Robinson hat-trick sinks United
United opened their home league campaign against Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday evening with the news that striker Lee Miller was ruled out through an ankle injury sustained during the away game at Stevenage at the weekend.
Danny Cadamarteri came in to make his first full start with Frank Simek also taking a bow as he made a return to right back at the expense of the unlucky Brad Potts.
The Cumbrians started slowly, typified when Liam Noble lost possession in midfield. A quick pass released Cassidy and it needed a touch from Collin to send it wide.
Noble almost made amends at the other end when he pressed his man and won the ball. He stepped inside to shoot but was disappointed when he scuffed it wide.
Disaster struck with just 12 minutes on the clock when Thompson went on a winding run. His pass found Robinson and he took everyone by surprise when he curled a measured effort into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Carlisle tried to claw their way back into it but it just wasn't their day as they struggled to find any kind of meaningful attacking play.
Noble was determined to get things going and he tried his luck with another long range effort which was always heading off target.
Tranmere extended their lead on 19 minutes when Robinson took charge of a 25-yard free kick. He got it over the wall and left Collin with no chance as it dipped towards the bottom corner and the back of the net.
Carlisle pushed forward from the restart and Gibson was fortunate when he sliced a low cross from McGovern over his own bar. McGovern and Berrett then combined to carve a way through and Fon Williams had to drop low to make a block as the midfielder tried to force the ball under his body.
It was better from United and a Livesey cross caused problems as Cadamarteri arrived late in the area. His header had power but it spun away and dropped just wide of the upright.
Collin was back in action at the other end when Wallace bullied his way through two challenges to forge a path to goal. A stinging shot had to be parried away with Livesey on hand to scoop away the rebound.
Tranmere should have extended their lead immediately after the break when Robinson overlapped on the left. His cross was perfect for Thompson but he was left with his head in his hands as he guided it wide of the goal.
And there was another gilt-edged for the visitors moments later when Thompson turned provider. His deep delivery found Cassidy unmarked at the back post but his diving header could only find the side netting.
It was frustration all round on the hour when a Robson cross was hooked back into the danger area by Beck. Symington connected sweetly but his shot was blocked, and recovered well to clip the ball back towards the penalty spot. Thirlwell met that one on the full but Taylor stuck a boot out to prevent it from crossing the line. Berrett was next to step up but another brave block eased the pressure as Bakayago spun to drill the ball clear.
Tranmere were lifted by the let-off and they closed the gaps in midfield to make it difficult for the home side to make any kind of headway.
And they put the game beyond doubt when Robinson completed his hat-trick with the goal of the game when he unleashed a wonderful 28-yard free kick which angled into the net past the despairing dive of the Carlisle keeper.
United had a late opportunity to salvage some pride when Chantler twisted and turned but his deflected effort bobbled wide with Fon Williams rooted to the spot.
"We've set ourselves high standards and we came nowhere near them tonight," manager Greg Abbott said. "We lacked the energy, determination and drive which we have demanded from ourselves over the last four years, and that isn't acceptable.
"It's impossible to put your finger on why performances like this come along, but the important thing now is how we react to it. The focus for the rest of this week will be on making sure we put this right against Portsmouth."
Rovers - Robinson (12, 19, 67)
United - Berrett (62), Livesey (66), Thirlwell (68), Symington (81)
Rovers - Palmer (40), Holmes (59)
United - Collin, Simek, Livesey, Edwards, Bugno (Symington 58), Noble (Beck 32), Thirlwell, Berrett, McGovern (Chantler 57), Cadamarteri, Robson. Subs - Gillespie, Murphy, Welsh, Potts.
- Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Palmer, Thompson (Power 83), Wallace, Cassidy, Robinson (Bell-Baggie 74), Bakayago, Gibson, Akpa Akpro (Stockton 72). Subs - Harrison, Kirby, Kay, Mooney.
Ref: Mr Graham Salisbury
Att: 4,192 (203 away fans)