Paul Simpson hailed the superb individual and collective efforts which led to a “massive result” for Carlisle United at Peterborough United.

The Blues stunned the promotion-chasers with a 3-1 win inspired by hat-trick hero Jon Mellish.

While Simpson accepted it was frustrating United had not produced many more such days this season, he was delighted with what he saw from his side at the Weston Homes Stadium – and pleased for the team, staff and fans.

“It certainly was more of what we want - and more of what we wanted all season,” the manager said.

“It was really pleasing. It was tough during the game, because we were under the cosh, especially towards the end, and we’re thinking, ‘Come on, just weather it and get through it’.

“But there were some really strong individual performances, which all led to a massive result.”

Carlisle’s first away win against Posh since 2000 was set up by a first career hat-trick by Mellish followed by some resolute defending to keep League One’s leading scorers at bay.

On Mellish, who started in midfield, Simpson said: “He's just got so much energy and so much desire to go and play.

“We can't complicate his game. We have to keep it really simple for him, but he thrives on it being simple. And I thought he put a right shift in today, on top of three very good finishes.

“I don't understand how he can get yellow carded in the first half. I think that's a real injustice. He's gone for the ball. He's got smashed on his knee, and he picks up a yellow card. So that's a frustration from today. And thankfully, it doesn't affect us.

News and Star: Jon Mellish and Dan Butterworth celebrateJon Mellish and Dan Butterworth celebrate (Image: Richard Parkes)

“But no – it was a really strong performance from him.”

Asked why Mellish in midfield had paid off with such dividends on this occasion, United’s manager added: “I think it was just because it was a really strong team performance.

“Mells then comes out, and he shows that he can do all sorts of jobs. He doesn't moan about being asked to play out of his favourite position.

“He played in midfield, he did well and then he goes and slots back into the defence at the end. He is a great, great person to have in the group.”

Harrison Burrows pulled one back for the hosts soon after Mellish had netted his third, and Carlisle then produced some hugely spirited defending to deny Ferguson’s side any more.

“Our goalkeeper came and took some crosses, the back three defended for their lives,” said Simpson.

“And I thought Jack Ellis was outstanding, even though he took that yellow card early on against real difficult players.

“Their wide players like David Ajiboye, Kwame Poku and Ephron Mason-Clark are a real handful, and I thought our full-backs stuck to the task.

News and Star: Jordan Gibson is denied a penalty after this challenge by Posh keeper Jed SteerJordan Gibson is denied a penalty after this challenge by Posh keeper Jed Steer (Image: Richard Parkes)

“We had midfielders like Dylan McGeouch and Harrison Neal who stuck at it and defended for their lives. And even the lads who have come off the bench have put a shift in to go earn that result for us.”

Simpson handed striker Georgie Kelly his debut as a second-half sub, whilst saying Taylor Charters’ first-half withdrawal came after the midfielder was feeling some “tightness” in his hamstring.

He will be assessed before Easter Monday’s home clash with Lincoln City.

United are 13 points from safety with six games to go and still looking highly likely to be relegated, but Simpson wants his team to build on what they produced on Good Friday.

Having previously talked about regaining “pride and respect” during their run-in towards the end of a poor campaign, he said: “We can't just settle on this one. I want to make sure we give the best version of ourselves.

“And we have to take whatever comes. But that's a better way to go about it. Last weekend [against Stevenage] was a better way to go about it.

“And I'm pleased with the way that we're starting games and that even though we were under the cosh a little bit here, we weathered it.

“We’re scoring goals. So there are positive signs there. But we need to do it in the next one. We need to do it in front of our own fans as well.”