HARTLEPOOL United set a new club record as they extended their unbeaten start to the season to seven matches with a 2-1 win at Carlisle United.
Gary Liddle and Adam Boyd were the men on target during the first half but a Rory Loy penalty kick 16 minutes from time meant it was a nervy finish for Mick Wadsworth’s men.
Pools had earlier made a shaky start and could have been at least two down before Liddle’s opener.
Stephen O’Halloran was left completely unmarked at the far post as early as the second minute but his header, from James Tavernier’s centre, bounced through the six-yard area without any takers.
Tavernier was causing the visitors all manner of problems and his jinking run down the right, and subsequent pull back, presented Francois Zoko with a chance 12 yards out.
The Ivorian leathered on goal but Scott Flinders extended an arm to brush onto the crossbar.
But it was Pools who drew first blood on 20 minutes, Nobby Solano’s volley blocked on the line by O’Halloran but Liddle was on hand to steer into the bottom corner from 10 yards for his second of the campaign.
The same player then came within inches of a stunning second, his 20-yard volley cannoning off the crossbar and down onto the line with Adam Collin beaten.
Lee Miller scuffed over the crossbar at the other end before Boyd extended the advantage.
Again it was half clearance which presented the chance and the striker didn’t need a second invitation, controlling on his chest before sending a looping volley over Collin and into the top corner.
Wadsworth replaced Ritchie Humphreys with Sam Collins at the break in a bid to combat the aerial threat of the Cumbrians and it was a ploy which worked.
The hosts sought other means in a bid to get back in the game and Liam Noble’s free-kick brushed the roof of the net after a venomous strike from 20 yards.
But Carlisle were given a lifeline on 74 minutes when Paul Murray tripped Lee Miller inside the area.
Loy stepped up to smash home the resulting penalty and set up a tense finale but Pools held on to claim victory.
Substitute Craig Curran thought he’d levelled with his 12-yard header 10 minutes from time but Flinders leapt to claw clear.
SEE Monday’s Mail for Craig Hope’s match report and reaction plus the SportMail jury