Carlisle United 0 Swindon Town 3: Dismal Carlisle United plunged into the League Two relegation zone as Harry McKirdy rubbed their noses in it on his return to Brunton Park.

The Blues were all at sea as Swindon's McKirdy scored one and set up two in a comfortable win for the play-off chasers.

Carlisle produced a hopeless performance in front of 4,345 fans as they dropped to second bottom thanks to Oldham's win over Bradford.

Some supporters left early in the second half as Keith Millen's team fell further into crisis, while two home fans invaded the pitch in the second half.

United, winless in eight games, are now facing an increasingly desperate fight to save their Football League status - and did nothing to suggest it is a battle they can win here.

McKirdy relished his return and taunted the home fans as he inspired victory against the club for whom he played in the 2019/20 season.

He fired the opener on 17 minutes before setting up two in three second-half minutes for Josh Davison and Louie Barry.

Carlisle never looked like scoring and are now a point adrift in the bottom two.

United manager Millen brought fit-again captain Callum Guy straight back into the side after hie recovery from a hamstring injury.

The midfielder returned to the midfield as defender Jack Armer dropped to the bench.

That was the only change from the XI that had started at Colchester the previous weekend, though keeper Magnus Norman was out injured as teenage keeper Gabe Breeze stepped up to the bench.

Swindon were without the injured Ben Gladwin, as Ricky Aguiar came into the side in their only change - McKirdy starting as expected for Ben Garner's side.

Millen's changes saw United revert to a 4-3-3 system with Corey Whelan at right-back and Joe Riley moving into midfield.

Swindon played the better football from an early stage, with Joe Tomlinson threatening with a dangerous run down the left in the fourth minute.

One bright piece of United play ended with Guy rifling just over the bar from the edge of the box, before Swindon's Barry failed to finish a good chance after Rob Hunt's break.

Guy and Riley then failed with shots before McKirdy grabbed the first-half headlines on 17 minutes, speeding onto a ball to the right of goal and firing it clinically past Mark Howard and high into the net.

The ex-Blues man ran in front of the home fans in the Pioneer Stand and celebrated as some home supporters abused the Swindon man.

United struggled to create anything substantial in response. Morgan Feeney turned a shot wide after a scramble, while Barry was a threat on the break for Swindon.

Dynel Simeu and Davison were both booked after an angry tussle in the 36th minute.

Carlisle's set-piece delivery was poor and they had Howard to thank for keeping it to 0-1 at the break when he denied the dangerous Barry after the Robins attacker broke past the defence.

United looked raw and lacking poise on the ball and in attack, with the half-time scores sending them into the relegation zone.

Millen brought on Jordan Gibson for Owen Windsor at the break in search of a way back, and, after Barry had again gone close for Swindon, Tobi Sho-Silva headed wide a Guy cross for Carlisle.

Morgan Feeney made a timely intercption to prevent Ellis Iandolo putting Davison in, before the afternoon went from bad to worse to dreadful for Carlisle.

Swindon went two up on 55 minutes when ref Oliver Langford played an advantage after a Simeu foul, McKirdy playing Davison through to the right of goal and the Swindon No9 finishing hard and low across Howard.

Two minutes later it was three, McKirdy breaking down the right and seeing Barry arriving unmarked to tap in his cross.

Some home fans got up and left as United's season plunged further into disarray, as McKirdy celebrated gleefully in front of the Paddock and boos rang out from the United faithful.

Millen brought on Kristian Dennis for Jon Mellish, while McKirdy theatrically applauded all sides of the ground when he was replaced by Wales international Jonny Williams on the hour mark.

Riley was denied by a last-ditch challenge when shooting from 20 yards, before Swindon's Ricky Aguiar went close.

It was, for United, a hopeless task with the mood plummeting among fans at the sight of their team's impotent offerings.

One young supporter then ran from the Warwick Road End and onto the pitch, reaching the Swindon half and gesturing to the away fans before runnig back, trying to avoid stewards before falling.

He was led from the ground as, on the pitch, Jamie Devitt came on to try and arrest Carlisle's desperate situation.

The sub's first contribution, though, came when another fan invaded, before giving up and allowing Devitt to guide him to a steward who took him away from the pitch.

Barry came close to a last-minute Swindon fourth, while United's attacking efforts were dismal throughout - the prospect of dropping into non-league now looming very large at Brunton Park.

United: Howard, Whelan, Roberts, Simeu, Feeney, Riley, Guy, Mellish (Dennis 58), Patrick, Windsor (Gibson 46), Sho-Silva (Devitt 77). Not used: Breeze, Armer, Devine, Omotoye.

Booked: Simeu.

Swindon: Wollacott, Iandolo (East 71), O’Brien, Hunt, Tomlinson, Cooper, Aguiar, Reeds, Barry, McKirdy (Williams 60), Davison (Parsons 85). Not used: Ward, Odimayo, Baudry, Mitchell-Lawson.

Goals: McKirdy 17, Davison 55, Barry 57.

Booked: Davison, Cooper.

Ref: Oliver Langford.

Crowd: 4,345 (381).