United were back at Brunton Park on Saturday afternoon as they came up against Forest Green Rovers.
The referee's whistle was the dominant aspect of the opening exchanges as he seemed to spot infringements his assistants had missed, stifling the flow of the game.
Rovers showed good mobility as they tried to work their way behind the back line but solid defending kept the visitors at arms length.
A theatrical dive inside the box was ignored as Forest's Ben Morris threw himself to the ground, and a heavy touch from Reece Brown allowed Collin to gather another testing through ball.
It was Carlisle who created the first meaningful chance with 10 minutes on the clock when the ball squirmed into Hope's path, just 19-yards out, as a pass from Slater took a deflection. The shot had Montgomery beaten and he was relieved to see it edge past the upright.
But it was the away side who took the lead two minutes later when the hosts failed to deal with some intricate play in the final third in front of the Warwick Road End. It eventually broke for Morris, as Brown's shot came off Gerrard, and he had the simple task of drilling his effort beneath the stranded Adam Collin and into the net.
A shot on the run from Slater angled over the bar, as United tried to gain a foothold, but they were defending again when Brown bent a run on the left before shooting low. It took a healthy deflection and spun away to safety.
Carlisle had to take care when a cross from Mills buzzed across the face of goal, and Liddle showed bravery to block the follow up effort from Gunning as the visitors continued to pull the more effective strings.
Sowerby had a brief glimpse as he tried his luck from distance, as the Blues struggled to keep hold of the ball, but it was straight at Montgomery and he was able to gather.
Collin was behind a shot from Winchester when he pounced on an error in midfield, and Hope scuffed a shot wide at the other end in what was a much scrappier passage of play.
The hosts were guilty of wasting a lot of good situations later in the half, with a tendency to send their crosses too deep, and the shooting was hurried and wild with Hope and Yates guilty of some wayward misses.
A goal bound thunderbolt from Gillesphey was stopped before it could trouble the keeper, and a run from Sowerby took him past his man and into a decent position. Montgomery watched closely and stepped out to claim the cross.
An excellent touch from Devitt just before the break was followed by a slick exchange of passes with Yates, and that left the midfielder ready to pull the trigger. He struck it well but yet another deflection worked against him and the ball bounced clear.
Another bitty start to the second half saw the anxiety levels rise amongst the home fans and there was more angst when Winchester was allowed to keep the ball on the edge of the box. He shifted it twice before fizzing a firm shot just over the bar.
Better came from Carlisle when Devitt released Sowerby with an intelligent touch on the right flank. The cross had to be put behind before Nadesan could get there, and Gillesphey was unlucky with the nod from the corner as it skewed off his head and dropped over the bar.
Rovers still held the upper hand and they tied Carlisle in knots with a series of passes which took three players out of the game. Winchester was the man with the shot once more, but Liddle took the sting out of it and Collin saved easily.
It was much tougher for the keeper in the next attack when Brown stepped past a challenge before shooting low. Collin had to get down to make a vital one-handed save as it threatened to creep in.
Carlisle were unlucky not to be back on terms when Liddle got on the end of a Devitt corner with a downward header. A well placed defender cleared it off the line with the keeper well beaten. The second delivery was met by Gerrard, but his effort looped over the bar and nestled on the roof of the net.
The Cumbrians were caught cold as Forest counter attacked and a reverse pass from Morris was deftly helped on its way by Brown. Winchester had shown real desire to get into the box and he was rewarded when he arrived just in time to stroke the loose ball into the waiting target.
A lifeline was handed to the hosts with just under 15 minutes left to play when a handball was spotted as a Devitt corner flew into the box. The midfielder claimed the ball and made no mistake as he thrashed the spot kick into the top corner.
Liddle had a shot saved when he overlapped late in the game, and Sowerby was close with a fierce shot that Montgomery got a hand to. Gillesphey clipped the post with the last kick of the game but Rovers held out to claim their points on what was a frustrating afternoon for the Blues.
Carlisle United - Devitt (78 pen)
Forest Green Rovers - Morris (12), Winchester (71)
Carlisle United - Gerrard (45)
Forest Green Rovers - Montgomery (64)
Carlisle United - Collin, Liddle, Gerrard, Gillesphey, Sowerby, Devitt, Jones (Etuhu 63), Slater, Yates, Nadesan, Hope (Bennett 68). Subs - Gray, Glendon, Campbell, Adewusi, McCarron.
Forest Green Rovers - Montgomery, James, Rawson, Winchester, Brown (Williams 84), Gunning, McGinley, Digby, Worthington (Archibald 74), Morris (Reid 74), Mills. Subs - Sanchez, Campbell, Pearce.
Referee - Mr Carl Boyeson
Attendance - 4,166 (116 away fans)