Having seen off Championship side Barnsley in the first round of this season's Carabao Cup competition it was off to Spotland for United and a game against League One Rochdale.
The Dale had put struggling Bolton to the sword in their first round tie two weeks ago with a clinical and comfortable 5-2 victory, but they knew it would be a tougher task this time round with both clubs keeping one eye on the prospect of drawing one of the big boys in the often lucrative next stage of the cup.
United boss Steven Pressley stuck with the same starting eleven as he'd picked for the Saturday visit of Salford, with striker Olufela Olomola once more tasked with leading the line.
Dale keeper Robert Sanchez had a heart in the mouth moment with two minutes on the clock when a heavy back pass came his way. His first touch was loose, but he reacted quickly before Hope could steal in and nick it off his toes.
A run from Iredale took him towards the corner flag as United stayed on the front foot, and a neat turn brought Scougall into play. He showed good skill to spin away from a challenge but his whipped cross was cleared by O'Connell as it came into the box.
Dale mounted a sustained attack when they picked up a loose pass in the centre circle. Andrew held it up well, and he used Morley to exchange a series of passes. Dooley sat deep as a cross was cushioned by Andrew, with the ball being switched from left to right, but his shot from distance was easily gathered by Collin.
The hosts came forward again and Morley had just one thing in mind as he pulled off his man 25-yards from the target. He looked up to check his bearings and Collin could do nothing as a dipping, accurate effort bulged the back of the net via the inside of the upright.
United got forward from the restart and a ricochet fell nicely for Olomola on the edge of the area. He rode one challenge, but he was under pressure immediately from O'Connell and the moment was gone.
It was a fast-paced encounter and Done drilled one wide at the other end after a touch from Camps had invited him to shoot. The volley was punched into the ground and it bounced and spun its way behind for a goal kick.
Rochdale broke quickly when Olomola was bundled to the floor deep inside the home half, and it was Andrew who was once again the outlet as he brought a long, high ball under control. Dooley sprinted in but his shot on the run hit Webster and Collin was able to gather.
Carlisle continued to look good with the ball and they spread the play from left to right as Hope used Jones to create a gap. Thomas called for it on the right, and his cross had Olomola interested. O'Connell was the defender whojumped in to get in the way.
The Cumbrians created a great opening on 23 minutes when Elliott pinged a beauty of a pass through the back line from just outside his own box. Hope appeared to be clean through, but Magloire opened his legs and he got there with a well-timed tackle just in time to prevent the shot.
It was the visitors who enjoyed the better of the play, as they probed with Elliott and Thomas on the right, and it was an overlap from the right back which earned a corner just before the half hour. The inswinger from Thomas needed a firm punch from Sanchez as it threatened to creep beneath the bar.
But Dale were gifted a goal moments later when a huge kick from the keeper was nodded sidewards by Webster. The big defender was looking to send it to Knight-Percival, but it had too much on it and Done was suddenly clean through as he took it on his thigh. Stopper Adam Collin lost his footing as the blue shirt bore down on him and that left a big gap, which was ruthlessly exploited, as the home side doubled their lead.
Carlisle had half a sight just before the break when Olomola covered grass quickly to close down a clearance from Sanchez. Defenders camped on the goal line and Hope couldn't find a way through when the cut back came his way.
A low drive from Thomas was seen late by the Dale keeper, as United kept the pressing game going, but his positioning was good and he took it into his hands to preserve the two-goal advantage heading into the half time team talks.
Rochdale created the first chance of the second half when Dooley pulled wide to take a crossfield pass on his chest. His first touch allowed him to set off on a run across the face of the 18-yard box and a cheeky back heel brought a shot from Morley, which angled just over the target.
It was Dooley who was an inch away as Rochdale settled into a pattern with a slick move which had Morley and Done exchanging passes. The final lay-off was rattled just wide by the midfielder when he let fly from 22-yards.
McKirdy and Carroll were sent into the fray early in the second half, and McKirdy had the away fans off their seats when he trapped a ball on the half way line before setting off on a run. He left two in his wake but his shot sailed high into the night sky.
A Webster header went over the bar as he jumped highest to meet a corner from Thomas, but it was a tight period of the game as Rochdale closed ranks and chose their moments to break forward.
Carlisle looked dangerous when they spread play inside the Rochdale half, and a lovely touch from Sorensen took the ball through legs and opened space for Elliott and Thomas. A half clearance from a cross brought a free kick, as Camps went into the book, but Sanchez was off his line smartly to gather the set piece delivery.
The Blues gave themselves a lifeline on 70 minutes when McKirdy was scythed to the floor as he went on a mesmerising run. The referee pointed to the spot and Jack Bridge went straight down the middle with his penalty kick, which left the diving Sanchez with no chance.
A tough task was made harder for the visitors as Stefan Scougall failed to shake off an injury, and he limped off leaving United with just 10 men on the pitch.
The goal brought more in the way of attacking intent from the Dale and a volley from Camps hit Webster and crept just behind as he readied himself to celebrate.
But United started to dominate, and a massive kick forward from Collin caused all kinds of confusion on 83 minutes when Magloire lost his footing as he came under pressure from McKirdy. The ball bounced awkwardly inside the opposition box and it was fed out to Thomas, who beat his man and crossed it high. It clearly hit a hand but the officials claimed not to have seen it, and the visitors were denied what was a clear and obvious second penalty kick.
Carlisle were incensed, and they went close again when a chested pass from Webster invited a volley from Knight-Percival. It got caught on his boot and it eventually spooned high and into the stands.
It was all about United and a fantastic pass from Carroll found Thomas unmarked. He played it to Elliott, and his cross hit the toe of the stretching Tyler Magloire. The home defender breathed a sigh of relief when the deflection screwed over the bar.
The green shirts camped forward through the closing stages, but long punts from Collin were twice dealt with as every Dale shirt dropped back to defend their lines.
United pushed and probed, and there was a huge chance when Collin delivered again for Knight-Percival to flick. Sorensen was there, but his volley from an angle was parried by Sanchez and Andrew gratefully smashed it clear.
Rochdale were able to see the clock down but there was plenty left to talk about as the final whistle blew on a hard-fought home victory.
Rochdale - Morley (11), Done (31)
Carlisle United - Bridge (71 pen)
Rochdale - Camps (67), O'Connell (70), Magloire (90)
Rochdale - Sanchez, O'Connell, Dooley (Rathbone 67), Andrew, Camps (c), Keohane, Done (McLaughlin 85), Ryan (Pyke 62), Magloire, Morley, Matheson. Subs - Norrington Davies, Delaney, Lynch, Henderson.
Carlisle United - Collin (gk) (c), Elliott, Webster, Knight-Percival, Iredale, Scougall, Jones (Carroll 52), Bridge, Thomas, Olomola (Sorensen 63), Hope (McKirdy 52). Subs - Gray (gk), Mellish, Branthwaite, Loft.
Referee - Peter Wright
Assistant Referee 1 - Gareth Mellor
Assistant Referee 2 - Graeme Fyvie
Fourth Official - Wayne Grunnill
Attendance - 1,974 (436 away fans)