Norwich City's rehabilitation from their infamous 7-1 home defeat on the opening day of the season continues to gather pace after a win that lifted them into the top six of League One.
A first-half goal from Wes Hoolahan sealed their third successive win in the League and completed a memorable weekend for Adam Drury. The full-back was present when his wife Helen gave birth to a baby daughter, Aisla, but he still had time to join owner Delia Smith on a flight to Carlisle Airport yesterday morning.
Drury played an impressive part in City's victory, which was not seriously threatened once they went ahead through a 42nd-minute goal from Hoolahan, his fourth in sixth matches. Norwich manager Paul Lambert said: "This is a really tough place to come and we had to grind out a result. It's nice to be in the top six for the first time when you look back to a time when there was no manager, fans were on the pitch and everything was going against them after that first game."
The decisive goal was created by Chris Martin, although his cross should have been cut out by Carlisle's two former Irish internationals, Ian Harte and Graham Kavanagh. Hoolahan steered the ball in from 12 yards to earn a half-time lead that was harsh on Carlisle.
Harte had gone closest to a breakthrough when his 27th minute free-kick clipped the top of the bar, while Matty Robson and Joe Anyinsah both troubled goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
Carlisle's pursuit of a second-half equaliser was unconvincing, however, with the pace of Anyinsah providing the only genuine threat to City's lead. But the striker lacked the composure necessary to locate a decisive final pass or shot.
A second goal for Norwich was always far more likely, but Korey Smith missed a great chance and Carlisle's goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley produced fine saves to frustrate Hoolahan, Grant Holt and Martin.
Greg Abbott, the Carlisle manager, said: "We were playing a team with a lot of resources who will be at the top end of the table, but we asked them a lot of questions and they had to fight for the points."