United dominated the game against Shrewsbury Town on Friday afternoon but they were pegged back when the visitors were awarded a late penalty.
Max Cowburn gave the Blues a deserved leave ahead of the break, with a dipping free kick which went in via the post and the keeper, but the Shrews struck back late to claim their share of the spoils.
Carlisle had the wind at their backs for the first 45 minutes and both sides took time to settle as they battled with the atrocious conditions.
The hosts started to take control as they got into their stride and Cowburn did well when he beat the offisde trap to go on the overlap and send the ball into the mix. Watson shrugged off his marker to take the shot but it took a bobble on the uneven surface and he scuffed it wide.
McCarron and Dixon then linked well to work their way through the back line but the cross was deep and it spun and over the bar.
Set pieces started to play their part and a wonder save from the visiting stopper prevented Cowburn from opening the scoring when he thundered a powerful 24-yard free kick over the wall and at the top corner.
Dixon then had an inswinging corner tipped over the bar, and Taylor was a whisker away when he nodded the resulting corner just wide of the upright.
It was suddenly all about Carlisle and Dixon was set to celebrate when he dropped a shoulder and let fly with a stinging effort. The keeper was well beaten and relieved to see it smash back off his woodwork.
The Blues kept going and they took the lead on the stroke of half time when Cowburn clipped a beauty of a free kick over the wall. It struck the inside of the post but the diving stopper could do nothing as it bounced over his line.
United picked up where they had left off after the break as they took the game to the visitors at every opportunity.
Watson volleyed wide when he got on the end of some good work by Dixon, and the Shrews defended in numbers as they protected their penalty area in the face of the onslaught.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between, but it was almost complete territorial advantage for the home side as they won the tackles and second balls in a packed midfield.
Shrewsbury made changes and threw men forward in the closing stages and Ward was needed in the Carlisle goal when a crunching header angled at his top corner. It looked to be a certain goal until the agile keeper somehow did enough to get his fingertips to it to send it onto the bar.
Carlisle recovered from the scare to build up some pressure of their own and Jaic Miller was rewarded for some tenacious work when he was chopped to the floor just inside the box.
A discussion followed between Adewusi and Goldthorpe as to who would do the honours, but the keeper kept his cool to make a save low to his left as Goldthorpe took charge and tried to slot it into the bottom corner.
The hosts were made to pay for the miss when Shrewsbury were awarded a penalty when Brockbank was judged to have dragged his man to the floor, with just two minutes left to play. Ward stayed big but he was left with no chance as the spot kick bulged his net.
United - Ward, Goldthorpe, Taylor, Hutchinson, Brockbank, Cowburn (Casson 72), Watson, Adewusi, McCarron, Kerr (Lloyd 87), Dixon (Miller 80). Subs - Ashton.
Goal - Cowburn