United kicked off their 2018/19 home campaign when they hosted Northampton Town at Brunton Park on Saturday afternoon.
Kelvin Etuhu was drafted in to the right back position as manager John Sheridan looked to get experience in his back four, and Hope and Bennett were supported by Devitt and Yates in their attacking roles.
United were a whisker away from opening the scoring with just three minutes on the clock when Mike Jones sent a lovely volleyed pass to Hope, from deep. The forward took it under control, dropped a shoulder and swept a beauty of a cross at the bottom corner. Cornell got the slightest of touches and the ball hit the inside of the post before spinning across the face of goal and curling behind for a corner kick.
Strong work from Yates saw him come away with possession as he tussled with Powell tight by the touchline. Devitt took over, and he then found Jones, who had made a purposeful run from deep. He went for an early shot but he scuffed it and it bobbled harmlessly wide.
The Cobblers showed on 14 minutes when O'Toole slid past a challenge in midfield. He fed it through to Williams, who had space inside the area, but his low cross was easily cleared by Liddle.
Powell should have done better moments later when Williams made room for him following an excellent piece of skill and a deft touch to get into the area. A scooped clearance from Liddle fell to the forward but he was off balance and well off target with his rushed volley.
Quick thinking from Bennett sent Hope clear as Carlisle kept asking questions when the big striker twisted to make a low pass through the back line. The ball stuck under feet, but Devitt was available, and he was disappointed to see his cross fall kindly for Cornell.
United defended well to deal with a dangerous free kick midway through the half, and a break, led by Jones, brought a set piece of their own. Headers from Yates and Bennett kept that alive, and Devitt was left with his head in his hands when the ball landed unexpectedly at his feet. Dead central, and 17-yards out, he somehow lost his bearings and sent it wide.
Measured build up play from the visitors left Van Veen with a clear sight at the other end but his connection was weak and easy for Fryer to save.
The first home goal of the campaign for the Blues came on the half hour - and what a goal it was - as Parkes slipped a neat pass into the path of Jamie Devitt. He had just one thing in his mind and he didn't disappoint as he took a touch before unleashing an unstoppable 30-yard effort which fizzed into the top corner.
The football flowed from Carlisle as confidence grew and one-touch passing saw Grainger, Jones and Bennett combine to put Hope into the area, on an angle. Yates screamed for it but Taylor got a vital touch to bring the move to a close.
But the visitors were back on terms just ten minutes later when Williams shielded the ball as he came under pressure from Liddle. A drop of the shoulder brought a cross, and Van Veen did the rest as he guided a looping header over Fryer and into the corner of the net.
Northampton tails were up and they attacked again from the restart with a searing run from Crooks down the right flank. He picked out Hoskins with his cross but the header skipped wide under the watchful eye of the Carlisle stopper.
The Blues were dealt a blow when Mike Jones limped from the pitch just before the break, to be replaced by Slater, with fingers crossed that he will be back with a speedy recovery.
Glendon shot over from distance as United tried to reassert themselves, and they were a whisker away from taking a lead into the break when Devitt fired a bullet of a free kick into the mix. It came off a head and flew just past the post as the fans set themselves to celebrate.
Carlisle started well as they came out the blocks sharply for the second half, and determined work from Hope earned his side a free kick. Devitt bent it in but a defender was there to divert it over the bar.
Northampton sparked and good control from Williams left him with options. He went for the shot from long range but it was always heading wide.
Another deft pass from Devitt sent Hope up against his man as he bent a run into the area. His movement left his marker on the floor but he went for power on his punt and it screwed into the Warwick.
Having looked comfortable Carlisle were undone when they stood static at the back as Northampton sent men forward. A series of interlinked passes invited Crooks to break through and he completed the coolest of finishes as he clipped it into the top corner.
But the lead lasted less than 60 seconds as Hallam Hope pulled off his man to make a run through two men to receive a pass from Campbell straight from the kick off. He waited for Cornell to commit to a dive before levelling the scores with an excellently placed shot which whipped beneath the stranded keeper.
There was a scare for the hosts when Fryer had to palm a lobbed cross from beneath his bar. He fell to the floor as he hooked it clear and Hoskins was left to ponder what might have been as he put the ball into the side netting.
Brave blocks from a 19-yard free kick and the scramble that followed protected the Carlisle net, and Parkes thought he'd bagged one late in the day at the other end when he jumped highest to meet a Devitt inswinger. The ball was cleared off the line not a moment too soon.
Substitute Adam Campbell then had two shots blocked in quick succession, as United pressed for a winner, and Bennett was thwarted when he stepped back at the far post to try to nod a dipping delivery home. The defender got just enough on it to prevent it from going in.
The Blues upped the pressure and Slater was gifted a good chance when a half clearance from a Hope cross came his way. He rushed his shot and Cornell was relieved to see it bounce into his hands.
There were two loud appeals for Carlisle penalties for handball in time added on, but the officials ignored both and the sides had to settle for a share of the points.
Carlisle United - Devitt (30), Hope (63)
Northampton Town - Van Veen (40), Crooks (62)
Carlisle United - Liddle (10)
Northampton Town - Crooks (8), Pierre (28), Hoskins (45)
Carlisle United - Fryer, Grainger, Liddle, Parkes, Jones (Slater 43), Hope, Devitt, Glendon (Campbell 63), Bennett, Yates, Etuhu. Subs - Collin, Miller, Gerrard, Gillesphey, Adewusi.
Northampton Town - Cornell, Buchanan, Odoffin, Taylor, Hoskins, Williams (Waters 74), Van Veen, Powell (Bowditch 66), Pierre, O'Toole (Foley 88), Crooks. Subs - Coddington, Barnett, Turnbull, Bridge.
Referee - Mr Tom Nield
Attendance - 4,521 (349 away fans)