Report from the home game against Mansfield
A team of volunteers set about the snow covered playing surface at 7am on Saturday morning and the match was confirmed as playable just two hours later when the last wheelbarrow full of compacted sleet had been removed at the Waterworks End.
And they were rewarded with a gritty display which eventually earned them three points as they battled through controversy and debatable decisions to come from behind and grab their dramatic win.
Wide man Blair found two early crosses as Mansfield attacked from the kick off and Oliver went close as he jumped high to nod from eight yards out. He connected well but he couldn't keep it down.
United responded with a long throw and a half clearance was hooked back into the box by an alert Meppen-Walter. Rigg got there but his downward header hit Tafazolli and was guided behind to safety.
Another long throw from Grainger caused more problems as the left back swept the loose ball back into the mix. Potts trapped a headed clearance from Tafazolli and Rigg was a whisker away from getting the touch as the ball whipped across the face of goal.
The Cumbrians had a goal ruled out for a tug from Wyke on Tafazolli as Rigg rattled a nod down into the back of the net from the edge of the box, and a high ball from Archibald-Henville moments later was flicked on by Wyke for Meppen-Walter to cross. He lost his bearings and sent it straight at the keeper.
Lambe dragged a weak shot wide from 19 yards as the Stags mounted a rare attack, and Carlisle should have done better when Rigg touched the ball round the corner for Grainger. The captain went for the long shot but he sent it wide and into the Warwick.
Keeper Mark Gillespie had to be alert when a Heslop free kick crept under the wall. He readjusted and dropped down to smother it as it bobbled along the ground.
An inswinging Grainger free kick from wide on the right deserved better when it split the defence and bounced up high. All it needed was a touch but Rigg and Dempsey had hesitated and the keeper was able to touch it away.
A run from Lambe came to nothing as his cut back was cleared from inside the six yard box, and an intricate short corner routine at the other end brought a cross from Grainger and another close shout from Rigg as he popped his header just past the upright.
Carlisle had another good chance just before the break when a Dempsey corner fell nicely for Archibald-Henville. He shot on the spin and it whistled just over the bar.
The half ended in controversy as Matt Blair ignored offside appeals as he picked the ball up wide on the right. His cross was perfect for Oliver, who made no mistake from close range as the Carlisle back line converged on the referee's assistant to ask for an explanation.
A second intricate corner routine of the day introduced Carlisle into the second half when Dempsey sent the ball back to the centre circle for Grainger. He immediately returned the favour, and Smith did well to beat the unexpected shot away as it angled for the top corner.
Incisive play from the hosts then brought an exchange of passes between Rigg and Dempsey, but Potts took over as the ball reached the edge of the box. The midfielder unleashed a rasping drive and was unlucky to see it climb just over the bar.
The Cumbrians were left stunned as what appeared to be a clear penalty decision was ignored by referee Mark Haywood. Wyke was left to recover on the floor following a late challenge from Smith, but the officials were unmoved despite loud appeals from the vocal home crowd.
The home side dusted themselves off and got the goal they deserved when new boy Charlie Wyke bided his time at another well delivered free kick from Grainger. The flick left the big striker with the relatively easy task of bundling the ball over the line from close range.
The game was turned on its head seven minutes later when Derek Asamoah made a clearance from a Mansfield corner his own. He carried it away, fed it to Amoo, and the substitute kept his head as he looked for support. Wyke called for it but he showed intelligence when he drew the keeper before laying it back for Dempsey to pick his spot.
Gillespie produced a spectacular save from Tafazolli as he powered a header goalwards from a corner, and the home side dug deep to defend in numbers as they protected their vital victory.
United - Wyke (72), Dempsey (79)
Mansfield - Oliver (45)
Mansfield - Heslop (66), Ravenhill (79)
Carlisle United - Gillespie, Young, Archibald-Henville, O'Hanlon, Grainger, Potts (Amoo 69), Meppen-Walter, Griffith, Dempsey, Rigg (Asamoah 78), Wyke (Sweeney 90). Subs - Hanford, Kearns, Beck, Brough.
Mansfield Town - Smith, Sutton, Tafazolli, Ravenhill, Heslop, Lambe, Blair (Kee 69), Brown (Rhead 85), Oliver, Elder, Raines. Subs - Studer, Riley, McGuire, Marsden, Fitzpatrick.
Referee - Mr Mark Haywood
Attendance - 3,827 (192 away fans)