Chesterfield’s relegation worries increased at Carlisle United, as Jack Lester’s side crashed to their 20th league defeat of the season with a 2-0 loss at Brunton Park.
Kelvin Etuhu opened the scoring and substitute John O’Sullivan sealed victory late on after Louis Reed had a goal disallowed for the Spireites.
Defeat means Chesterfield are now five points from safety in the League Two drop zone.
After two stoppage-time defeats, either side of the postponed trip to fellow strugglers Morecambe, Chesterfield made three changes from the midweek loss to Cambridge.
Josh Kay, Jack McCourt and Sid Nelson started in place of Giles Coke, Louis Dodds and Laurence Maguire.
It was Carlisle who started on top, however, and Ashley Nadesan was just inches away from getting a decisive touch to Hallam Hope’s low cross at the back post on five minutes.
The Spireites went close themselves three minutes later, when Bradley Barry got forward from right-back and his cross was deflected onto the bar by Carlisle defender Clint Hill.
Despite seeing more of the ball, however, Chesterfield were behind on 19 minutes when Etuhu was given time and space to curl into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
With the Spireites struggling to test Carlisle keeper Jack Bonham, their plight was then summed up on 38 minutes when Joe Rowley passed an attempted short corner straight out for a goal kick.
Things did not improve after the break, either – Alex Whitmore was easily outpaced by Cole Stockton, who prodded his shot wide, on 47 minutes.
Stockton then squandered a great chance to double the lead on 56 minutes, after Nadesan’s pull-back, as he shot wide of the open goal.
Reed thought he had levelled on 71 minutes, when he volleyed in after a corner was only half-cleared, but – after a consultation with referee Sebastian Stockbridge – the linesman’s flag curtailed the visitors’ celebrations.
Substitute O’Sullivan then sealed victory on 81 minutes, prodding in from close-range with his first touch after Tom Parkes’ header was blocked.
Carlisle United 2
Etuhu 19, O’Sullivan 81
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge 6/10
Match rating 2/5
Star man: Mark Ellis, Carlisle centre-back
Carlisle United: (4-4-2): Bonham 6, Liddle 6, Ellis 8, Hill 7, Parkes 6, Lambe 6, Devitt 6, Etuhu 7 (Jones 22 6), Hope 8, Nadesan 6 (Twardek 75 6), Stockton 4 (O’Sullivan 80 7). Subs not used: Gray, Campbell-Ryce, Bennett, Brown
Chesterfield: (4-1-3-2): Ramsdale 6, Barry 6, Nelson 5, Whitmore 5, Weir 5, Reed 6, McCourt 4 (Binnom-Williams 67 6), Rowley 4 (Kellett 62 6), Kay 5, Dennis 6, O’Grady 5 (Brown 80 6). Subs not used: Parkin, Maguire, Ofoegbu.