Full-time: Scunthorpe United 3 Carlisle United 1
SCUNTHORPE United's resurgence continued as they moved five points clear of the League One relegation zone courtesy of a third win in eight days.
Whereas their previous two victories though had been more through hard graft, this performance possessed style and substance in equal measure.
Headed goals from Akpo Sodje and Paul Reid, both from Mark Duffy crosses, inside five first half minutes set the ball rolling for the Iron, though Carlisle United's James Berrett rattled in a long-range shot to give the visitors hope before the break.
The second half was as frantic as the first, with both sides carving out some decent openings and the Cumbrians piling on the pressure.
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But Sodje's measured finish in stoppage time, following Karl Hawley's through ball, sealed Scunthorpe a third successive home victory for the first time in almost four years.
For all their style and substance during a brilliant first half display, Scunthorpe were sluggish during the early exchanges, which quickly developed into an end-to-end affair.
In the eighth minute they escaped when Rory Loy was unable to make clean contact with Jon-Paul McGovern's swirling cross to the back post, where Tom Newey could only help the ball find the visiting striker.
At the other end, after Niall Canavan had flashed a volley wide from 20 yards, there was an equally important let-off.
Carlisle centre-back Sean O'Hanlon, booked moments earlier for a lunge on Sodje, wasn't quite so brutal with a clearance from a Duffy pass into the penalty area, but Josh Walker went for precision rather than power when presented with the chance to shoot and keeper Mark Gillespie dived to his left to save.
The breakthrough came soon after.
Duffy, in unfamiliar territory out on the left flank, was allowed to cut onto his favoured right foot in the 17th minute and took the opportunity to whip in a cross which Sodje met with a firm header on the edge of the six-yard box.
Five minutes later, it was 2-0, Duffy sending in another almost perfect cross, this time from a corner, which was met powerfully by Carlisle-born Scunthorpe skipper Paul Reid.It was the sort of delivery that practically begged to be headed home.
With their visitors rattled, United turned on the style, neatly moving the ball around the pitch in the sort of fashion rarely seen in a struggling season.
There were the opportunities for an even more commanding lead when Newey's piledriver was kept out by Gillespie's alertness and an offside flag denied Sodje a second goal after he had been put through on goal by Karl Hawley.
Unfortunately, the game did produce a third goal seconds before the break.
A long-range effort from James Berrett, hit from 35 yards, was more in hope that expectation, but the midfielder was rewarded for an imperious performance as it beat Slocombe and nestled into the back of the net.
The goal, which handed the Blues a lifeline, came in the opening seconds of injury-time.
Yet still there was the time for Scunthorpe to restore their two-goal advantage, but Sodje was desperately unlucky to see his flick from Jimmy Ryan's centre bounce back into play off the foot of a post.
Carlisle turned to young midfielder David Symington for inspiration at the start of the second half, bringing on the rookie for Andy Welsh.
Symington had netted a late equaliser for the Cumbrians during the 1-1 draw between the two clubs a fortnight earlier at Brunton Park, when he let fly a fantastic free-kick that nestled into the top corner.
He quickly made an impact, firing in a ball from out wide which eluded several green shirts in a packed penalty area.
Symington, and Carlisle, were a threat on the break. But it was the home side who continued to ask most questions.
Ryan was fortunate not to penalised when he charged down a 49th minute clearance on the edge of the box with both hands, but he could not find the composure to match his good fortune when he skied his shot over the bar with only Gillespie to beat.
As the half progressed, Carlisle began to get in to the ascendancy.
And when Walker clipped the heels of a visiting midfielder 35 yards away from the Scunthorpe goal, only one man was going to take the resulting free-kick.
Symington lifted the ball over the wall but this time, though on target, Slocombe went to his right to brilliantly push it around the post.
Despite looking leggy, Scunthorpe came back and both Duffy, from a 70th minute free-kick, and Ryan were only just off target with well-struck shots.
One of the final attacks of the match proved to be a crucial one.
From a low cross out on the right touchline, Cumbrians substitute Mark Beck stabbed a shot goalwards from point-blank range, but Slocombe was equal to it, pushing it around the post with his right hand.
It was a fantastic save. More importantly, it was a match-winning one.
And as the game ticked into the second of five minutes of stoppage time, Hawley's vision and execution allowed Sodje a run on goal and the in-form front man bagged a fourth goal in three games.
SCUNTHORPE: Slocombe, Newey, Reid, Canavan, Kennedy, Duffy (Mirfin 78), Collins, Walker, Ryan, Hawley, Sodje. Subs: Severn, Grella, Barcham, Godden, Nolan, Adelakan.
CARLISLE: Gillespie, Simek, O'Hanlon, Livesey (Cadamarteri 90), Robson, McGovern, Thirlwell, Berrett, Welsh (Symington 46), Loy (Beck 72), Miller. Subs: Collin, Murphy, Noble, Potts.
ATTENDANCE: 3,112 (200 away).