Defender turned midfielder Jon Mellish came off the bench to provide a first-half spark for the Cumbrians at Orient on Saturday with what can be described as a typically instinctive finish, with goal number 16 for the season registered as the ball literally flew into the top corner of the net from a relatively tight angle.
For a player who keeps giving it everything every time he pulls on the shirt, he received more high praise from the manager who had first taken the punt on moving him forward from his central defensive position just over a year ago.
“What can I say?” Chris Beech said. “It’s foresight from myself, commitment from the player and an output that’s just commendable. He’s not a refined Premier League player, is he, and I spoke to him at length after the Cheltenham fixture about what we both need.
“I told him that we’ve got to tidy a lot of things up, get better decisions on the ball, because if you play higher and give the ball away you don’t get it back for five minutes. No matter what you do, if the ball keeps turning over, it doesn’t really matter how good you are – the opposition just destroy you.
“We have to tidy that up as a team anyway but individually, for Jon, I want his standards higher with his first touch, decision making and staying emotionally in control.
“But one thing he is, and I’ve been saying it since I saw what I saw, and if I was a Carlisle fan I wouldn’t want anything different … he runs his absolute nuts off for himself and the club. He wears his badge on his heart, he gives one hundred percent, and that’s Jon Mellish.”
“He’s now scored 16 and he’s a great lad,” he continued. “I remember playing Barrow at home and people were asking if we could lend Mike Jones back because they didn’t want to see Jon.
“If he does tidy his football up he’s got a big future as an attacking midfield player. He knows he needs to work on the things we’ve mentioned, but if he does get better he might end up playing for his beloved Sunderland one day. We’ll just have to wait and see on that.”