On loan duo Chuks Aneke and Mesca were both on the mark to help Crewe Alexandra towards a second successive victory against Carlisle United.
Arsenal youngster Aneke stylishly broke the deadlock early in the second-half and Fulham winger Mesca soon added another from close-range.
But Tom Lawrence then swept in an excellent 25-yard free-kick with twelve minutes remaining to ensure a tense finale.
Goalscorer Aneke headed behind early on while Ben Garratt was called into action from Lee Miller’s reply and David Amoo also struck wide for the visitors.
Carlisle keeper Ben Amos was then forced to turn another Aneke header onto the crossbar from Brad Inman’s delivery. Matt Tootle and Inman also threatened before the latter shot wide following a great solo break.
But it was the visitors going desperately close soon after the interval with Amoo turning and hitting the base of an upright.
Crewe instantly took advantage of that escape as Aneke expertly struck into the top corner from just inside the area following decent work between Mesca and Tom Hitchcock.
Aneke was soon wide from an Inman corner before Inman’s 64th minute cross was turned in by Mesca to crucially extend the home advantage.
Midfielder Liam Noble proved wayward in reply while visiting keeper Amos held Anthony Grant’s long-range effort; until Lawrence despatched a superb free-kick past Garratt after skipper Abdul Osman had been penalised.
The Cumbrians pressed forward in search of an equaliser but despite plenty of possession were restricted to Pascal Chimbonda heading a couple of late corners wide.
Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Mellor, Davis, Ellis, Tootle, Osman, Grant, Inman, Hitchcock (Oliver 85), Aneke (Nolan 90), Na Bangna (Moore 88)
Goals: Aneke (53), Na Bangna (64)
subs (unused): Leitch-Smith, Ray, Guthrie, Martin
Carlisle United: Amos, Chimbonda, Robson, Noble, Thirlwell (Meppen-Walter 34), Ehmer, Berrett, Buaben (Morris 66), Miller (Guy 59), Amoo, Lawrence
subs (unused): Potts, Beck, Symington, Fleming
Goals: Lawrence (78)
Ref: D. Drysdale
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