United were at the One Call Stadium on Saturday afternoon to face unbeaten Mansfield Town in their latest League Two fixture.
The game started at a frantic pace as both sides looked to get forward at every opportunity. A low cross from MacDonald had to be ushered away by Yates, as he dropped deep into a wing back role, and Sweeney had to clear at the other end as Hope lurked.
Tyler Walker showed that he has an eye for goal with just five minutes on the clock when he shielded the ball 22-yards from the target. He went for an early low shot and Collin had to dive low to his left to prevent it from creeping in.
A long kick from the United stopper was flicked on by Bennett and Hope raced past his man to try to get a touch. Olejnik stayed alert and gathered it into his chest before the striker could set himself.
Determined work from Etuhu earned the Blues their first corner of the game on the quarter hour, but it was a flat delivery from Devitt and the Stags dealt with it easily. United stayed forward and a through ball from Parkes sent Bennett on a run down the left flank. He crossed low but it was too close to Olejnik.
Mansfield thought they'd opened the scoring midway through the half when Khan spotted Rose completely unmarked as he took a corner. The blistering header had Collin beaten but captain Gary Liddle was on the line to make a vital block.
United responded with a good break when they had numbers in support. Devitt pulled off his man to take a pass from Hope and his crunched delivery just needed a slight touch as it skipped across the face of the target. Bennett and Yates were just too far away to make it count.
It was suddenly end-to-end and a lofted ball from MacDonald found Preston with time on his hands as he lurked at the back stick. He couldn't find a touch and the ball bounced harmlessly behind.
Intricate play from the Cumbrians just ahead of the break saw Hope hold the ball up well before swapping short passes with Devitt on the edge of the box. A cross to the back post bent sharply from the midfielder and he was disappointed to see it come to rest on the roof of the net.
The hosts had a great chance to take the lead on the stroke of half time when Hamilton timed his run to go one-on-one with Collin inside the area. The keeper was excellent as he marked his first start of the campaign with a full length save. The ball spun free but Liddle was there once again to hook it to safety.
Preston then went close when he got on the end of an outswinging corner just nine yards out. He headed it into the ground and it bounced high and wide of the upright.
The second half took a while to get going but Carlisle were almost undone when a wayward pass from Glendon invited Mansfield to attack. Rose was suddenly in space but he rushed his shot and it bobbled wide. The same player was clean through seconds later but he couldn't wrap his boot round his volley and Collin did well to make another good save.
The pressure was made to tell when what looked like a harmless coming together of bodies between Yates and Hamilton saw referee Darren Drysdale point to spot. Walker sent his penalty kick low and down the middle to open the scoring.
A double substitution brought Nadesan and Sowerby into the fray and a flick from the former was picked up by Yates as he went on a run. He went for a shot but Olejnik was down sharply to make the save.
Gillesphey and Hope had good crosses cleared as United stayed forward, but there was still work to do at the other end as a deflected shot from MacDonald sailed over the bar. Khan stood over a 25-yard free kick given as that set piece was cleared, but he couldn't keep his effort down.
Davies beat the offside trap to surge into the area as Carlisle sent men forward in search of a response, leaving spaces at the back, but Gerrard was superb as he recovered to make a vital tackle.
Substitute Adam Campbell almost made an immediate impression when he was found by Nadesan just inside the area, but a snapshot was blocked by Pearce as it headed at the bottom corner.
A second penalty appeal for the hosts was waved away when Davies came under pressure from Gerrard and Liddle, and Pearce headed over from the corner as he bundled through bodies to connect with his head.
Khan somehow found a way through a run of challenges with just under 10 minutes left to play but his toe poke hit the woodwork as he stretched to try to put it away. The rebound was on a plate for Hamilton but he took his eye off the ball and blazed it over the bar.
Collin saved low from a downward header from Sweeney as the clock ticked down, and a good run at the other end brought a delivery from Yates which bounced up in front of Hope. He got there, but it lacked power and Olejnik made a simple save.
A superb cross from Gerrard found Yates in acres of space in the last minute of the game but he missed the chance to earn his team a point as he put his header straight at Olejnik. The keeper spread his hands and pushed it over the bar.
Carlisle threw everyone forward in time added on but the ball pinged around the box and Mansfield bodies got in the way as they clung on to their hard earned points.
Mansfield Town - Walker (55)
Mansfield Town - Hamilton (90)
Mansfield Town - Olejnik, White, Preston, Pearce, Bishop, MacDonald, Khan (Butcher 90), Sweeney, Walker, Hamilton, Rose (Davies 62). Subs - Logan, Benning, Mellis, Atkinson, Gibbens.
Carlisle United - Collin, Liddle, Gerrard, Parkes, Gillesphey, Yates, Etuhu, Glendon (Nadesan 59), Devitt (Sowerby 59), Hope, Bennett (Campbell 70). Subs - O'Reilly, Miller, Slater, Adewusi.
Referee - Mr Darren Drysdale
Attendance - 4,470 (373 away fans)