United's 2018/19 campaign started with a mammoth 694-mile round trip to st James Park as they went up against Exeter City for the seventh time in the space of just three seasons.
New manager John Sheridan took charge of his first competitive fixture, having taken the wheel at Brunton Park shortly before the return to pre-season training, with eight new faces in the travelling squad.
Five of the new arrivals were given their starting debuts on the day with the other three on the bench alongside academy graduates Sam Adewusi and Jack Egan.
United had an early scare when Boateng picked up a clearance from Miller. His cross skipped across the face of goal but Fryer was down to smother before Forte could do anything with it.
The Blues settled and they kept the ball well in the home half as Grainger and Glendon looked for a way through. A high cross from the captain had Yates chasing but it took an awkward bounce and frustratingly bobbled behind.
Carlisle probed again with a through ball from Slater, following a short corner routine, but it had just too much on it and Hope had to let it run.
There was a scare at the other end when Stockley nodded a deep cross back into the penalty box. Liddle kept his cool and calmly swept it clear.
The good work was undone on 16 minutes when Law spun his man and skipped away with the ball 25 yards from goal. Forte took over and cut it back, and Law set himself before driving a crisp volley into the waiting net from very close range.
It was almost scores level on 23 minutes when Grainger placed the ball for a 30-yard free kick. He got it over the wall but it hit the underside of the bar and somehow stayed out as it spun on the line and came back into play.
Glendon brought a fumble from Pym with a long range effort, and Bennett looked for support as he guided a header back towards the home keeper when he was found by Hope. There was nobody there and it was gathered into the chest.
Things got worse for the Blues when they were caught light at the back as Exeter once again flooded the box. Holmes had time and space to pick his pass, as he was left unmarked inside the 18-yard box, and Forte said thank you very much as he rifled an unstoppable first-time strike into the roof of the net.
Carlisle refused to buckle and they pushed their hosts back with some good attacking play. A spell of head tennis saw Bennett and Yates cause problems, and the pair stayed in the box as Grainger stepped across to make the tackle and then complete the cross. Richie Bennett stood his ground and opened his account for the campaign with a guided header which found the net via a hefty touch from the woodwork.
There was still work for keeper Joe Fryer to do in time added on for the half when Forte beat the offside trap to angle into the area. The stopper spread himself and made a vital block to keep his team within touching distance.
Exeter came out of the second half blocks sharply and Holmes was a whisker away as he found a hole between players inside the area. His shot was watched by Fryer as it hit the advertising hoardings.
Stockley then twice appealed for a penalty as he tumbled to the floor in an effort to make something of a low pass from Forte, but the referee waved play on as he turned away from the shouts.
Good work at the other end earned United a corner when Yates chased down a ball over the top, but that came to nothing as the referee blew for a push when Glendon's delivery came in.
Carlisle looked dangerous when Etuhu passed for Hope to put him on the front foot. He bounced the ball off Bennett and dropped a shoulder as he went up against a wall of defenders. His shot took a touch off a defender as it curled wide, but that was missed by the officials and the goal kick was given.
Fryer was on point with crosses into the box which found safe hands, and Yates was next to test the target at the other end when he came in from wide to let fly. A defender's toe took the sting out of the effort.
Yates came again when Grainger set him loose with a measured pass, but a touch off another touch was enough to give the back line time to regroup.
Hope was a whisker away again as he made room for himself with a run from the left flank. He was left with his head in his hands as a wicked curling shot shaved the outside of the upright.
That brought the Grecians to life and a neat pass from Holmes gave Stockley an opening as he worked space for himself. He aimed for the top corner but it went over the bar.
Fryer had to save from a tight angle from Abrahams as the game started to open up, and a good corner delivery from Devitt was wasted as two men went for the same ball. Jones had his follow-up attempt smothered at source.
It was almost a dream start second time round for Adam Campbell when the ball fell at his feet ten yards from goal. He had two on him in a flash and his attempted pass to Devitt was ushered to safety.
Fryer had to be at his best to save from Stockley as the big striker twisted and shot from inside the six-yard box, and Carlsile broke quickly as they looked to get something out of the game late in the day.
Pym tipped over from Etuhu as he got onto a cross from Devitt, and Hope had the ball robbed off his toes as he glided past a challenge to leave just Pym to beat.
But the game was settled in time added on when Abrahams marked his debut with a goal to round off a lightning quick break from the home side.
Exeter City - Law (16), Forte (26), Abrahams (90)
Carlisle United - Bennett (37)
Exeter City - Forte (33), A Martin (60)
Exeter City - Pym, Sweeney, A Martin, Law, Holmes (L Martin 64), Stockley, Forte (Abrahams 64), Moxey, Taylor, Brown, Boateng (Tillson 85). Subs - Hamon, Woodman, Jay, Oates.
Carlisle United - Fryer, Miller, Liddle, Parkes, Grainger, Glendon (Jones 73), Etuhu, Slater (Devitt 62), Yates (Campbell 80), Bennett, Hope. Subs - Collin, Gillesphey, Adewusi, Egan.
Referee - Mr Graham Salisbury
Attendance - 4,266 (235 away fans)