Ten-man Bristol Rovers earned a hard-fought 1-0 win at Carlisle to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to five matches.

Sam Lavelle’s own goal before half-time proved to be the difference as managerless Rovers rose to 10th place in the League One table and Carlisle dropped to 22nd.

The Cumbrians looked threatening in the first half, with Jack Armer almost getting a toe on the end of Luke Plange’s low cross and Jordan Gibson dragging a shot wide.

But it was the Pirates who took the lead in the 38th minute, when the returning Jack Hunt’s cross took a wicked deflection off opposition defender Lavelle and looped into the net.

Carlisle pushed for an equaliser after the break, with Dylan McGeouch’s effort saved by Matthew Cox and substitute Sean Maguire’s flick-on from Owen Moxon’s low corner going over the crossbar.

Cox had to be alert again in the 65th minute, making a superb save down to his right to turn Plange’s header around the post.

Rovers were reduced to 10 men 17 minutes from time as Tristan Crama pulled back Terry Ablade to deny a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Further good saves from Cox denied the subsequent free-kick from Moxon and a shot from Plange, and the visitors held on for victory.

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