Hartlepool United failed to extend their seven-match unbeaten run suffering a one goal defeat against promotion chasing Carlisle United.
Hallam Hope’s second half goal condemned Pools boss Craig Hignett to just his fourth defeat in 13 games in charge.
Pools came close through Luke James and Billy Paynter in the first half and were largely untroubled for most of the game at Brunton Park.
The visitors were inches from a dream start within a minute when Luke James turned and fired across goal but his shot flew narrowly wide of the far left hand post.
Billy Paynter had Pools’ best chance of the first half in the 23rd minute when, against his former club, he fought his way in behind the Carlisle defence but saw shot saved from a tight angle.
The home side went straight up the other end and came close to opening the scoring but Jabo Ibehre fired over from 12 yards.
Hartlepool were comfortable defensively during the opening 45 minutes, with their biggest scare coming when Carlisle broke down the left and cut the ball back to the penalty spot, but Rhys Oates tracked back well to clear before an attacker could meet the cross.
Half time: Carlisle United 0-0 Hartlepool United.
Trevor Carson produced a fine save seconds after the restart to keep the scores level.
Alex Gillieads’ cross from the right was met by half-time substitute Hope who headed down into the ground but the Northern Irish keeper dove high to prevent the ball finding the top right corner.
Pools first chance of the second half came in the 54th minute through James but his mazy run ended with a shot over the bar from ten yards.
Carlisle’s opener came after 55 minutes through Hope, who impressed after being brought on by Keith Curle at half time.
The wide-man brought down a long ball in the area and his shot deflected off the legs of Carl Magnay over Carson and into the net.
Pools appealed strongly for a penalty midway through the second half when a cross from the right seemed to hit Macaulay Gillesphey on the arm but referee Darren Bond waved away the appeals.
Lewis Hawkins came closest for Pools in the second half when his well-struck 30-yard shot flew just over the ball in the 79th minute.
Pools pushed for a late equaliser but struggled after skipper and leading goalscorer Paynter was forced off through injury.
Carlisle United: Gillespie, Miller, Raynes, Ellis (Hope 45), Gillesphey, Stacey, Kennedy, Comley, Grainger, Gilliead (Sweeney 67), Ibehre (Asamoah 76)
Subs not used: Hanford, Joyce, Atkinson, Thompson.
Goal: Hope, 55
Pools: Carson, Magnay, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Hawkins, Gray (Walker 68), James, Paynter (Bingham 53), Oates.
Subs not used: Bartlett, Harrison, Richards, R Jones, Laurent.
Booked: Featherstone: 90