Dennis bags a brace as Carlisle close in on top three
Kristian Dennis scored twice as Carlisle moved within touching distance of the League Two automatic-promotion places with a 3-1 win over relegation-threatened Hartlepool.
Paul Simpson’s side made a fast start as Morgan Feeney opened the scoring after six minutes at Brunton Park.
Striker Dennis struck for the fourth game in a row with his 16th and 17th goals of a fruitful campaign, either side of Josh Umerah’s calm finish for the visitors, to take the Cumbrians one point behind third-placed Northampton.
Pools remained two points above the drop zone after a third league defeat in five outings.
Goalkeeper Ben Killip palmed Dennis’ header into Feeney’s path to poke home the opener.
Dennis almost made it two when his shot hit Killip and then the post.
He made no mistake when he doubled the hosts’ tally in the 26th minute as he found the bottom corner.
The lead was quickly halved as Umerah bagged his 13th goal of the season with a cool finish two minutes later.
Killip did well to tip Callum Guy’s long-range strike over just after the hour.
Dennis restored the two-goal cushion when he headed home Owen Moxon’s pin-point cross in the 66th minute.
Rollin Menayese was stretchered off in stoppage time for the visitors.