United were at the Alexandra Stadium on Saturday afternoon for their latest Sky Bet League Two fixture.
Carlisle turned on the style as the goals rained in from a superb performance at Gresty Road. They scored five, and it could have been more as they created chance after chance against a demoralised home outfit.
Excellent closing down from Shaun Miller set the tone for United as he crowded Garratt into a corner with just minutes on the clock. Crewe broke from his hurried clearance but debut boy Clint Hill stepped across to hook it away as Dagnall tried to break through.
A huge kick from George caught the hosts unawares and Lambe did well to lay it off for Adams as he took it under his control. A first time shot had good intention but it curled high into the sky.
Crewe responded with a slick attack which found Wintle in space on the right. His low cross begged for a touch from Dagnall and Porter but neither could get there as the slightest of glances from Hill was enough to put them off.
United almost dug themselves into a hole on ten minutes when a pass back from Parkes was sliced heavily by George. He was relieved to see it spin to safety at his back post.
Carlisle were rewarded for their patient approach play when captain Danny Grainger took over from Nicky Adams on the left flank in acres of space. He sized up his options and left Garratt with no chance as he drilled an unstoppable long range shot into the bottom corner.
A wonderful long range pass from Hill set Grainger on a run again moments later and he quickly fed the ball to Adams on the edge of the box. The shot from the midfielder was deflected behind for a corner and Hill was on hand to head that back into the mix. Grainger spun on the spot and let one fly and his effort whipped just wide with the stopper well beaten.
Crewe looked to bounce back and a fortunate ricochet off Jones left Dagnall with room to work in. He crossed quickly but Brown was able to guide it behind. Carlisle nearly caught the home side on the break when Lambe fed Etuhu on the overlap. His cross found Miller and Garratt was relieved to see the glanced header drop just past his upright.
The Blues had a great chance to extend their lead from the resulting corner as Hill peeled away at the back stick. He found Parkes with a cushioned header but both he and Miller sliced their shots and the moment was gone.
Porter had a half chance for the Alex just before the break when he tried to make something of a loose ball on the edge of the area. It was on target but Parkes took the sting out of it and George saved comfortably.
The Cumbrians were gifted a second goal just after the break when former-Blue Michael Raynes, who left Carlisle to join Crewe in the summer, got himself in a tangle as the ball bounced awkwardly off his thigh. Lambe was onto it in a flash and the big defender was left with his head in his hands as his attempt at a recovery tackle was judged to have been a foul by the referee. Danny Grainger placed the ball on the spot and rattled his second of the afternoon into the back of the net.
Joyce and Miller had further chances as the away side upped the pace, but they were both off-balance as they crunched their efforts into the stands. Etuhu started to pull strings in midfield and his accurate pass to Lambe brought a corner when his volley was diverted wide.
The points were all-but bagged on 72 minutes when a fierce Grainger corner skipped off the surface. Big defender Michael Raynes could do nothing as it hit his boot and veered into the empty net.
A wonderful through ball from Devitt rubbed salt into the wounds as Lambe beat the offside trap to get onto it. He drew the keeper and calmly slotted it past the dive to extend the lead to four goals.
Chris Dagnall missed a great opportunity to bag a consolation when he somehow sent the ball over the bar from close range late in the day. But it was Carlisle asking the questions as Lambe hit the post and Hope forced a good save from Garratt with the visitors looking to score every time they got forward.
And they did just that in time added on when Hope grabbed a fifth with the last kick of the game.
Carlisle United - Grainger (13 & 48 pen), Raynes (og 72), Lambe (74), Hope (90)
Crewe Alexandra - Raynes (48)
Crewe Alexandra - Garratt, Walker (Pickering 46), Raynes, Porter, Dagnall, Cooper, Nolan, Ainley, Wintle (Stubbs 59), Lowery, Grant (Dale 58). Subs - Richards, Bakayogo, Bowery, Kirk.
Carlisle United - George, Brown (T Miller 78), Hill, Parkes, Grainger, Etuhu (Devitt 68), Jones, Joyce, Lambe, Adams, S Miller (Hope 77). Subs - Bonham, Liddle, Bennett, Ellis.
Referee - Ross Joyce
Attendance - 4,021 (662 away fans)