Swindon Town 0 Carlisle United 4: Rarely has a club’s owner seemed less aptly named. The Swindon Town of Lee Power were knocked to their knees and then finished off by Carlisle United and a young midfielder nicknamed ‘Scrappy Doo’.

That was the cartoon title applied to Regan Slater by Danny Grainger, his sidelined captain, on Saturday night. The 19-year-old indeed had punch that belied his stature and his two-goal performance stood out in United’s best away win for a year.

This inconsistent, unpredictable campaign lurched dramatically in the positive direction here. Even the optimists in the Blues’ support cannot have expected to be four up with 35 minutes to go, the home side’s new manager perplexed in his technical area and some of their fans reduced to chanting against their chairman – those who had not already left, that is.

For one afternoon, Carlisle’s troubles seemed so far away. John Sheridan is not one for outpourings of sentiment but must have felt a grain of sympathy for Richie Wellens, his opposite number and one-time protégé at Oldham.

Only a grain, though. Whatever problems Wellens has inherited – on this evidence, the pile is high – United are in no position to be lenient when the chance to fill boots comes along. That they did, Ashley Nadesan edging them ahead before a three-goal glut between minutes 46 and 65.

Slater would have carried long odds on being the man to get a brace when United overwhelmed Wellens’ side, yet the first league goals of his career were of high quality. The first was an arrowing shot into the top corner from a Nadesan knock-down. The second, after Jamie Devitt’s classy free-kick, showed great persistence and individual skill before another ruthless strike.

That r-word had been among Sheridan’s areas for criticism after Carlisle’s Checkatrade Trophy exit. The sort of clinical work he had demanded came along four days later.

It was also the most striking day yet in Slater’s promising career. On loan from Sheffield United, this fine afternoon should swell the teenager’s confidence as the Blues head towards winter. “He’s only about 5ft 3in and weighs about eight stone, but there’s something about him,” said Sheridan.

Slater, the manager added, carries himself on the pitch with a positive “arrogance”. United also carry themselves well on the road, bearing in mind this was a fifth away win in League Two. Only Lincoln can match that.

Carlisle are 11th, as opposed to the Imps in second, because they have been less potent at home, but this was a day to admire their work far from Brunton Park. Swindon did not introduce Wellens with any particular fanfare before kick-off and perhaps they feared what was coming.

It did, though, take a while to materialise, the opening stages notable for a lack of poise both ways. Swindon began with vigour but without assurance: the sign of a side wedged in the bottom half. Carlisle, in a 3-5-2 system which seems to suit them right now, started without much fluency themselves and it was a case of wondering which side would find any kind of positive pattern.

Swindon felt they had a useful route down United’s left, where they got in behind four times in the first half-hour. Yet there was no sign of a significant finish. Keshi Anderson headed a Jermaine McGlashan wide and the latter bustled free to win a couple of corners, right-back Luke Woolfenden the same.

This was a gap Carlisle needed to close, not that Wellens’ side, for whom striker Elijah Adebayo was a paltry threat against Anthony Gerrard, looked especially dangerous. United needed to get Devitt into better areas as they toiled for opportunities, Slater in this period showing good industry, including one pass that found Nadesan on his heels.

James Dunne hooked over a volley for Swindon before going off with what Wellens described as a family emergency, and perhaps this was the slight leg-up United needed. With Dunne replaced by the less experienced Martin Smith in midfield, Carlisle were able to close off spaces in this key area and get their pace and energy down the sides moving in the right direction.

Duly they found a little more purpose, Devitt testing the hosts with crosses before a counter-attack saw Jack Sowerby fail to beat Lawrence Vigouroux.

Next time, they were more precise. Gerrard restored calm after a spate of head tennis and sent the ball along the back to Gary Liddle. Devitt fed Sowerby’s overlap with a probing pass and Nadesan, having picked up crucial space, turned the cross in off the post.

There then followed a mini-spell that could have spun the game back around. Matty Taylor forced Adam Collin to backpedal to save an ambitious long-ranger, and then Swindon’s best chance: a wicked delivery from Taylor, and a sidefooted finish from Ellis Iandolo which drifted wide.

Carlisle then punished this waste. Less than a minute had passed of the second half when they got number two: Liddle sending it high, Nadesan winning a useful header and Slater arriving to crack it high past Vigouroux.

The aerial route against an uncertain defence was, wisely, taken again. A few minutes later it saw McGlashan handle foolishly just outside the box. Devitt’s free-kick, into the top left, was a peach.

A cluster of Swindon fans headed for home. “What a load of rubbish,” others sang. Another less printable song filled the Wiltshire air as United’s followers made merry.

Then, another. Hallam Hope stole the ball on halfway and put Wellens’ defence on the back foot. Nadesan’s run down the middle occupied defenders and opened up space for Slater on the left, yet he still had work to complete when he received Hope’s pass.

He did so superbly, cutting in, evading challenges then, the moment he had suitable space, driving it into the bottom corner.

This rendered the rest a pleasing non-event. When Swindon saw a shot roll tamely wide there were exaggerated “oohs” from home supporters. Gallows humour was all they had, given the amount of times they had been caught offside when venturing into United’s territory and given the pointless pressure they then put on Carlisle.

That followed a spate of subs as Wellens chased consolation and Sheridan consolidation. Liam McCarron, given a decent late run-out, had the hosts backpedalling and Hope’s control failed him when fed by Slater. At the other end, Scott Twine threatened in a way that must have made Wellens wish he’d given him a start, spinning onto a half-chance and going close from 25 yards, and there were other occasions when they nearly sneaked one back, McGlashan failing to reach a back-post cross and Collin saving well from Steven Alzate.

United, though, were as worthy of their clean sheet as Swindon were their nil: puppy power, as young Scrappy would call it, all the strength they required.

United: Collin, Liddle, Gerrard (Miller 81), Gillesphey, Sowerby, Slater, Jones, Devitt (Campbell 76), Yates, Hope, Nadesan (McCarron 72). Not used: Gray, Glendon, Bennett.

Goals: Nadesan 41, Slater 46, 65, Devitt 54

Swindon: Vigouroux, Woolfenden, Taylor, Nelson, Conroy (Knoyle 69), Dunne (Smith 29), Taylor, Iandolo, Alzate, McGlashan, Anderson, Adebayo (Twine 69). Not used: McCormick, Lancashire, McCourt, Richards.

Ref: Graham Salisbury