Peterborough United 1 Carlisle United 3: A sensational Jon Mellish hat-trick stunned promotion-chasing Posh and handed the Blues a memorable away win.

Mellish struck in the 27th, 49th and 58th minutes on a stunning afternoon at the Weston Homes Stadium.

Harrison Burrows pulled one back but Peterborough could not find a further way through a resolute United side.

It meant one of United's more remarkable results this season - and an unforgettable one for their hat-trick hero, who was serenaded with a song of "Super Jon Mellish" from United's travelling fans.

Only Carlisle's sixth win of the campaign - and their first in their 'fruit salad' away kit - puts them 13 points from safety with six games to play.

News and Star: Mellish heads the openerMellish heads the opener (Image: Richard Parkes)

But even if relegation remains highly likely, Paul Simpson's side gave their supporters a Good Friday to savour.

Mellish, who started the game in midfield. headed home Jordan Gibson's cross to give the Blues the lead, then two superb volleys in quick succession after the break brought up his first career treble.News and Star: Jon Mellish volleys his secondJon Mellish volleys his second (Image: Richard Parkes)

Burrows' 62nd minute effort was slim consolation for Posh, who missed further chances through Jonson Clarke-Harris and Ricky-Jade Jones, but were also denied by some obstinate United defending. 

United manager Simpson gave Georgie Kelly his debut as a second-half sub, while the Cumbrians lost Taylor Charters to injury midway through the first ghalf.

Carlisle's boss named the same XI that had started the previous weekend's draw with Stevenage.

But Simpson was boosted by Kelly's return to fitness as the striker was named among the subs for the first time.

Sean Grehan was also back on the bench as Sean Maguire and Jack Robinson dropped out of the 18, with Paul Huntington and Fin Back again among those left out.

Darren Ferguson named an unchanged Peterborough line-up and they dominated possession for much of the early stages, with Burrows having an early shot blocked.

Jack Ellis was booked as early as the sixth minute for a foul while Sam Lavelle twice had to intervene to break up attacks in the United box.

Harry Lewis, though, had few saves to make even as Ferguson's side had the lion's share of things, Malik Mothersille turning and shooting over the bar before Lavelle blocked a Kwame Poku effort.

United then suffered an injury blow as Charters had to be replaced in the 22nd minute.

But his replacement, Gibson, played a pivotal role in Carlisle's opening goal five minutes later.

First, Dan Butterworth fed Mellish and Josh Knight's challenge in the box was deemed fair despite United's appeals.

News and Star: Mellish volleys his thirdMellish volleys his third (Image: Richard Parkes)

From the short corner, Gibson turned on the left and then crossed for Mellish to power a header low past keeper Jed Steer.

The scorer celebrated by cupping his ears in front of the home fans as United got in front against the high-fliers.

At the other end, Ephron Mason-Clark shot over as Posh tried to respond, Lewis quickly off his line to deny the dangerman a few minutes later.

Ryan De Havilland later shot wide from 20 yards as the hosts looked for a way through Simpson's rearguard.

And then, four minutes into the second half, Carlisle doubled their lead.

Gibson held the ball up well on the right before Mellish broke free into the box, cutting in to shoot, and when the block looped back his way, he sent a flying volley high past Steer for his second of the game.

Peterborough boss Ferguson, who saw Mason-Clark have ambitious penalty appeals ignored, then made a triple change.

But things just kept on happening for United - and Mellish.

For in the 58th minute he had his hat-trick, as a Blues corner was cleared but the next delivery found its way to Mellish to the right...and he buried a terrific volley past Steer.

United, though, had little time to settle on their remarkable three-goal lead as Posh pulled one back four minutes later.

It came through Burrows, who fired low past Lewis from the edge of the box as a cross from sub David Ajiboye broke his way.

News and Star: Georgie Kelly comes on for his debutGeorgie Kelly comes on for his debut (Image: Richard Parkes)

Simpson sent on Alfie McCalmont for Butterworth as United looked to stem a Posh revival, and home sub Jonson Clarke-Harris should have pulled another back but headed Mason-Clark's cross wide from a good position.

More home pressure led Lewis to save from Mason-Clark before an acrobatic Ben Barclay clearance saved United when Clarke-Harris's header looked like setting up a close-range goal.

Another home change saw Emmanuel Fernandez on for Posh as they desperately tried to find a further way back, United now entirely on the defensive.

Simpson introduced Kelly for his debut as part of a double change in the 78th minute, Josh Emmanuel on as Dylan McGeouch and Ellis made way.

Carlisle battled to keep the hosts at bay and survived a dangerous moment when a cross reached Ricky-Jade Jones, but he missed his kick.

And Clarke-Harris then hooked a Mason-Clark cross against the bar as United scrambled clear, then holding on in seven added minutes to seal a memorable win - their first at this ground for 24 years.

Peterborough: Steer, Katongo (Ajiboye 52), Edwards, Knight, De Havilland (Clarke-Harris 52), Randall (Fernandez 72), Collins, Poku (Olakigbe 78), Mothersille (Jones 52), Mason-Clark. Not used: Bilokapic, Crichlow.

Goal: Burrows 62.

United: Lewis, Barclay, Lavelle, Mellish, Ellis (Emmanuel 78), Armer, McGeouch (Kelly 78), Neal, Charters (Gibson 22), Butterworth (McCalmont 65), Armstrong. Not used: Breeze, Diamond, Grehan.

Goals: Mellish 27, 49, 58.

Booked: Ellis, Mellish.

Ref: Will Finnie.

Crowd: 10,080 (United fans TBC).