Darren Ferguson lamented “soft goals” and a “terrible result” as Peterborough United’s promotion hopes were dented by Carlisle United.

The Blues upset the odds with a memorable 3-1 raid on the Weston Homes Stadium.

It left Ferguson dismayed by the quality of his side’s performance against Paul Simpson’s strugglers.

“I’m very disappointed. It’s a terrible result,” said the Posh manager.

“We knew it would be a pivotal few days so this is very disappointing.

“As a collective, every single player has had an off-day and I include myself in that.

“You can get away with it if it’s two or three players, but we all got about three out of ten. If you do that, you are losing.”

Jon Mellish’s hat-trick stunned League One’s top scorers, with Harrison Burrows managing a consolation.

It was Peterborough’s first home defeat at the hands of the Blues since 2000.

News and Star: Jonson Clarke-Harris hits the bar for PeterboroughJonson Clarke-Harris hits the bar for Peterborough (Image: Richard Parkes)

And it left the fourth-placed outfit ten points adrift of the top two with seven games to play.

“We conceded three really soft goals - it could have been more - and the quality from our players in the final third, I haven’t seen it as bad at that this season,” added Ferguson, speaking in the Peterborough Telegraph.

“It’s irrelevant where teams are in the league, if you perform like that, you’re getting beat.”

Ferguson said that, after a good start, his side failed to stop United’s delivery into the box for Mellish’s opener – then failed to prevent the midfielder attacking two volleyed chances in the second half.

Ferguson added that his side lacked quality in their attempted fightback after Burrows had given them hope.

“I’m disappointed for the fans, it was a good atmosphere, good attendance and we’ve let them down and that’s the only time I’ve said that this season,” he added.

“I said a couple of weeks ago, we can’t afford any slip-ups and we’ve lost the last two.

“There is no need to press the panic button because we’ve lost before, but we’ve not seen anything as bad as today before.

“Generally we’re been very good this season. We’ve now got a mountain to climb to get into the top two.”