Carlisle couldn't quite find the final ingredient on a day when they created chances but failed to deliver against a very resolute Mansfield side.
The Stags pounced forward from the off as Lambe strode into the United half but his cut-back was cleared by Raynes when he tried to find the run of the strikers.
Carlisle quickly asserted themselves in midfield and crosses from Gilliead and Grainger had to be blocked. A twisting run from Gilliead created plenty of options and he left Collins in a heap on the floor as he cut in from the flank. His shot had Shearer beaten but it rattled against the base of the post and bounced wide.
It wasn't all one-way traffic though and a dangerous Alfei cross caused problems as Dieseruvwe guided it into the six yard box. Thomas arrived late but Gillespie was alert and he raced out to get an important touch.
The Stags went close again when Alfei sent another cross in from deep. Green stretched to meet it but Ellis was relieved to see his keeper make a fantastic save as he intervened with a diving header which almost turned into an unbelievable own goal.
A brace of Grainger corners had the away side concerned as quality deliveries peppered the box at the other end with Carlisle keen to take control of proceedings. Shearer and his back four did just about enough to keep the blue tide at bay.
United lived dangerously midway through the half when a slip from Ellis allowed Lambe to break. He was blocked when the defender recovered but Raynes had to block again when Dieseruvwe followed up with a thumping volley.
Mansfield took the lead from the resulting corner when an initial clearance was nodded back into the mix. It eventually fell nicely for Daniel and he got his boot over the ball as he crunched it confidently into the back of the net.
Carlisle should have levelled moments later when Gilliead was pulled to the floor just 22-yards out. Grainger beat the wall with the free kick and Miller was there to lob the parry from Shearer back into the area. Kennedy had his back to goal and he was unlucky to see a difficult overhead kick fly just past the upright.
Kennedy did well to steal possession from Tafazolli as the defender hesitated inside his own area with Carlisle attacking in numbers at every opportunity. Ibehre came to the near post but it was a tight angle and he could only find the side netting.
More good football from Wyke opened things up for the hosts when he beat his man to give Comley a clean run. The QPR loanee ghosted past his marker and Shearer had to palm the ball wide as a whistling effort headed for the bottom corner.
Grainger was accurate with the set piece and Ellis put it back across goal with the keeper unsighted. Wyke got a touch but it was cleared off the line as two defenders stayed deep to help out.
The Mansfield goal lived a charmed life once more just before the break when Grainger found Ellis with another excellently worked corner. His nod down brought Ibehre into play but the striker somehow sent his volley wide from very close range.
A run from Gilliead ended with a dragged shot which bobbled wide as Carlisle tried to get things going after the break, and the same player did the same thing from the left flank, but Shearer was well placed to drop low and gather.
Mansfield tried to slow things down and the tactic almost paid off when a wayward Raynes pass was picked up by Blair. He had to be tackled by Ellis as he shaped to shoot and Raynes was quick to make his apologies for the unforced error.
Ibehre screwed a mishit shot wide as Carlisle tried to pick up the pace but they were undone again on 62 minutes when Lambe went one way then the other outside the area. A snapshot caught Gillespie by surprise as it went into his bottom corner.
Hope was stopped in full flight by Shearer as Carlisle threw men forward and Asamoah was tackled by Tafazolli when the ball yet again didn't quite run for the home side.
Tafazolli should have wrapped things up beyond doubt on 78 minutes when he found the ball on his toe just 10 yards out. He connected firmly but his side-footed volley lacked power and Gillespie was able to save.
Miller popped one wide as he arrived late to a Grainger corner and Stacey scooped another shot over the bar as the expected onslaught didn't quite materialise.
Grainger was robbed of a late consolation when his whistling shot struck an unsighted man on the line but the gap to the play-offs extended to two points, despite a late finish from defender Tom Miller which got his team onto the score sheet.
United - Miller (90)
Mansfield - Daniel (21), Lambe (62)
United - Miller (40), Comley (78)
Carlisle United - Gillespie, Miller, Ellis (Hope 60), Raynes, Gillesphey, Grainger, Kennedy (Stacey 74), Comley, Gilliead, Ibehre (Asamoah 68), Wyke. Subs - Hanford, Joyce, Atkinson, Sweeney.
Mansfield Town - Shearer, Collins, Chapman, Green, Daniel (Benning 38), Tafazolli, Dieseruvwe (Rose 50), Blair, Lambe, Thomas (McGuire 74), Alfei. Subs - Jensen, Beardsley, Yussuf, Baxendale.
Referee - Mr David Webb
Attendance - 4,426 (156 away fans)