Stevenage 3 Carlisle United 0: A damaging defeat saw Carlisle United's League Two play-off hopes take another big hit as they were beaten 3-0 at Stevenage.

Boro broke the deadlock in the first period through Arthur Iontton's opener, before Kurtis Guthrie netted twice after the restart. That leaves the Blues four points outside the top seven.

The hosts had the first opportunity on the sixth minute. Guthrie won the initial header but Emmanuel Sonupe was unable to latch on to the loose ball as United keeper Adam Collin gathered.

Two minutes later, the visitors tried their luck with Preston loan frontman Connor Simpson firing wide with a long-range strike.

Ilias Chair appeared to be Boro's best creative player. He drove forward with the ball finding its way to Iontton who rifled in the opening goal with 16 minutes on the clock.

As Steven Pressley's side looked to get a foothold in the game, Hallam Hope flashed a cross across the face of goal but it was cleared with away appeals for handball turned down.

While, at the other end, Guthrie struck the side-netting from a tight angle as Stevenage led 1-0 at the break.

The hosts doubled their advantage, after referee Carl Boyeson had turned down United penalty appeals for a foul on Callum O'Hare, when Guthrie headed a corner from QPR loanee Chair past Collin on the 53rd minute. 

Then, just after the hour mark, Guthrie got his second. He was fouled by Aston Villa loan midfielder O'Hare and converted the spot-kick himself.

Despite bringing on Jason Kennedy and George Glendon, United couldn't find a way back into the game.

Carlisle manager Pressley was handed a double blow with injured duo Jamie Devitt and Kelvin Etuhu not named in their matchday squad.

Simpson took Devitt's place in the team, while Stefan Scougall came in for the suspended Mike Jones in the two changes.

With Danny Grainger sidelined and Anthony Gerrard once again named on the bench, Gary Liddle captained the Blues who started the afternoon a point outside the League Two play-off places.

Hope, meanwhile, made his 200th career appearance.

There was also a place for United youth striker Keighran Kerr on the bench, as there was for Macaulay Gillesphey after his return to training following knee surgery.

Dino Maamria’s men, meanwhile, were 12th at the start of the day and themselves still have slim promotion hopes which they kept alive.

Carlisle United: Collin, Miller, Liddle (c), Parkes, Hope, Slater (Glendon 55), Thomas, O'Hare, Grant, Simpson (Kennedy 55), Scougall.

Carlisle unused subs: Gray, Gerrard, Gillesphey, Branthwaite, Kerr.

Stevenage: Farman, James-Wildin, Timlin, Cuthbert (c), Sonupe (Newton 78), Chair (McKee 74), Vancooten, Iontton (Byrom 88), Guthrie, Nugent, Martin.

Stevenage unused subs: Byrne, Hunt, Revell, Gibson.

Goal: Iontton, Guthrie (2).

Ref: Carl Boyeson.

Assistants: Michael Webb and Matthew Lee.

Fourth official: Joe Simpson.

Crowd: 2,770.