CHESTER CITY acted quickly last night to halt an alarming slide in form that has seen them lose nine of their last 10 Coca-Cola League Two matches and slip from promotion hopefuls to relegation candidates.
Chairman Stephen Vaughan and manager Keith Curle held talks in a Chester hotel and it is understood changes will be made behind the scenes in an attempt to arrest the sequence of results.
Announcements of the changes are expected to be made tomorrow and the urgently needed reorganisation will hopefully stop Chester's slide.
At Brunton Park on Saturday, Chester were dreadful. The only surprise was that the Cumbrians only registered five times. A more incisive strike force could easily have reached double figures.
Chester's recent form has been disastrous and unfortunately this performance was the worst yet.
Even the majority of City's excellent travelling support couldn't bear to watch the dying embers of the embarrassment and left the ground long before the final whistle.
Carlisle took the lead after 14 minutes, when they took advantage of a mistake by Regan, Murray hitting an effort goal-bound and while McNiven made an attempt to clear, a linesman's flag indicated that the ball had crossed the line.
Former Sunderland and Leeds United striker Michael Bridges doubled the score just before half-time when he took advantage of more defensive lethargy to rifle the ball past Gillet.
Chester had an opportunity to get back into the game five minutes into the second period.
The tireless Ben Davies, who was one player to come out of this debacle with some credit, was bundled over in the area by Lumsden, but Michael Branch shot the resulting spot-kick at Westwood, who saved easily with his legs.
The home side were awarded a penalty themselves eight minutes later, when substitute Chris Robertson who had a disappointing debut, clattered recklessly into Hawley.
Lumsden duly hammered the resulting penalty past the over-worked Gillet to make the score 3-0.
The rout was completed by late goals from Hawley and Murray, as Chester's play and confidence ebbed visibly away.
It is years since a side representing Chester City turned in a performance as passionless as this one and Curle was furious after the game: "It was men against boys.
"A lot of my players' contracts are up at the end of the season and they are playing for their careers.
"But you wouldn't have thought that.
"They let themselves down and it's time they grew up."
Curle continued: "Carlisle came out and started well but the two penalties changed the game.
"When we were 2-0 down we got an opportunity and if we had scored the penalty the game would have had a difference complexion.
"They got their third goal from a penalty, following bad decision making from our defender. That changed the game."
Tonight Chester's reserve side are in action in a Pontin's League match. They travel to Gay Meadow to face Shrewsbury Town.
CARLISLE UNITED: Westwood, Arnison, Gray, Murphy, Aranside, A Murray, Lumsden (McGill 84), Billy, Holmes (G Murray 77), Hawley, Bridges (Hackney 84). Subs: Bradley, Livesey.
CHESTER CITY: Gillet, McNiven, Regan, Roberts (Robertson 45), Horwood, Lowe, Vaughan, Drummond, Davies, Branch (Blundell 79), Asamoah (Richardson 63). Subs: Dimech, Corden.
REFEREE: Mr Gary Lewis (Cambridgeshire).