United hosted Morecambe at Brunton Park on Tuesday night in the first of their Checkatrade Trophy group fixtures.
With Hallam Hope away on international duty, Danny Grainger, Mike Jones, Jason Kennedy and Kieron Olsen injured, and Jack Sowerby and Adam Campbell cup tied, it meant a call up to the bench for youth second year Liam McCarron for his first ever close-up of first team action.
An early cross from Devitt had to be cleared before Bennett could get a touch as United passed the ball well through the early stages, but they were caught on their heels when Sinclair showed pace to get into the box. His low cross was cleared as he cut it back behind the onrushing forwards.
It was moved quickly up the other end and Gillesphey pulled off his man to send a sweet ball onto the penalty spot from out wide. Bennett arched his back and twisted to greet it but his volley whipped just past the angle of post and bar.
Morecambe bit back when what looked to be a harmless ball over the top brought hesitation in the Carlisle ranks. Oliver tried to make it his, but the ball was cleared as the home side looked to regroup. Ellison wasted no time in volleying towards the target, and a block from Liddle spooned high into the air. Vadaine Oliver bundled through bodies to get his head on it and Collin could do nothing as it dropped into the back of his net.
Carlisle tried to respond immediately as Nadesan dropped a shoulder to cut inside from the left hand edge of the box. His curled shot was watched all the way by Halstead and he was able to gather it into his chest.
The Cumbrians were back on level terms just seven minutes later when Slater brought a round of applause from the home fans as he twisted his way through two challenges. A half block gave Yates a crossing opportunity, and he didn't disappoint as he dropped it into the box. George Glendon was on hand to pick up the loose pieces from the attempted clearance and he set himself before smashing an unstoppable volley past Halstead, from 25 yards, to register the first goal - for the record, an extremely spectacular finish - of his senior career.
Crosses from Gillesphey and Yates followed as United tried to build some momentum, and Bennett went close when he got on the end of a dipping ball from Parkes. He tried to find the top corner but he couldn't keep it down.
But it was Morecambe who reclaimed the lead on 24 minutes when Sinclair showed skill to overlap and slide a lovely pass towards Piggott. He kept his eye on the ball and rifled it into the bottom corner with a very crisp and well taken finish.
Things tightened up for a spell after the goal but patient build-up play from the Blues saw Parkes, Slater, Yates and Devitt all push and probe as they looked for a way through. Macaulay Gillesphey crept forward unhindered and he left Roche with no chance when he put his boot through a fantastic piledriver from 28-yards out to level things once again.
Carlisle had a chance to take the lead for the first time on the night when Yates beat his man and whistled a great cross to the back stick. Nadesan watched it all the way but he didn't get the connection he wanted with his first-time volley.
The Shrimps still looked dangerous in the attack and a run and cross from Sinclair needed to be touched by Liddle to prevent Gomes from heading into an empty net.
Captain Gary Liddle almost had a big say in time added on for the half when he pulled deep to control a fizzed pass. His first touch set things up but he was diappointed to see his measured volley zip just the wrong side of the post.
Bennett popped a header at Roche from close range when he got on the end of another excellent free kick, in the fifth minute of added time, but it lacked power and was an easy save to make.
The Shrimps attacked first after the break and a drilled corner was flicked well by Miller as two red shirts steamed in. His touch was vital and was just enough to see the ball on its way to safety.
Gillesphey thought he'd bagged his second of the night on 52 minutes when he got his head to a superb delivery. Roche didn't know too much about it as it rebounded off his hands just as the defender prepared himself to celebrate.
Liddle had to time a tackle to perfection when Parkes was caught in possession on the edge of his own area. Oliver was about to go clean through until a toe poke from the skipper took the ball from his feet.
Nadesan had a carbon copy moment at the other end when he stole the ball from Lavelle as he struggled to get it under control. A heavy touch gave the grateful Roche a clean sight of the ball.
It started to flow from end-to-end and Gomes aimed for the corner of the net with a fierce long range shot. Collin watched closely as it failed to trouble the target.
A prolonged skirmish inside the home box saw Ellison and Lavelle keep the ball alive as hesitancy prevented a clean clearance, but the pressure was relieved when Nadesan and Slater combined to get the ball to Miller. He dug a good cross out from between his feet but Bennett couldn't quite stretch to make it count.
The tempo of the game remained high, despite the chances drying up, and Gomes tried to take matters into his own hands with a speculative effort from distance. Collin was positioned nicely to calm things down.
Carlisle took the lead for the first time on the night on 76 minutes with a goal of real quality. Bennett flicked the ball on and Jerry Yates did the rest as he bent his run from the left hand touchline. A step and crisp strike left Roche with no chance as he picked his spot.
Jamie Devitt, making appearance number 100 for the club, forced a save from Roche as he went for a similar finish to the one just seen from Yates, and Bennett was unlucky as the ball bounced over his head.
Appleby-born 17-year-old winger Liam McCarron stepped up from the youth ranks to make his first senior appearance, with seven minutes left on the clock, and he received a huge roar from the fans when he made his first touch.
It became a frantic ending to the game and a spill from Collin, as Oswell attacked on the right flank, was quickly redeemed when the big keeper made an excellent save, with a dive down low to his right, to tip a goal-bound grass cutter away.
Another fine Collin save, this time a touch onto the bar from an Oswell header, kept his side in front in time added on, and a goal mouth scramble was eventually alleviated when Slater ran clear. Roche was committed to the attack, but Devitt couldn't find the empty net as the crowd screamed at him to square a pass to the unmarked McCarron.
It made little difference to the end result as United claimed a victory from their first group game outing.
Carlisle United - Glendon (13), Gillesphey (38), Yates (76)
Morecambe - Oliver (6), Piggott (24)
Morecambe - Jagne (34)
Carlisle United - Collin, Miller, Liddle, Parkes, Gillesphey, Yates, Glendon, Slater, Devitt, Nadesan (McCarron 83), Bennett. Subs - O'Reilly, Gerrard, Etuhu, Adewusi, Egan.
Morecambe - Halstead (Roche 19), Fleming, Oliver (Oswell 69), Ellison, Yarney, Lavelle, Gomes, Jagne (Wildig 62), Sinclair, Piggott, Cranston. Subs - Mills, Old, Oates, Hedley.
Referee - Mr Andy Haines
Attendance - 1,213 (117 away fans)