Colchester United have lost 4-0 at Carlisle on a tough afternoon at Brunton Park.
Hallum Hope scored the only goal in the first half, before Carlisle took control after the break.
Jerry Yates and Jamie Devitt scored within twelve minutes of the second period starting, and Danny Grainger hit a fourth in injury time.
Hope’s strike from the edge had to be tipped over by Dillon Barnes, and Yates should really have beaten the U’s keeper after latching onto a poor backpass from Kane Vincent-Young.
Both those chances came in the opening ten minutes, and it was only then that the U’s had their first opportunity.
Frank Nouble did well to beat Gary Liddle on the U’s left, found Mikael Mandron with his pull back, but Mandron’s volleyed effort went just wide.
On nineteen minutes, Anthony Gerrard flicked a foot out when a corner was headed goalwards, but he deflected it over the bar when it probably would have caused Barnes more problems if he had left it completely.
The best moment of the half for the U’s, it was actually their best effort of the whole game, came on twenty six minutes.
A dazzling run by Courtney Senior, beating three home defenders along the way, ended with a pullback to Sammie Szmodics.
Szmodics’ shot was expertly taken but was equalled by the dive and save from home keeper Adam Collin.
That save from Collin proved vitally important, with his side taking the lead a few minutes later.
A deft touch from Yates found Nadesan, and his cross-shot was tapped home by Hope at the far post.
That proved to be the final chance for either side in the first half, and the hosts just about deserved to be in front, having edged things over the forty five minutes.
Any hope that the U’s could get back into the game after the break was extinguished within twelve minutes, with the lead extended to 3-0.
First, a break from a U’s corner ended with Yates controlling the ball before striking his shot low into the net on fifty minutes.
Seven later, it was three as Devitt scored from the rebound after Barnes had saved well from Yates.
Brennan Dickenson and Luke Norris were introduced as the U’s tried to get back into the game, but forward forays were few and far between.
Ollie Kensdale had to come on halfway through the second period, replacing a limping Frankie Kent for the final twenty three minutes.
Four minutes later, the U’s had their first effort of the second half, but Norris’ free kick went narrowly wide after Szmodics was fouled twenty yards out.
He also had a shot saved late in the game, before the miserable day in Cumbria was completed with an injury time fourth for the hosts.
Grainger stepped up for a free kick, and drilled it low past Barnes to make the final score 4-0.
Whilst the first half was edged by Carlisle, they took over the game after the break and deservedly took the three points on a disappointing afternoon for the U’s.
Despite the defeat though, they stayed in third place in the League Two table ahead of the clash against high flying MK Dons in seven days’ time.
Attendance: 3,547 (114 away)