Carlisle United 0 Exeter City 2: Two second-half goals consigned Carlisle to their second defeat of the League One season.

Ryan Trevitt shot Exeter in front and then Demi Mitchell clinched the Grecians' victory.

There was controversy in Mitchell's involvement with United feeling he should have been sent off in the first half.

After being booked in the 25th minute, he fouled Fin Back as the Blues man got away from him - but ref Adam Herczeg declined to show him a second yellow card.

Carlisle, though, also caused their own undoing by failing to make the most of strong spells in both halves.

Their inability to score when on top cost them again as their wait for a first win of the campaign went on.

News and Star: Fin Back returned to the sideFin Back returned to the side (Image: Barbara Abbott)

With United watched by American businessman Tom Piatak, who has been linked with a possible takeover and who was in the Andrew Jenkins Stand with his son Tom, manager Paul Simpson brought Back back into the side in the only change from the XI that started against Wigan Athletic on Tuesday.

He returned at the expense of Jack Ellis, who dropped out of the squad.

Sean Maguire got his second start against an Exeter side for whom frontman Sam Nombe came back into their line-up along with Reece Cole.

News and Star: Jon Mellish started in midfield againJon Mellish started in midfield again (Image: Ben Holmes)

The Grecians were without injured frontman James Scott, while ex-Spurs midfielder Tom Carroll dropped to the bench.

Carlisle made a rapid start with some skilful work by Maguire working a shooting chance with just a minute gone, the frontman rifling just wide of the left-hand post.

Owen Moxon hit the wall with a free-kick as Jon Mellish, again starting in midfield, applied early pressure on the visitors.

Back then came close to his first Carlisle goal when Owen Moxon's backheel allowed Jordan Gibson to cross, Back's volley going narrowly wide.

Exeter, though, found some rhythm after the first 15 minutes and Mitchell was often a threat when he found space on the left.

News and Star: Paul Simpson on the touchlinePaul Simpson on the touchline (Image: Ben Holmes)

Jack Armer managed to block a Dion Rankine shot while later Holy spilled a Mitchell cross, thankfully grabbing the ball at the next attempt.

Mitchell drove a shot across goal and wide as he countered again for the Grecians, before he went into the book for a lunging challenge on Gibson.

Carlisle then applied more pressure with Mellish forcing a leaping save from Vil Sinisalo as the Blues kept an attack alive down the right.

There was then controversy as Mitchell, already booked, brought down Back as the Blues man got away from him, yet referee Herczeg ignored huge appeals from home fans to show him a second yellow card.

United began the second half in good shape as Moxon tested Sinisalo with a free-kick and Maguire headed a Mellish cross on target, the visiting keeper well placed to save.

News and Star: Owen Moxon lines up a free-kickOwen Moxon lines up a free-kick (Image: Ben Holmes)

Maguire then made a good run to receive a floated Gibson pass, the frontman turning and getting in a shot which spun behind for a corner.

Carlisle had started the half on top but could not take advantage, and had a scare when Trevitt almost went through after some hesitation at the back, only for Paul Huntington and Back to deny him in the nick of time.

Exeter made the first change, Sonny Cox replacing Zak Jules, before Simpson handed Dan Butterworth his home debut, Gibson going off as Luke Plange also took the place of Ryan Edmondson in attack.

The visitors came close when Pierce Sweeney headed a Reece Cole corner just wide, but then they punished the Blues from a corner in the 69th minute.

Huntington headed the delivery clear but Trevitt pounced on the edge of the box and drilled a low shot past Holy and into the bottom left corner.

News and Star: Exeter celebrate in front of their fansExeter celebrate in front of their fans (Image: Ben Holmes)

Carlisle struggled to muster an immediate response, with Simpson then sending on Taylor Charters and Alfie McCalmont.

Armer picked out Huntington with a far-post corner but Sinisalo clawed the captain's header behind.

And Exeter then broke back at United and killed the game nine minutes from time when they got in to the right and a low cross reached Mitchell, who found the bottom corner.

Carlisle forced a series of a corners but did not threaten from them and, after Butterworth saw an injury-time shot saved, were left to reflect on a missed opportunity as Exeter made the long trip back to Devon with the points.

United: Holy, Lavelle, Huntington, Mellish (McCalmont 78), Back, Armer, Guy (Charters 78), Moxon, Gibson (Butterworth 64), Maguire, Edmondson (Plange 64). Not used: Andresson, Garner, Barclay.

Exeter: Sinisalo, Jules (Cox 62), Sweeney, Aimson, Hartridge, Mitchell (Harper 86), Rankine, Trevitt, Cole, Aitchison (Diabate 86), Nombe. Not used: Woods, Carroll, Taylor, Borges.

Goals: Trevitt 69, Mitchell 81.

Booked: Mitchell

Ref: Adam Herczeg.

Crowd: 7,610 (318 Exeter fans).