Carlisle United have to look as far back as October for their last away victory, but the manner of their latest defeat on the road – a four-goal thrashing at Leyton Orient – has set alarm bells ringing as the Cumbrians find themselves looking over their shoulders again at the relegation places.
With goals hard to come by and a defence prone to shooting itself in the foot, this type of result remains a worrying possibility - particularly when faced with a side full of attacking flair and confidence.
Manager Graham Kavanagh said. “We weren’t good enough and there are no excuses for that.
It’s disappointing for me to have to try to explain a performance like this off the back of what we did at Sunderland last Sunday.
“We had none of the desire or energy we showed in that game but you have to give credit to Orient because they are a very good side.
“They’ll be there or thereabouts at the end of the season, I have no doubt about that, but we should have done much better on the day. We were very poor and have been punished.”
The tone was set just before half time when United’s resilience was broken by Scott Cuthbert as he buried a powerful header in the roof of the net.
The O’s continued to pick away through a one-sided second half with Ness, Lisbie and Coulthirst on hand to add to the goal tally and heap the despair on Carlisle.
Midfielder James Berrett admitted: “Conceding the goal just before half time was a blow.”
Kavanagh insisted: “The lads need to give us the tempo and intelligence we expect every week because we keep getting to a situation where we think we’ve turned a corner only to let ourselves down.”
LEYTON ORIENT: Jakupovic, Cuthbert, Clarke, Baudry, Omozusi, Odubajo James, Bartley (Ness 32), Cox, Lisbie (Loza 73) Simpson (Coulthirst 84). Subs (not used): Sawyer, Larkins, Lee, Lasimant.
Goals: Cuthbert 43, Ness 47, Lisbie 66, Coulthirst 90.
CARLISLE UNITED: Fleming, Chimbonda, O’Hanlon, Ehmer, Robson Buaben (Miller 53), Potts, Berrett, Amoo (Meppen-Walter 78) Guy (Townsend 53), Lawrence. Subs (not used): Noble, Beck, Symington, Brass.
Booked: Ehmer, Robson, Chimbonda.