Carlisle United played their first post-flood home game at Deepdale, as the Brunton Park clear-up continued at pace back in Cumbria, and they didn't disappoint the hardy Cumbrian band of followers who made the trip to show their support at what is a very difficult time for everyone in the region.
United started well and a clever volleyed pass from Dicker sent Grainger free on the right. His cross hit a County man but he got a second bite of the cherry when Kennedy and Wyke combined to win the ball back. Another block brought a corner but Edwards did well to get in the way as Ibehre challenged.
The momentum continued and the Cumbrians were awarded a penalty with just 5 minutes on the clock when Kennedy bustled his way through two challenges. Burke lunged in to stop him but he was late and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Captain Danny Grainger placed the ball and he made no mistake as he smashed his fifth of the season into the back of the net.
County had a good spell following the goal and a drilled cross from Curtis Thompson invited Stead and McLeod to run into a good area. The pair were disappointed as it skipped off the surface and bounced harmlessly behind.
A long range effort from Stead was easy for Gillespie to handle, as he watched it all the way, and United broke quickly with Kennedy again at the heart of the move. His lobbed cross was just too high for Wyke to divert.
Swerts was next to try his luck from distance, but a quick release from the save by Gillespie sent blue shirts on the attack. Grainger lofted a lovely pass into the box but a touch on the run from Sweeney gave Smith the chance to clear.
More excellent football from Carlisle took Grainger free on the left flank and a fizzed low cross was an inch away from being converted by the sliding Charlie Wyke. Dicker recovered it and a second cross from Grainger was hooked away by Burke as Ibehre steamed in. The second ball was immediately sent back in and Ibehre was unlucky to see his fierce volley smash into a wall of players.
The Grainger outlet proved to be a real danger as he peppered the box through a dominant spell, but an amazing double save from Gillespie held the Magpies at bay as the keeper tipped a curling 30-yarder from Burke onto the upright. Curtis Thompson recovered the spinning ball and he put it on a plate for Stead, who had held his position on the penalty spot. The Carlisle stopper somehow made up the ground to palm the glanced header away from the top corner.
United had the better of a quieter spell ahead of the break, in terms of possession and territory, but crosses from Sheehan and Thompson had to be watched as they bent across the face of goal.
The 'home' side survived the scares and doubled their lead on the stroke of half time when Ellis launched a long throw into the box. Raynes flicked it on and Jabo Ibehre kept his promise, made post-match last week, when he steamed in to bag goal number 13 of the campaign from close range.
United fashioned the first chance of the second half when a through ball from Sweeney put Ibehre at an angle. He went for power and it flew over the bar as Carroll skipped across to cover.
The game was ended as a contest just before the hour when quick thinking with a reverse pass from Ellis brought a first time cross from Grainger. A dummy from Ibehre allowed Sweeney to shoot, and a block on the line had interest from Wyke and Dicker. The prolific Jabo Ibehre took over and there was little doubt that nothing other than goal number 14 of the season was on the way from the moment he controlled it with the side of his boot.
A ball over the top gave Wyke something to chase as Carlisle looked comfortable, but Stead was close again when he got onto the end of a rattled McLeod centre. Gillespie stood tall as it fell into his hands.
A bad day at the office was summed up for County when a lovely shot from Stead somehow crept past the post, and Campbell followed that with a miscued volley when he had the net at his mercy inside the area.
The Magpies should have had a consolation when a through ball from Campbell opened things up late in the day. A queue of players set themselves to shoot but a lack of conviction led to the door being firmly slammed shut.
Wyke sent a grasscutter at Carroll in time added on, and it was another good job done as Carlisle extended their impressive run to just one defeat from their last ten outings.
United - Grainger (5 pen), Ibehre (45, 59)
United - Wyke (55)
County - McLeod (39), Sheehan (44), Campbell (47)
Carlisle United - Gillespie, Atkinson, Ellis, Raynes, Gillesphey, Sweeney (J Thompson 79), Kennedy, Dicker, Grainger (McQueen 70), Wyke, Ibehre (Asamoah 70), Subs - Hanford, Hery, Brough, Archibald-Henville.
Notts County - Carroll, Smith (Murray 70), Milsom, C Thompson, Campbell, Burke (Aborah 57), Swerts, Stead, Edwards, McLeod, Sheehan. Subs - Loach, Spencer, Snijders, Jenner, Sprockel.
Referee - Mr Darren Bond
Attendance - 3,336 (269 away fans)