Yeovil Town couldn’t stop Carlisle United getting their play-off hunt back on track, going down 2-0 at Huish Park in Sky Bet League Two.
In an uneventful first period the visitors took the lead with the only noteworthy chance of the half, as John O’Sullivan slipped his marker to head home.
Less than 10 minutes after the restart Town were reduced to 10 when Ben Whitfield received a straight red card, with Reggie Lambe adding United’s second just a minute later.
Francois Zoko and Brandon Goodship came close to reducing the arrears, but United held firm to see out an important win in their search of a top seven finish.
Darren Way was forced into one change from the side that drew 3-3 at Exeter City last time out, with Tom Eaves coming in for Matty Dolan who picked up a training ground injury in midweek.
The change saw Town stick with 4-4-2 as Zoko partnered Eaves upfront, moving Shayon Harrison to the right of midfield with a license to roam further forward.
In a largely humdrum opening quarter of an hour it was Town who possessed the greater attacking intent, as Kevin Dawson saw a shot from range fly wide and Liam Shephard headed into the arms of a thankful Mark Gillespie.
Despite signs of early encouragement, the Glovers fell behind on 16 minutes from a quickly taken United free-kick midway inside the Yeovil half.
Catching the hosts out, Reggie Lambe’s whipped-in delivery found O’Sullivan who looped a header over Artur Krysiak to net the Cumbrians first goal in eight games.
The early goal did little to heighten the intensity at Huish Park, as the fixture became increasingly scrappy and lacking in tempo.
In fact, the opener proved to be it in terms of goal scoring opportunities until the stroke of half-time, when Whitfield’s delivery was glanced inches wide by Eaves.
As it was, Town trudged into the break a goal down, contained by a disciplined Carlisle outfit with chances at a premium.
With frustration all around Huish Park, that feeling was only heightened on 54 minutes when Whitfield was shown a straight red for an adjudged elbow on Tom Miller when up for an aerial challenge.
Keith Curle’s side made immediate use of their man advantage, as Lambe was on hand to fire in off the post after Krysiak saved his initial powerful drive from the angle.
Now chasing the game, Way switched to 3-4-2 introducing Tom James – for his league debut – and Goodship in place of Harrison and Eaves.
With just over 60 minutes on the clock the substitutes combined immediately to almost reduce the deficit, as James’ delicate ball into the box was headed just over by Goodship.
The introductions certainly added more zip to Town’s play, and after good work from Goodship on the right, Zoko brought the ball down cleverly on the edge of the box before sending a half-volley whistling past Gillespie’s post.
Looking to secure their first three points in eight games the Cumbrians battened down the hatches in the closing stages to avoid a nervy ending, a mission achieved as Town couldn’t be involved in a late comeback for a second week in succession.
Yeovil Town: Krysiak; Shephard, Mugabi, Lacey, Dickson; Dawson, Butcher, Whitfield; Harrison (James 59’), Eaves (Goodship 61’), Zoko.
Bookings: Whitfield (red) 53’.
Subs not used: Maddison, Bassett, Akpa Akpro, Sowunmi.
Carlisle United: Gillespie; Miller, Raynes, Brisley, Grainger; Liddle; O’Sullivan (Nabi 75’), Bailey, Joyce (Devitt 57’), Lambe; Proctor (Waring 61’).
Bookings: Joyce 41’.
Subs not used: Kennedy, Ibehre, Crocombe, Joachim.