Zoko keeps Cumbrians in play-off hunt
Carlisle extended their unbeaten home run to 13 games as they beat struggling Rochdale 2-1 with all the goals coming in a lively second half at Brunton Park.
Dale's Jason Kennedy cancelled out Jon Paul McGovern's opener, but Francois Zoko, with his 12th goal of the season, clinched the win for Carlisle.
Rochdale, without a goal in their previous three games, could easily have grabbed the lead twice inside the opening five minutes as Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro had a close-range shot deflected before Michael Symes forced goalkeeper Adam Collin to parry his well-placed low drive.
Carlisle finally began to assert themselves in the second half and after Lee Miller had seen a header chalked off for a marginal offside, McGovern gave the home side the lead in the 58th minute.
The tricky Zoko was the architect with a mazy run into the box and Miller provided the lay-off, which enabled McGovern to stroke the ball low past goalkeeper Dave Lucas from 10 yards.
Dale drew level against the run of play in the 74th minute when substitute Andrew Tutte's cross was met by Kennedy's glancing header, but Carlisle regained the lead within two minutes when Zoko rammed a low left-footed shot past Lucas.
Carlisle 2-1 Rochdale: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.