Moxon and Dennis earn Carlisle United first away win of season at Grimsby

Owen Moxon scores (photo: Richard Parkes)
Owen Moxon scores (photo: Richard Parkes)

Grimsby Town 1 Carlisle United 2: Goals from Owen Moxon and Kristian Dennis secured Carlisle a hard-earned first away win of the season.

Carlisle-born Moxon scored his first Football League goal before Dennis poached his eighth of the season to give Paul Simpson's side a two-goal half-time lead.

Grimsby's Michee Efete then set up a tense last 25 minutes at Blundell Park.

But United's fighting spirit was firmly intact as they held on to move up to eighth in League Two at the ten-game mark.

Simpson named an unchanged side as Carlisle's injury problems continued ahead of the rearranged game, which had originally fallen victim to a waterlogged pitch in August.

While the starting line-up was the same as the manager had fielded at Newport on Saturday, sub Sonny Hilton was the latest player to be ruled out with Simpson later confirming ankle ligament damage has ruled him out for six to eight weeks.

Moxon, left, shows his delight after scoring

Teenager Ryan Carr stepped up to the bench, while Morgan Feeney and Omari Patrick remained out with the hamstring injuries that kept them on the sidelines on Saturday.

Grimsby's side, meanwhile, featured five changes from their last league outing, with Anthony Glennon, Andy Smith, Brendan Kiernan, Gavan Holohan and Lewis Richardson replaced by Danny Amos, Jordan Maguire-Drew, Otis Khan, Keyendrah Simmonds and Niall Maher.

The hosts were seeking a first home win of the campaign and United aiming for a first away win - and after some bright work by Jack Stretton on the left, Carlisle struck an early opener.

Stretton was the provider with a determined run and, when he laid the ball inside, Moxon stepped onto it and hit a superb low effort past Max Crocombe from 25 yards.

United then had to defend their lead, Jordan Gibson and Jon Mellish making important interceptions, Jack Armer having an effort blocked at the other end.

Kristian Dennis scores United's second

A Paul Huntington clearance almost ricocheted into Ryan Taylor's path but United saw off the danger, before Alex Hunt tested Tomas Holy.

Stretton then could have made it two on the break but Crocombe saved at close range.

Otis Khan went close from outside the box as the hosts attacked through the middle, before United, having battled well to keep the Mariners at bay with Mellish moving into midfield, looked for another, Armer almost setting up Dennis.

Harry Clifton cleared the bar for Grimsby - but then they donated a bonus second goal to the Blues.

Efete was the culprit with an underhit pass - and Dennis was swiftly onto it, rounding Crocombe on the left of the box and calmly slotting home for his eighth in 11 games.

It earned a 2-0 half-time lead - and a great chance to secure that elusive away victory.

Grimsby offered little threat until the hour mark but a double change by Hurst then changed the tone of the game.

A spell of pressure and a series of corners saw the hosts pull one back, as Khan retrieved a clearance and sent the ball low into the six-yard box, where Efete turned it in.

Efete pulls one back for the hosts

Carlisle then had more home attacks to survive, with Lewis Richardson a regular danger for Hurst's side, and regular shots and crosses to defend.

Richardson saw a shot blocked as Simpson put on Jayden Harris for Gibson, and later introduced Taylor Charters for his first league outing of the season, in place of Mellish for the last ten minutes.

Hurst then put on Brendan Kiernan in a last attacking throw of the dice, as Huntington cleared more Mariners deliveries at the heart of United's box.

Carlisle protected Holy's goal well as they secured a first win on the road since March to consolidate an increasingly positive start to the season.

Grimsby: Crocombe, Efete, Maher, Waterfall, Amos (Kiernan 83), Maguire-Drew, Clifton, Hunt, Simmonds (Richardson 61), Khan, Taylor (Orsi 61). Not used: Smith, Glennon, Green, Holohan.

Goal: Efete 65.

Booked: Hunt.

United: Holy, Whelan, Huntington, Mellish (Charters 80), Back, Armer, Guy, Moxon, Gibson (Harris 70), Stretton, Dennis. Not used: Kelly, Ellis, Bollado, Carr, Idehen.

Goals: Moxon 7, Dennis 44.

Booked: Guy, Armer.

Ref: Simon Mather.

Crowd: 6,447 (144 Carlisle fans).