Carlisle manager Graham Kavanagh was left to reflect on a below-par performance as his side fell to a 2-0 defeat at Walsall.
Romaine Sawyers put the hosts ahead before Lee Miller saw his penalty saved by Richard O'Donnell in the first half.
The Saddlers made sure of the points courtesy of Milan Lalkovic and Cumbrians defender Courtney Meppen-Walter then received a straight red card in the 87th minute for pulling back Troy Hewitt when clean through.
"The penalty was probably a turning point, but I was disappointed with the way we lost," Kavanagh said.
"We have been playing very well, but here we didn't have that zip about us. A lot of the battles were won by Walsall, which is not what we expect. Walsall played really well.
"Not too many of the players performed at the level we expect and have seen in the last few weeks, but we have an opportunity to put things right in the next few matches, although we have a difficult run."