Notts County responded to back-to-back home defeats by resuming their fine away form in style at Carlisle on Saturday afternoon, soaring to victory at Brunton Park to climb back into the League One Play-Off positions.
The hosts began brightly and former Nottingham Forest frontman Joe Garner came close in the opening minutes when he turned in the box before firing his effort over the bar.
However it was County who struck first - midfielder Jeff Hughes has looked sharp for the Pies all season and the Northern Irishman was on call again to give the visitors an early lead with just 11 minutes on the clock.
Alan Judge squeezed past two defenders before swinging in a cross towards the versatile midfielder who headed the ball downwards past Carlisle keeper Mark Gillespie and into the net.
Winger Matty Robson was creating problems for the Magpies defence throughout the opening stages and nearly levelled the scores for his side - however his long-range drive just skimmed the crossbar.
And soon after the Magpies were two to the good, with Judge again involved in the build-up. The former Blackburn man picked out Jordan Stewart’s run down the left and the full-back fired in a low cross that fooled the defence before falling to Neal Bishop to tap home from close range.
After the interval Notts’ dominance continued to shine through and Ivorian forward François Zoko soon added his third of the season and County’s third of the day. Strike partner Yoann Arquin flicked the ball to Zoko who finished coolly past Gillespie from 12-yards.
Moments later it was all over for the hosts as they conceded a penalty when defender Chris Chantler brought down the advancing Jamal Campbell-Ryce inside the area. The Jamaican international stepped up to slot the ball into the bottom-left corner of the goal.
The home side did look to get back into the game late on but it was too little too late and Magpies’ keeper Bartosz Bialkowski made light work of late efforts from midfielder’s Liam Noble and James Berrett.
Keith Curle’s men now move up to fifth position in the League One table, they are just two points adrift of the automatic promotion spots. They play Coventry next at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday 20th October. Kick-off is at 3pm.
Carlisle: Gillespie, Robson, Livesey, Edwards, Thirlwell (Noble, 46), Potts, (Simek, 62), Berrett, Chantler, Cadamarteri, (Beck, 62), Garner, Higginbotham
Notts County: Bialkowski, Leacock, Regan, Stewart, Bishop, (Eastham, 68), Liddle, Judge (Zoko, 35), J Hughes, Campbell-Ryce, (Nangel, 77), Boucaud, Arquin
Man of the match: Neal Bishop
Referee: Stuart Attwell