High-flying Bury came to Brunton Park at the weekend looking to consolidate their place in the top three automatic promotion places having suffered back-to-back defeats over the course of the last week.
United manager Steven Pressley handed Jamie Devitt the captain's armband having dropped Anthony Gerrard to the bench in favour of a flat back four, with Tom Parkes taking up the left back role.
And it was Devitt who marked his first ever start as skipper in style when, with just 29 seconds on the clock, he reacted first when a long ball forward from Gary Miller was diverted into his path as Thompson stumbled. The attacking midfielder kept his cool, set himself and left Murphy with no chance as he slotted it into the back of the net.
But the joy lasted just seven minutes as Bury equalised when they threw men forward and got the ball out wide. A rolled pass from Adams brought a flighted cross and Chris Stokes was allowed to ghost in and finish it off from close range with the United defence caught on the back foot.
The Shakers came again moments later when Rossiter and Maynard worked a way through to the edge of the box. It sat up nicely for Rossiter but he couldn't keep his shot down. Another good pass, this time from O'Shea, found Maynard on the run but his downward header was easy for Collin to deal with.
A curling shot from Thomas flew straight at Murphy as he pulled out wide, and the same player beat his man and crossed low with United looking to regain the intiative. Devitt was an inch away from converting until Thompson stuck a boot out to get in the way.
Bury thought they'd taken the lead when another delivery into the area caused all kinds of problems. It spooned up into the air off a defender and Byron Moore put his boot through it as it fell to him beyond the far post. Gary Miller got a vital block, and Collin spread himself, and the hosts managed to avert the danger.
Set piece deliveries and crosses from wide were a constant threat for United through the first half as Bury used width well, but there was still work for Murphy to do at the other end when Slater pulled off his marker. His 25-yard effort was firm but the stopper gathered it in.
Villa loanee Callum O'Hare was next to cause a scare when he drilled a thunderbolt towards the top corner. The Bury stopper was relieved to see it flash just the wrong side of the Waterworks End upright from a home point of view.
A dipping Thomas shot was blocked as Carlisle started to pull the strings, and another effort from O'Hare suffered the same outcome when an excellent move left him with just the defender to get past.
Carlisle keeper Adam Collin showed good concentration as he was called into action just before the break. Maynard found a yard and it needed fingertips to send it over as it threatened to creep underneath the bar. It was a short-lived reprieve through as Adams whisked the corner to the back stick. Chris Stokes doubled his tally for the day with an unstoppable header as he jumped highest to rattle it in.
It got worse for United in time added on for the half when Jones miscontrolled with the Blues on the attack. Rossiter sprinted away with it and the referee had no option but to show a second yellow card to the Carlisle man as he did just enough to tumble the sprinting Shaker to the floor.
An early second half run from Thomas was followed by a comfortable save for Murphy as the wide man let fly with his left foot, and it was the same man who opened things up moments later when he broke from deep to provide an outlet for a pass from Devitt. He dropped a shoulder and flicked the ball through, and O'Hare struck ruthlessly on the spin with a neat and crisp first-time effort.
A string of three blocks prevented Bury from registering an immediate reply, and it was hats off to Adam Collin in the very next attack as he produced an unbelievable save to deny Maynard with what looked to be a certain goal. He somehow got down to deflect a fierce low drive over the bar with his hand.
Collin was at it again when he went up against Ryan Cooney, who had shown great strength to get beyond the back line. Another outstretched hand was enough to the slow the ball down and the defenders did the rest as they cleared their lines.
Carlisle should have taken the lead when determination from O'Hare saw him forge a path through midfield. He played it through to the unmarked Hope but Murphy matched his United counterpart for quality with a two-handed save.
Another great chance was carved open for Hope when Scougall, Devitt and O'Hare worked the ball intelligently, but it was a save from the feet of Murphy which stopped the celebrations on this occasion.
A crunching tackle from Devitt on Cooney sparked the next attack as he was able to run into the unexpected space created by the challenge. Hope showed once again but his rasper was stopped at source on this occasion.
O'Hare was next to have a shot blocked as Carlisle continued to play some very good football, but Parkes, Collin, Miller and Liddle were all superb as they put their bodies on the line at the other end during a good five-minute visiting spell. The save with feet from Collin from a close-range Maynard punt was exquisite, and Lavery will have nightmares about his follow-up miss.
And the ten-men took the points with just two minutes of normal time left to play when O'Hare recycled a half-cleared corner. It went deep, and substitute Connor Simpson grabbed himself an assist as he cut the ball back across the face of goal. Hallam Hope kept his eye on it to grab the victory with a crunching header.
Carlisle United - Devitt (29 seconds), O'Hare (50), Hope (88)
Bury - Stokes (8, 43)
Carlisle United - Jones (30 & 45 sent off)
Bury - O'Connell (53), McFadzean (85)
Carlisle United - Collin, G Miller, Liddle, Grant, Parkes, Slater (Etuhu 46), Jones, O'Hare, Devitt (Simpson 85), Hope, Thomas (Scougall 63). Subs - Gray, Gerrard, Kennedy, Branthwaite.
Bury - Murphy, Stokes, Thompson, O'Connell (Lavery 74), Adams (McFadzean 81), Rossiter, Moore, Cooney, Wharton (Telford 63), O'Shea, Maynard. Subs - Moloney, T Miller, Omotayo, Danns.
Referee - Mr Chris Sarginson
Attendance - 4,656 (728 away fans)