United were at the County Ground on Saturday afternoon to face fellow promotion hopefuls Swindon Town.
Swindon's game plan took an early dent when Gordon fell to the floor following a challenge in midfield with Grainger. He stayed down as he received treatment for what appeared to be a dislocated shoulder and was eventually replaced by McDermott having been stretchered from the field of play.
The action restarted with a 35-yard free kick from Taylor which whipped under the wall. Bonham saw it late but he dropped quickly to make the save. A quick clearance brought Nadesan into the game as he ghosted in from wide but his shot rose high and whisked over the bar.
The Robins came again when Brown was caught out as he lost possession in an advanced area. Hussey sprinted forward to make a low cross, Richards shielded it, and he then played it back for Taylor to strike. Ellis stood his ground to make a very good block.
Bonham's goal lived a charmed life moments later when a deep free kick was nodded back into the mix. Richards lunged forward to get a touch but was disappointed to see it bounce back off the post before being helped on its way to safety.
Patient build-up play from Nadesan and Lambe gave Grainger time to get forward and he used the space to line up a shot. It had power, but lacked direction, and it sailed high over the target.
Devitt was next to test Moore when he went past his man having controlled a throw from Grainger. He let fly with his right boot but the keeper stepped across to pull it into his chest.
More injury woes came just after the half hour, this time for Carlisle, when Hope pulled up as he was chasing the ball. Swindon pressed forward as Hope stayed down, and Bonham had to tip a stinging free kick from Taylor over the bar as he went for it from 23-yards. Kris Twardek came onto to the pitch to replace the unlucky forward.
The Blues had half an opening when a ball over the top from Grainger was nicked by Nadesan. He fed it to Twardek, but he was quickly closed down and the moment was gone.
United won a corner as they enjoyed a good spell ahead of the break, but it was too close to Moore. He was completely unchallenged and he pulled it down from beneath his bar.
A low shot from McDermott signalled the start to the second half as he cut in from the right to make space for himself. It was going in until Bonham stretched to palm it away. The same player put his boot trhough the ball from the half cleared corner but Bonham was equal to it with a strong pair of hands.
Carlisle got forward with purpose as they worked their way out from the goal kick and a cushioned header from Grainger set Parkes for the cross. Devitt headed it but it dropped wide of the mark.
It was a good spell of visiting pressure and Grainger was heavily involved as he worked a short routine with Devitt. His first shot had to be blocked, his second was hooked away, and a final cross from Hill was eventually curled wide by Devitt as he tried to find the top corner.
The same player put his shot right into the keeper's hands when he sent a low effort through legs as he again crept into space inside the area.
Swindon responded with a decent spell of their own and Taylor almost bagged an unlikely goal when his cross threatened to creep in at the near post. Bonham did well to punch it behind. Richards nodded the resulting set piece just wide, via a deflection from Parkes, and Purkiss also found the advertising boards as he got his head to the next delivery.
A stunning free Kick from Devitt had Moore worried as he acrobatically threw a punch through bodies to take the danger away. The Robins broke from the clearance but Woolery was wasteful with a shot that was low but comfortable for the alert Jack Bonham.
Swindon pushed men forward and Woolery had another snapshot blocked before Banks brought the crowd to its feet with a well executed volley. He caught it on the sweet spot but he couldn't keep it down.
There was a scramble in the area when a long throw from Grainger brought Moore off his line, but he recovered quickly to prevent Bennett from making anything of it. The Robins pushed back up the other end and deliveries into the danger area kept the back line on its toes, with Bonham grateful to eventually shepherd it away.
Corners came for both combatants through a frantic closing ten minutes, but clear-cut opportunities were few and far between as the play-off hopes of both sides were left in the balance and in the hands of those who occupy the places above them.
Swindon Town - Dunne (17)
Carlisle United - Twardek (50), Devitt (89), Nadesan (90)
Swindon Town - Moore, Purkiss, Hussey, Lancashire (Anderson 67), Dunne, Richards (McGivern 79), Gordon (McDermott 7), Woolery, Knoyle, Banks, Taylor. Subs - Mullin, Henry, Elsnik, Twine.
Carlisle United - Bonham, Brown, Ellis, Hill, Parkes, Grainger, Lambe (Bennett 75), Joyce (Campbell-Ryce 69), Devitt, Hope (Twardek 35), Nadesan. Subs - Gray, Nabi, O'Sullivan, Stockton.
Referee - Brett Huxtable
Attendance - 5,807 (280 away fans)