A mini-run of four games without defeat came to a disappointing end at the County Ground for Carlisle United as play-off chasers Swindon Town returned to winning ways with a workmanlike and ultimately effective performance.
The Cumbrians huffed and puffed their way back into contention with a goal midway through the second half.
However, gaps at the back and a lack of conviction up front combined to leave them staring down the barrel of another frustrating defeat. Manager Graham Kavanagh said: “We were disappointed with some of the decisions from the officials but the fact is we weren’t good enough.
“We made a mistake to gift them their first goal and I’ve spoken to Chris Chantler to tell him if he isn’t sure in future he just needs to move it on.
“We got back into it through a great header from Sean O’Hanlon and you do start to think you’re going to get something from the game.
“We then made another mistake when Liam Noble committed himself and we were left with Pascal Chimbonda facing a two against one on the edge of our area. He had to bring his man down but then, to be fair, that was a wonderful free kick from Pritchard.”
Kavanagh added: “I’m not too worried about the third goal because we’d pushed Max Ehmer forward to go three at the back.
“We wanted to try and grab another goal ourselves and that left us light in defence.
“Overall we’re really disappointed because we were beaten by the better side and we haven’t caused them as many problems as we wanted to.”
Defender O’Hanlon added: “It’s a game where we know we haven’t played anywhere near our best.
“It was good to score, especially with Swindon being a club I used to be with, but it doesn’t mean too much when you are beaten.”