Cambridge boss Mark Bonner admitted Carlisle United made it hard for his table-topping side in yesterday’s clash at Brunton Park.

The visiting manager said Chris Beech’s team gave the division’s new leaders a serious examination in the second half.

But Bonner was delighted his team showed the ruthlessness to score in the 90th minute to grab all three points.

Adam May’s winner came after Lewis Alessandra had cancelled out Paul Mullin’s opener.

“In the first half we were brilliant and we needed to score, and we scored a good goal,” he said after his team's 2-1 win.

“Some of the football we played was outstanding.

“In the second half they changed the shape, put pace and power on, exactly what we expected, and made it hard – they constantly put the ball in your box, get so many set plays you have to defend, you half-clear it because you can’t get out against the wind, your full-backs can’t get out and give you and out-ball, it gets harder and harder.

“You get deep and we lacked a bit of intensity and quality at times. But credit has to go to them for how they managed the conditions and with the changes they made. They caused us a lot of problems.

News and Star: Cambridge boss Mark BonnerCambridge boss Mark Bonner

“At the time they scored it was in the balance and if anything they might have gone away with it.”

Bonner praised the impact of subs May and Shilow Tracey on Cambridge’s late surge which left United with three straight defeats and one win in 13.

He added of Carlisle: “If you go on points per game these have the best home record in the league, and you can see why – it’s a tough place to come.”

Mullin’s 45th-minute goal against the Blues was his 27th of the season.

His league goals total of 25 broke a 35-year club record – and the striker has now had a stand named after him at the Abbey Stadium.

Bonner said: “It’s a huge achievement. It’s rare - it’s hard to get a striker of that quality in your team and also build a team that gives him the chances.”

He added of Cambridge’s high-flying status: “To be where we are at this stage is not supposed to be, but we play as though we’re enjoying it. We look like a team that’s having a bit of an adventure and loving it.”