, and James Berrett, who netted 10 consecutively in 2010/11 and 2011/12.

Mellish could also threaten the best scoring season by a non-striker in recent United memory - the 18 put away by defender Ian Harte in 2009/10.

Mellish's form is all the more impressive given that none of his goals have been penalties. Davey's total in 93/4 included three from the spot, with Harte dispatching seven penalties in 09/10.

Mellish's efforts in front of goal far outstrip his team-mates in the current season, meanwhile, with United's next highest scorers being Lewis Alessandra and Aaron Hayden, who both have three.

United head coach Chris Beech praised Mellish's scoring instincts after the Doncaster game, as the player continues to vindicate Beech's decision to convert him from centre-half in February.

He was in the right place to pounce after Hayden's header had been saved by the League One side's keeper Joe Lumley.

"If you stay on the move, constantly on the move in the box, you get more things from it," Beech said.

"It's something I did as a player.

"I was never the best passer, but I always made sure I worked very hard to beat my opponent - and Jon does - and I made sure I got myself in the box on every opportunity - and he does.

"Players like that also stay on the move – if the cross doesn’t come straight away, move again. And he does.

"By that he gets his rewards. Well done to Jon and to the lads, because they supported that."