A late rally from Carlisle United failed to prevent a disappointing defeat as a four-game unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of play-off chasers Swindon Town.
Both sides went with five in a packed midfield but the Robins looked the livelier as they tried to use the flanks through McEvely and Pritchard. It was a run from the latter early in the game which created the first chance of the day when he cut the ball back across the face of goal. Luongo and Ajose were in support but they had broken too early and the chance was gone.
A ball forward from Ehmer found Miller in space and his flick brought a superb touch from Symington on the edge of the box. Robson overlapped but Hall got a boot to the cross before Miller could make any kind of mark.
Swindon started to assert their authority and a speculative effort from Luongo took deflections as it made its way to goal. Amos had to adjust, and readjust, to make sure he was able to gather.
More good play on the left flank involving Pritchard and Luongo brought half an opening when Ajose arrived late. His first time effort was blocked by Ehmer but the ricochet fell invitingly for Harley to shoot. Defender Chris Chantler jumped across smartly to make what was a vital block just two yards in front of the goal line.
A high ball forward released Pritchard as he turned on the spot on the edge of the box. His eyes lit up but he lost his balance and crashed a thundering shot just wide of the angle of post and bar.
The red shirts stayed forward and Carlisle were let off the hook when Ryan Harley jinked his way to the byline before delivering a wonderful low cross. Nicky Ajose got there first but his guided volley smacked into the side netting.
United relieved the pressure with some good passing play and Berrett and Robson picked their way through with some excellent one touch movement. The final pass brought Foderignham off his line before the United midfielder could do any further damage.
The home pressure grew as the first half ticked on and Nicky Ajose was guilty of a glaring miss as Pritchard sent him clean through on goal with a slide rule pass. The nippy forward did the hard work when he slipped the ball past the stranded Ben Amos but a rush of blood to the head brought a misplaced shot when he had the width of the goal to aim at.
The Robins notched the goal their play deserved just before the break when Pritchard pounced to rob a hesitant Chris Chantler tight by the touchline. Massimo Luongo bided his time and arrived at exactly the right to finish it off from very close range as red shirts queued up expectantly for the delivery.
Matt Robson stretched to head a high Symington cross as Carlisle tried to react but it was all about Swindon as they dictated the pace of the game. Thirlwell had to put his body on the line when Ajose put his boot through a Luongo pull back as the Carlisle defence suddenly looked fragile. But it was the Cumbrians who went close to scoring again before the break when a Berrett free kick hung in the air. O’Hanlon headed it and the keeper looked on in relief as it bounced behind off the outside of his upright.
The Robins slowed the pace right down after the break but substitute David Amoo lifted travelling spirits when beat his man to head into the box. He spotted Liam Noble in space and Darren Ward received pats on the back as he stretched to block the goal bound effort as it whisked past the beaten keeper.
Swindon continued to pass the ball without causing too many problems and a shot from Pritchard summed up a stuttering second half as he scuffed the pass from McEvely right at Ben Amos.
The Cumbrians levelled the scores against the run of play when Sean O’Hanlon glanced a floated free kick from Noble past a desperate dive from Foderinngham and into the bottom corner from 14 yards out.
But the visiting joy lasted just three minutes as Chimbonda felled Pritchard on the edge of the box following a mistake in midfield from Liam Noble. The impressive wide man dusted himself down before stroking an unstoppable dipping free kick into the top corner.
Carlisle were stung and they reacted by throwing men forward as they went in search of something to show from their day. David Amoo took the fight to the opposition box and a winding run ended with the ball bouncing free in the area and a grateful punt clear from Hall.
Loud appeals for a penalty were waved away when Amoo appeared to be felled by a wayward Nathan Thompson challenge and the frustration grew when new arrival Tom Lawrence crunched a first time volley over the bar as things opened up in front of him.
Another teasing free kick from Noble then came to nothing as both Miller and Amoo tried to muscle their way through to get the decisive touch. Foderingham held back and was eventually rewarded as the ball bounced slowly into his arms.
A signal from the bench sent Max Ehmer forward to join the front line as United went for broke and that left the visitors light at the back as a promising attack crumbled on the edge of the area. Nicky Ajose was suddenly clean through at the other end but Amos stayed big to make a fantastic save.
The points were wrapped up when late substitute Danny N’Guessan swept the ball home with his first and only touch of the game to round off what had been a swift and crushing move from back to front for the Robins.
Swindon - Luongo (36), Pritchard (72), N'Guessan (90)
United - O'Hanlon (68)
United - Symington (10), Chimbonda (71)
Swindon Town - Foderingham, N Thompson, Luongo, Hall, Harley (Ranger 72), Pritchard, McEvely, Kasim, L Thompson (Mason 63), Ward, Ajose (N'Guessan 90). Subs - Belford, Barthram, Rossi-Branco, Galdwin.
Carlisle United - Amos, Chimbonda, O'Hanlon, Ehmer, Chantler, Thirlwell (Lawrence 58), Berrett, Noble, Symington (Amoo 46), Miller, Robson (Morris 55). Subs - Fleming, Buaben, Roddan, Potts.
Referee - Mr Stephen Bratt
Attendance - 7,671 (238 away fans)