Leyton Orient cemented their top six credentials with another devastating display of finishing as they brought Carlisle United back down to earth with a bump.
Keeper Greg Fleming made his first league start for the Cumbrians and he was in action almost immediately as Cox found space on the right wing. His measured cross found Kevin Lisbie and his flicked header looked to be going in until the big stopper somehow completed a wonderful one-handed full length diving save.
United had brief spells of possession and a chase from Guy brought a lay off for Potts on the edge of the area. Cuthbert slid in as the midfielder shaped to shoot.
Orient attacked with confidence as they grew into the game and a slide rule pass from Bartley put Simpson into a good area. He had options left and right but he went for glory and sent his shot into the stands.
The pair combined again in the next foray forward and Fleming had to be at his best as Simpson took two touches and raced forward. He had just the keeper to beat but quick feet and a big spread produced another vital block.
Marvin Bartley was a constant threat and his pace took him away from Robson as he looked for an early cross into the mix. Lisbie watched it closely but his diving header, under pressure from O’Hanlon, could only find the side netting.
The temperature continued to rise as the home side piled forward and a free kick from Lloyd James needed just a touch as it flew across the face of goal. Robson guided it behind for a corner and the O’s thought they’d edged in front on when Cox swung it towards the penalty spot. Baudry was up to meet it but Robson did well to hold his position and block the headed effort on the line. Robbie Simpson pounced to strike at the loose ball and he was disappointed as he blazed a wild effort over the bar.
The Cumbrians responded with a good spell of their own and a flick from Guy from an Amoo cross had the back four stretched. Lawrence arrived late but Baudry did just enough to keep him at bay.
A free kick from Lawrence from distance bounced frustratingly wide as it ricocheted off the unsighted Brad Potts and Orient slowed the game down to keep possession of the ball and reassert their authority.
The breakthrough came when Scott Cuthbert showed strength to muscle his way onto another wicked corner delivery from James. Fleming was left with no chance as the ball sped over his head and into the roof of the net.
Another set piece had the visitors all at sea moments later as the unmarked Mathieu Baudry powered a downward header at the target. Lawrence had to hook it clear off the line on this occasion as the red shirts prepared themselves to celebrate.
It was a disastrous start to the second half for Carlisle as they struggled to deal with a James corner. A scuffed clearance from O’Hanlon fell nicely for Jamie Ness and he registered his first goal for his new club with a long range thunderbolt which found the bottom corner via the slightest of touches from Fleming.
United changed their shape and that almost earned them a route back into the game when Amoo fed Potts with his back to goal. He touched it on for Berrett but brave defending brought the block.
Substitute Conor Townsend went for it from distance as Carlisle battled to find a way through but the dangerous Dean Cox came back into the game as he asked for more of the ball. And Pascal Chimbonda twice had to block as the nippy wide man came in from the left to try to finish off a Cuthbert cross. It was Cuthbert who went close from the resulting corner as he stole a yard to glance his header just past the post.
Another passage of good play brought an excellent save from Fleming as Cox unleashed a piledriver but the points were wrapped up midway through the second period when Kevin Lisbie controlled a deflected shot from Odubajo. His volley was crisp and it found its way over the line via the base of the post.
Defender Sean O’Hanlon headed over as United rallied late in the day and Max Ehmer swung a leg at a nod down from Miller when he was first to a Berrett free kick. The attempt was miscued and it came off the top of his shin and dropped kindly for Jakupovic to handle.
Orient finished the game on top and Cox rifled over moments before Shaquile Coulthirst rubbed salt into United’s wounds. He took a through ball under control but he had plenty still to do to wriggle round Fleming, keep control of the ball and shrug off the challenges before slotting the ball into the back of the net.
Orient - Cuthbert (43), Ness (47), Lisbie (66), Coulthirst (90)
Orient - Ness (80), Coulthirst (90)
United - Ehmer (45), Robson (45), Chimbonda (83)
Leyton Orient - Jakupovic, Omozusi, Cuthbert, Baudry, Cox, James, Lisbie (Loza 73), Odubajo, Clarke (C), Bartley (Ness 32), Simpson (Coulthirst 83). Subs - Sawyer, Larkins, Lee, Lasimant.
Carlisle United - Fleming, Chimbonda, O'Hanlon, Ehmer, Robson, Potts, Berrett, Buaben (Townsend 53), Amoo (Meppen-Walter 78), Guy (Miller 53), Lawrence. Subs - Brass, Noble, Beck, Symington.
Referee - Mr Graham Horwood
Attendance - 5,279 (471 away fans)