Carlisle 3-1 Accrington: Stanley beaten again
Last Updated: 26/12/17 7:33pm
Carlisle closed the gap on the Sky Bet League Two play-off places with a 3-1 win over Accrington - the Lancashire side's fifth successive defeat.
Jamie Devitt's early goal was cancelled out by a Billy Kee penalty, before substitute Shaun Miller and skipper Danny Grainger settled the outcome in Carlisle's favour.
The Cumbrians struck the first blow in the 11th minute when Hallam Hope held off two defenders on the right of the box before slipping a pass through to Devitt who coolly drove his shot across goalkeeper Aaron Chapman and into the far corner.
More skilful work by Hope gave Devitt a clear chance to double his and Carlisle's advantage, but this time he lifted his shot over the crossbar from close range.
An error from Devitt, whose back-pass fell short of goalkeeper Jack Bonham, presented Stanley striker Mallik Wilks with a clear chance before the break, but Bonham sprinted out to the edge of his area to block the shot.
Within two minutes of the restart Stanley were level from the penalty spot after Tom Parkes had fouled Kayden Jackson close to the byline. Kee stepped up to hammer the spot-kick past Bonham.
Carlisle regained the lead in the 78th minute with a spectacular effort from Shaun Miller, who took a pass from Reggie Lambe and hit a volley from just inside the box which gave Chapman no chance.
Mike Jones hit a post as Carlisle went in search of a third goal and it duly arrived in the 83rd minute when Grainger pounced inside the area to slot home after Hope's shot had been blocked.