Carlisle 3 Hartlepool 0
Last updated at 16:52, Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Lee Miller scored as Carlisle United secured a much-needed Brunton Park victory against bottom side Hartlepool.
The fit-again striker, in only his second game back, headed home from close range in the 74th minute.
That clinched United's 3-0 victory and ended nearly five months of injury anguish for the big Scot, who was later subbed to a standing ovation.
Miller's first goal since March was set up by Matty Robson, who was also having an inspirational game down the left wing against his old club.
He had been the architect of United's 2-0 half-time lead, forcing an own-goal from defender Sam Collins and then turning home United's second.
In the 20th minute, Pools defender Collins was helpless as Robson's ambitious shot from distance struck him and took a massive deflection, wrongfooting keeper Scott Flinders.
And then when Flinders failed to hold the ball following a JP McGovern corner in the 27th minute, Robson converted from close range.
In between the two goals, United lost captain Paul Thirlwell to injury, his place taken by Mark Beck.
The woodwork had saved the Blues early on.
Jonathan Franks was denied by the crossbar after United had been opened up in the fourth minute.
Later, Mike Edwards was in the right place to clear a Steve Howard header.
Robson then nearly set up Beck for a third but the sliding striker couldn't reach the cross, and after the break Liam Noble tested Flinders and Danny Livesey went close before Miller made it 3-0.
Manager Greg Abbott handed debuts to subs Josh Todd and Sean McGinty in the closing stages, as Carlisle achieved only their second clean sheet of the league campaign.
Pools, meanwhile, extended their club record winless run to 22 games.
United: Gillespie, Simek, Chantler, Edwards, Livesey, Thirlwell, Potts, Noble, Robson, McGovern, Miller. Subs: Collin, Welsh, Loy, Beck, Todd, Symington, McGinty.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Humphreys, Collins, Horwood, Franks, Monkhouse, Sweeney, Richards, Hartley, Wyke, Howard. Subs: Walton, Poole, Luscombe, Murray, Holden, McHugh, James.
First published at 14:07, Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk