Promotion favourites Bury confirmed their top half status with a devastating second half display which left United chasing shadows as they continue to wait for their first league win of the campaign.
The visitors looked confident as they saw plenty of the early ball and they should have taken the lead on 4 minutes when Adams skipped past his man on the left flank. A low cross made its way through to the unmarked Craig Jones but he took his eye off it and sent a poor 16-yard shot high over the bar.
Bury stayed forward and Mayor beat two as he went on a powerful run into the area. A sliding tackle brought a corner and Cameron was disappointed when he scissor kicked the delivery well wide of the upright.
United held their shape and they got forward with purpose when Gillies fed Brough on the overlap. The cross was cleared but Gillies was there to pick up the pieces as he made space for a second delivery. Elliott rose to meet that one but his header from the edge of the box was always heading high.
The Shakers asked more questions on 15 minutes when Etuhu clipped a 30-yard pass over the back line for Jones to chase. He was clean through but he never looked confident and another poor shot whistled away to safety.
Carlisle started to settle and a Grainger free kick brought good movement from Dempsey. He got half a head to it but Mills moved across to deflect it behind.
Dempsey was at the heart of it again when he pulled wide to take a pass from Elliott. He spotted Potts but MIlls was the spoiler once more as he stopped Gillies from finishing the move off.
Set pieces were a useful supply line for the Cumbrians and a flick from a Grainger inswinger left Elliott with a brief sight of goal. The striker set himself but his standing foot slipped and shot dragged away.
It was suddenly Carlisle with the momentum and Brough used movement from Elliott to create space for a cross. Dempsey made his move but he couldn’t get a touch as Mills shadowed his near post run.
Craig Jones suffered his second nightmare moment of the day when he found himself unmarked at the back stick. A crunching shot from Adams was tipped into his path by Gillespie and he couldn’t hide his embarrassment as he somehow sent a weak volley wide of the open goal.
It was a good spell for Bury and United needed a goal line clearance from Danny Grainger to preserve their first half clean sheet as Mayor teased in possession on the edge of the box. Adams took over and his shot, through Gillespie's legs, threatened to make it until the defender stepped in to make his clearance.
Disaster struck early in the second half when a loose pass from O'Hanlon invited Bury to attack. Jones sent a high ball into the area and Rose somehow beat Gillespie to the ball as he guided a neat header into the top corner.
An immediate reply from Dempsey, when he popped a Grainger free kick past the stranded Lainton, was chalked off by an offside and the afternoon got worse for the hosts when Bury sliced their way through a static defence at pace and in numbers. Lowe, Adams and Mayor did the damage and Craig Jones made amends for his earlier misses with an emphatic finish as Gillespie tried to narrow the angles.
Lowe and Cameron went close with headers as Bury attacked at will and Soares had a shot deflected wide when he stole it off Symington and cut into the area. Mills was next to be wasteful when he was left all his own for an Adams corner. He bent low but put his header right at his own man.
Mark Beck was a whisker away when his header from a Symington cross shaved the top of the bar and Ryan Lowe rubbed salt into the wounds when he broke free at the other end with players in support. He put his head over the ball and fizzed a clean strike into the bottom corner to seal the points for the day.
Bury - Rose (48), Jones (59), Lowe (80)
United - Archibald-Henville (62)
Carlisle United - Gillespie, Symington, O'Hanlon, Archibald-Henville (Amoo 71), Grainger, Gillies, Potts, Sweeney, Brough, Dempsey (Marriott 75), Elliott (Beck 65). Subs - Hanford, Thirlwell, Rigg, Douglas.
Bury - Lainton, Jones, McNulty, Tutte (Lowe 53), Etuhu, Adams (Holmes 79), Rose (Nardiello 68), Mayor, Soares, Cameron, Mills. Subs - Jalal, Hussey, Sedgwick, Platt.
Referee - Mr Mark Brown
Attendance - 3,975 (468 away fans)