It was billed beforehand as the game that neither struggling manager could afford to lose.
So after the 3-0 loss at Bristol Rovers, which pushed them third bottom of League Two, Carlisle United boss Chris Beech was under increased pressure to hang onto his job.
And the axe fell this morning when it was announced by the club that Beech had left.
For the moment his assistant Gavin Skelton and Eric Kinder will have charge of team affairs.
The club thanked the departing Beech for his work for the Blues over the last two years and wished him all the best for his future.
The heady early days of his appointment, when he led United to the top of the table, are long gone and they are now fighting a different kind of contest – to avoid the drop.
United were blasted by fans for their performance last time on their travels, going down 4-0 at Sutton, and this wasn’t much better – certainly not enough to suggest that the side is capable of turning things round.
The game cleared lacked quality, but there was plenty of endeavour, particularly in the opening stages but Carlisle’s efforts weren’t helped by having six players booked.
As things turned out, too, some more suicidal defending cost them as The Gas (as they are known) showed that they are not suffering any sort of energy crisis, despite their lowly League position.
Chances were few and far between and, in fact, Carlisle had the first real opportunity to open their account when the ball broke to Zak Clough, but his fierce drive was quickly blocked. Brennan Dickenson was onto the rebound and should have scored but his shot was parried by the home keeper James Belshaw.
But it was Rovers who took the lead when an incisive move caught United flat-footed. Three passes from back to front released Antony Evans and he jinked past Danny Devine before thundering an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner.
Carlisle had a real chance to level things up soon after half-time when a huge clearance from goalkeeper Lukas Jensen was flicked on by Dickenson. Belshaw was off his line, and Clough went for the lob when he got there first but the keeper threw-up his hands to make the save.
Carlisle did enjoy a good spell, forcing a series of corners, but couldn’t find a way through for an equaliser.
Having enjoyed the bulk of the second half possession the Cumbrians were undone for a second time with four minutes left to play when substitute Luke Thomas turned a scrappy piece of tackling into a decisive run. He reached the byline, pulled it back, and fellow replacement Sam Nicholson was there to stroke the weighted pass into the back of the nets.
It got worse for United in time added on when Harvey Saunders suddenly found himself with just Jensen to beat. He kept his cool and smashed it into the roof of the net.