Disappointing away day for United
Notts County rekindled hopes of a great escape at Meadow Lane as they rediscovered their goal scoring touch to grab the three points which pulled United into the bottom four following a disappointing away performance.
United started brightly with Potts and Byrne both going on runs to try to turn the back line and Amoo almost capitalised on a slip in midfield from Sheehan as he raced down the right flank. He made it to the byline but the cross was easy for Bialkowski to claim.
More Magpies hesitancy allowed Potts to break from deep but his shot from distance ricocheted away to safety as Byrne got in the way. Berrett picked it up and his cross found the unmarked Sam Byrne in the box. He lost his bearings and he sent his header over the bar.
County came into it with a run down the right from Grealish and Spencer was almost presented with a clear opening as the ball inside spun into his path. Brown stepped across to hook the loose ball away before a touch could be made.
A long ball forward eventually broke for Campbell-Ryce, as the Magpies cleared their lines, and his curling delivery had Pickford worried as it edged towards his top corner. Spencer pulled away to try to make contact but Brown was there again to make a vital block at the back stick.
Keeper Jordan Pickford sent a long ball into the home box as the game tightened up in midfield and the flick from Miller had Amoo more than interested. He took a touch but Sheehan stayed close and shepherded it away.
A quick break from a cleared County free kick left Amoo with acres of space to run into midway through the first half and his outswinger was perfect for Potts to nod down on the run. He caught it beautifully but Bialkowski somehow tipped it onto the bar as the offside flag was raised to bring the move to a close.
Head tennis on the edge of the box led to a snapshot volley from Miller, as he moved away from his man, but he went for precision and the keeper dropped low to gather.
The Magpies took the lead with a set piece from the half way line on 33 minutes when Spencer rose to make the initial header. A scramble followed and Haydn Hollis was left with a tap into an empty net as it bounced up and into his path.
Another free kick caused more problems for United as Spencer tussled with O'Hanlon, but Pearson blocked and cleared as Sheehan tried his luck. The blue shirts flooded forward and they were unlucky not to score on the counter as another flag stopped Miller in his tracks as he slid the ball under the prostrate stopper.
The Cumbrians were slow to regroup and they were caught napping as Liddle overlapped and surged into the area. His toe poke on the stretch beat everyone and Ronan Murray said thank you very much as he netted from close range.
A James Berrett corner almost brought an immediate response from the visitors when Amoo stayed strong to win the header. The keeper was beaten but it hit the shoulder of a defender and dropped just wide of the upright.
The action switched quickly to the other end and Hollis thought he'd doubled his tally for the day when he thundered a powerful header towards the top corner in time added on for the first half. Pickford was beaten and relieved to see it fly wide of his nets.
A difficult job became a mountain to climb moments after the restart when Sheehan took charge of a free kick from wide. The delivery was sweet and Hollis finally got his second of the day with a glancing header which dipped into the far corner.
Home tails were up and Pickford had to block twice as Spencer crunched a fierce volley through bodies. His parry brought a poke from Murray but he recovered to fall onto the ball and make the save.
The visitors gave themselves a lifeline just before the hour when captain James Berrett stole forward from the halfway line. He set himself and drilled a low 35-yard shot past a despairing touch from Bialkowski and in off the base of the post.
Miller was unlucky not to reduce the lead further moments later when he beat Mullins to a Potts pass. It was on target but the keeper was well placed to gather.
Jamal Campbell-Ryce had an age to set himself when Murray combined with Spencer to find more space on the Carlisle left. It wouldn't quite settle and he wheeled away in disgust as his volley spun off his shin and into the stands.
Any hopes of a Carlisle comeback were dashed with 20 minutes left to play when Grealish sent Dumbuya past Chantler on the right wing. His curling cross brought a spectacular overhead kick from Gary Liddle which took a slight deflection as it made its way to the bottom corner to restore the three goal cushion.
The confidence visibly grew through the home ranks and substitute Nathan Tyson was a whisker away as he stretched to meet a rasping cross across the face of goal. He got a touch but it wasn't enough to find the back of the net.
Keeper Jordan Pickford earned himself pats on the back and applause from the home crowd behind the goal when he somehow got to a dipping Sheehan free kick from the edge of the box. His fingertips were enough to divert the ball onto the bar and he recovered quickly to scoop up the rebound.
Lewis Guy and Lee Miller had half chances as the clock ticked down but it was Tyson again who went close to registering in time added on when he called for a pass from Grealish. He got his wish as it fizzed towards him but he lost his balance and it ran away to safety as it whipped through his legs.
County - Hollis (33, 47), Murray (40), Liddle (60)
United - Berrett (57)
County - Murray (19)
United - Berrett (32), Chantler (36)
Notts County - Bialkowski, Dumbuya (Tyson 84), Sheehan, Liddle, Grealish, Mullins, Spencer, Murray, Campbell-Ryce, Vela, Hollis. Subs - Spiess, Smith, Leacock, McGregor, Boucaud, Dixon.
Carlisle United - Pickford, Pearson (Guy 61), O'Hanlon, Brown, Chantler, Berrett, Potts, Redmond (Symington 46), Amoo, Miller, Byrne. Subs - Fleming, Lynch, Brough, Meppen-Walter, Novo.
Referee - Mr Graham Scott
Attendance - 4,014 (434 away fans)