United played the first of their Central League Cup group games at Frenchfield Park on Tuesday afternoon as they came up against a Morecambe XI.
And goals from trialist Clint Hill and United midfielder Samir Nabi were enough to secure the victory in what was a good test for both sides.
The game took a while to get going as the combatants parried and sparred but United were gifted an opportunity on the quarter hour when a poor roll-out from the Morecambe stopper was gobbled up by the alert Sam Cosgrove. He drove into the box but a scuffed effort was easily saved.
The Shrimps had their chances but Carlisle created the next good opening when Kennedy showed strength with his back to goal. He fed the ball to a trialist but he lost his bearings and curled his shot wide.
A big appeal for a penalty was waved away as a visiting defender appeared to use a hand to stop Jamie Devitt in his tracks, but the Blues got the justice they felt they deserved from the resulting corner. An excellent delivery was met with a firm header from Clint Hill and the keeper had no chance as it nestled in his bottom corner.
Morecambe almost replied immediately with a quickfire break which left the hosts exposed at the back. Young keeper Lee Ashton stayed big to make a fine save as he came out on top of the one-on-one situation.
It was a good spell for the visitors and they fashioned a superb opening when a cross from the right wing dipped into the area. The striker got there but he didn't quite connect with his header and he glanced it into the advertising hoardings.
Things tightened up in the second half, with clear-cut chances few and far between, but the Shrimps thought they'd equalised when a 22-yard free kick thundered through the wall. Ashton was beaten and extremely relieved to see it bounce back off his upright.
Carlisle started to take the upper hand after the scare and substitute Belchior Papa held his man off to bring Nabi into play. The midfielder dropped a shoulder and fired low but he wheeled away in disappointment as his effort crashed against the woodwork.
The mobile playmaker was a whisker away from registering for a second time when he waited for a touch from Papa from a deep Egan delivery. He put his boot through the ball but it flew just an inch wide of the target.
More good play from Papa left Nabi with acres of space to work in and it was third time lucky as he smashed a volley through bodies. The keeper got a touch but he could do nothing to prevent it from going into his net.
Cosgrove and Nabi had half chances as the clock ticked down but it was job done on a good performance from the home side as they came away with a victory from their first outing in the competition.
United - Hill (34), Nabi (81)
United - Ashton, Salkeld (Egan 46), T Miller, Hill (Taylor 56), Hutchinson, B Trialist, Devitt (Adewusi 56), Kennedy (Watson 46), Nabi, C Trialist (Papa 69), Cosgrove.
Referee - Steven Lennon