Clinical away day keeps run going ...
The Carlisle United unbeaten run continues as they swept Morecambe aside with a determined defensive display which was complemented by some clinical finishing.
Just under 2,000 travelling Cumbrians helped to provide an electric atmosphere but the home side did their bit to stoke things up for their own followers with two early free kicks. The wall did its job on both occasions as Mullin drilled low from distance.
Carlisle caused problems for themselves as they were loose with their passes in midfield but the back line stood strong to clear the danger away as they rode out an uncomfortable opening spell.
A misdirected throw from Grainger summed up the stuttering start, and it allowed Ellison to exploit an unexpected opening, but Raynes was there to cover before a shot could be unleashed.
It was better from United on 10 minutes when Kennedy released Adams on the left. He cut back inside to let one fly and Roche had to parry as it bent towards his far post.
The more considered visiting approach was rewarded on the quarter hour when a deep Gillesphey free kick was only half cleared. Joyce swept it back into the area and Roche was made to pay when his punch on the stretch fell nicely for Grainger. The club captain kept his eye on the ball and crunched a thundering volley into the bottom corner.
Morecambe pushed men forward but they were met by a resolute Carlisle defence who gave little away. Edwards did test Gillespie with a looped header from a McGowan throw, but it lacked power and was easy to gather.
United looked like creating problems every time they went forward and a 40-yard pass from Gillesphey gave Grainger time to deliver. Edwards did well to clear but he had to block as Jones volleyed on the bounce. Kennedy was next in the queue and Roche was relieved to see his crisp connection whip past the target.
Another floated Gillesphey set piece from the half way line found Ibehre on the move but it came off his shoulder and squeezed out of the ruck for Roche to claim.
The Shrimps should have done better on the half hour when Ellison spread play wide to Barkhuizen. He crossed on the run and Murphy screamed for a lay-off as he arrived late. It was put on a plate with the neatest of touches but he was disappointed when he sent his first time effort well wide.
Carlisle looked good going forward and a cross from Adams evaded everyone as it skipped across the face of the area. The pressure was still on from the visitors and former-Shrimp Shaun Miller showed excellent control when he trapped a high ball with his toe. His shot had the keeper at full stretch but it rattled away off the base of the post.
Morecambe's best chance came just before the break when Stockton left his marker as a shot from Barkhuizen was blocked. It was a tight angle but a save was still needed from Gillespie when a rasping effort came in.
The action switched to the other end and Adams created room when he slipped the ball through McGowan's legs. He opted to try to find the bottom corner but it was too close to the keeper.
The hosts had another good chance when Barkhuizen was left completely unmarked on the right wing late in the half. It appeared that all he had to do was pick his spot but he fluffed his lines as he sent it over the bar.
Carlisle almost doubled their lead within seconds of the restart when Shaun Miller crossed the ball low. Jones helped it on but Stockton intervened before Ibehre could finish it off.
United were close again when Adams was dumped to the floor 26-yards out. Grainger got his free kick round the wall but Roche got across to palm it away. Tom Miller was there for the follow up but Jennings moved across to crowd him out.
Ibehre had a goal chalked off for offside when he poked a rebound from a Shaun Miller shot into the waiting net, in front of the travelling fans, and it was close at the other end when Stockton killed the ball with his back to goal. He shot on the spin but a great one-handed touch from Gillespie diverted it away from the nets.
Carlisle started to see more of the ball again and a lovely cross from Shaun Miller found Ibehre in a good position. Roche had to tip it over as his header threatened to creep under the bar. And the big striker was close again with an instinctive volley from distance. It looped high and wasn't too far away as it dropped out of the sky.
United got their deserved cushion when a long throw from Tom Miller was allowed to bounce. Jason Kennedy readjusted and left Roche with no chance as an unstoppable scissor kick flew into the bottom corner.
Nicky Adams could have wrapped things up completely moments later when he was sent clean through by a lovely through ball. Roche stayed big to make a superb save.
The deal was sealed on 78 minutes though when a wicked Adams corner put Kennedy up against McGowan. The defender was left in disappointment on the floor as a firm touch added to the Carlisle tally.
Gillespie had to save late in the day from a Stockton shot, and Adams whipped one over at the other end as United looked after their lead.
The United keeper was in action again in time added on when he saved from Dunn, but it was a clean sheet well earned by the team as they celebrated with over 50% of the crowd come the final whistle.
Carlisle United - Grainger (15), Kennedy (72, 78)
Morecambe - Fleming (48), Ellison (55)
Carlisle United - T Miller (90)
Morecambe - Roche, McGowan, Edwards, Mullin (Dunn 64), Murphy (Molyneux 69), Barkhuizen (Massanka 86), Ellison, Whitmore, Fleming, Jennings, Stockton. Subs - Nizic, Wakefield, Turner, Hedley.
Carlisle United - Gillespie, T Miller, Raynes, Gillesphey, Grainger, Kennedy, Jones (Brisley 87), Joyce (McKee 81), Adams, S Miller (Devitt 64), Ibehre. Subs - Crocombe, Atkinson, Ellis, Salkeld.
Referee - Mr Kevin Friend
Attendance - 3,773 (1,996 away fans)