Easter Monday took United to Cleethorpes for the game against Grimsby Town.
With the Blues just one point outside the play-offs, and with three games left to play, manager Steven Pressley was looking for more of the same from his charges following their excellent Good Friday performance.
Midfielder Jamie Devitt missed out as he failed to recover from a recurrence of his hamstring injury and that meant a return for Nathan Thomas, who came back into the starting fold.
A block from Etuhu prevented Clifton from having a dig from distance early in the game, as things opened up for the Mariners in what was a good opening spell from them, and a run from Hendrie caused more problems as he worked his way into the area. He went for a first-time shot but it took a deflection and spun wide.
Grimsby stayed forward and a half clearance from the corner brought a 22-yard shot from Rose as it bounced up invitingly in front of him. It skimmed off the top of his boot and curled away from the upright.
The hosts kept the ball well and a deep delivery from Clifton brought Collin off his line. His punch had distance and he sent it out of the area before Dennis could get a touch.
Strong work from Hall-Johnson earned his side a free kick right on the edge of the area, at a tight angle, and a low cross had to be cleared by Parkes as it bounced inside the six-yard box, with Grimsby camping forward deep inside the United half.
Bad news came for the visitors on 26 minutes when Etuhu went to ground clutching his hamstring, and George Glendon was given the nod to get ready as it was confirmed that the combative midfielder could not carry on.
A winding run from Hope brought a shot from his left boot as he edged towards the penalty box just before the half hour, and an inswinging free kick from Thomas just needed a touch as United started to see more of the ball. James Mckeown was relieved to be able to step off his line and gather it up.
Carlisle almost found a way through when Thomas beat his man using excellent control with his first touch from a raking pass. He spotted the run from O'Hare, but a good block stopped the Villa youngster from finding the target. Hope picked up the loose pieces but he was immediately flagged for offside.
A cross from Hall-Johnson in time added on for the half took two deflections on its way behind for a goal kick, and the sides were locked in a stalemate as they made their way down the tunnel for their important team talks.
Clear-cut chances remained at a premium at the start of the second half, with both sides wasting the opportunity to cause damage from good areas.
But good work from Thomas saw him link with Glendon and O'Hare as he dodged his way into the area. He dropped a shoulder and went for a stinging drive but McKeown fell low to make a fine save.
Thomas was close again when he pulled wide to take a crossfield pass on his chest as he ghosted unmarked into the area. It was good control but a brave block from Whitmore sent the ball high into the air. Hall-Johnson stepped in to complete the clearance.
The Mariners responded with a move down the left flank which saw Ring overlap before poking the ball into the box. Vernam waited for it to settle but it bounced high and his volley smashed into the ground. Colin did well to readjust and tip it over the bar.
It was better from United as they started to find some passes and O'Hare was disappointed when a snapshot from 25-yards had McKeown flapping. It had power, but it smashed into the advertising hoardings on the wrong side of the post.
A header from Whitmore from another deep cross at the other end lacked conviction as he came under pressure from Gerrard, and Collin was able to watch it drift wide as the defender went to ground in frustration.
Vernam chipped beyond the back post as the Mariners tried to pick the pace up through the last 15 minutes of the game, and Whitmore headed another set piece delivery wide as he tried to make something of a whisked pass from the halfway line.
A dipping shot from Hendrie wasn't too far away, as he let fly when he was picked out by Vernam, but Carlisle's play-off hopes were severely dented on the stroke of 90 minutes when a cross from the right was allowed to make its way across the face of the area. Substitute Joe Grayson kept his eye on it and he made no mistake as he guided it into the bottom corner.
Grimsby Town - Grayson (90)
Grimsby Town - Clifton (64)
Carlisle United - Thomas (54), Jones (60)
Grimsby Town - McKeown, Hall-Johnson, Ring (Woolford 63), Hessenthaler, Dennis (Grayson 83), Clifton, Vernam, Rose (Pollock 90), Davis, Whitmore, Hendrie. Subs - Russell, Burrell, Curran, McPherson.
Carlisle United - Collin, Liddle, Gerrard, Parkes, Miller, Jones, Etuhu (Glendon 26), Thomas, Scougall (Cullen 64), O'Hare, Hope (Kennedy 81). Subs - Gray, Gillesphey, Slater, Branthwaite.
Referee - Mr Paul Marsden
Attendance - 3,647 (295 away fans)