Tight game ends all-square
United unveiled former-Blue Joe Garner as their new signing ahead of kick off as manager Greg Abbott shuffled his pack with midfielders James Berrett and Liam Noble suspended.
Brad Potts and Danny Livesey also came back into the fold with the Cumbrians seeking to extend their unbeaten run to three games.
The visitors looked bright as they started on the front foot and they had an excellent chance to open the scoring when Tootle skipped past Chantler on the left. He arrowed into the box but opted to square the ball when it looked easier to shoot. Clayton got there but he dragged a poor shot wide.
A deep free kick caused problems as Gillespie raced from his line but Livesey stepped in to hook the ball clear before Clayton could pounce. Ellis then won the jump to greet the resulting corner but his header lacked power and it dropped over the bar.
The move of the game involved Tootle and Clayton on the Crewe right as they passed their way through midfield from their own half. A low cross was inviting for Moore but he could only stab an instinctive volley wide.
United started to get into their game and an early Chantler cross found Cadamarteri on the edge of the area. A glanced header had Martin back-peddling but he safely grasped the ball before it crossed the line.
A quick break from Carlisle almost brought them a goal when Robson ran past his man out wide. Jervis lost his marker and was disappointed when he sent the ball wide as he rose to head it downwards.
Cadamarteri showed his skill and poise just before the break when he shielded a pass from McGovern with his back to goal. A touch allowed him to spin and he was unlucky to see his left-foot effort spin past the post.
Youngster Brad Potts showed excellent technique moments later when he kept his eye on a drooping half clearance. His 26-yard volley was near perfect until the keeper pounced across to parry it away.
Clayton had the final say of the first 45 minutes when he spun Murphy on the edge of the area. He had time but he rushed the moment and dragged his shot away.
The introduction of the returning Joe Garner gave the Cumbrians some much needed impetus after the break and his pass put McGovern into a shooting position. Davis came across to block what appeared to be a goal-bound shot.
Good battling from Potts took him through two challenges and Cadamarteri tested the target again when he unleashed one through a ruck of bodies.
The game tightened up and chances became less frequent with both sides working hard to close down.
Cadamarteri started to influence matters and he made it to the bye line before cutting back inside when he got into the area. Martin had to react quickly to make a smart save at his near post.
A long range shot from Garner ballooned up into the air as he had his first attempt but United were let off the hook at the other end when Leitch-Smith rattled an unstoppable shot across the face of goal. Gillespie was beaten but the ball smashed against the underside of the bar before being cleared by Murphy.
Carlisle returned the favour when they attacked with a whipped cross from Cadamarteri. Garner shrugged his man off to get a touch but it bounced up off the post and the retreating defenders were able to scoop it clear.
Gillespie made a fine block to prevent Moore from taking the lead as he broke through and the last chance of an increasingly tight affair fell to Cadamarteri when he got onto the end of centre from Simek.
Manager Greg Abbott said: "We created some good chances and it became one of those games where either side could have nicked it. We know our group and we know what they can do and at times we are playing some really good football. There are other times when we need to be closer and tighter, but we’re getting there in terms of what we want from the group overall.
“Joe [Garner] has come in and he’s the type who will be in faces and cause problems. It’s always tough to play on the same day you come in but he’s fit and he just wants to be on the pitch. We're on a run of unbeaten games now and the aim is to keep that going for as long as we can."
United - Thirlwell (60)
Carlisle United - Gillespie, Simek, Livesey, Murphy, Chantler, McGovern (Symington 76), Potts, Thirlwell, Robson, Jervis (Garner 46), Cadamarteri. Subs - Collin, Welsh, Madden, Edwards, Beck.
Crewe Alexandra - Martin, Tootle (Turton 76), Davis, Ellis, Clayton, Murphy, Leitch-Smith, Moore, Mellor, Robertson, Osman. Subs - Garratt, Dugdale, Guthrie, Ray, Daniels, Colclough.
Referee - Andy Haines
Attendance - 3,519 (162 away fans)