United's second home game of the season was against another of the division's fancied sides as the Stags of Mansfield came to town.
Midfielder Canice Carroll missed out having picked up a three-match suspension following his sending off at Swindon last week, but striker Hallam Hope was back in the fray having declared himself available again for the midweek trip to Oakwell.
The Blues had another new face within their ranks, highly-rated Newcastle United striker Elias Sorensen, with some real selection problems for the manager ahead of kick off.
With his team having played so well on Tuesday night manager Steven Pressley went with the same starting eleven, with Sorensen drafted onto the bench in place of Aaron Hayden.
An early free kick from MacDonald had the away strikers interested but a firm connection was lacking and the ball skipped through to Adam Collin.
Good hold up play from Loft brought Thomas in from wide at the other end but he couldn't find space for the shot as Benning closed the gap.
A forward run from Elliott followed and it was Thomas who asked for it once again as he moved away from his man. A shot from distance came in but it lacked power and Logan gathered it up.
United stayed forward and Loft did well to regain possession as he nipped in to steal it from Sweeney. A reverse pass sent McKirdy through but White recovered quickly to block the shot.
More good work from Elliott released Thomas again, and he jinked into space before letting one fly. A deflection took the sting out of it, and Logan dropped smartly to complete the save.
It was all about Carlisle and lovely control from McKirdy 22-yards out saw him take it into his stride. He had just one thing in mind as he skipped forward but Logan dived long to parry the fierce strike away.
The corner delivery was a whisker away from being finished off by Knight-Percival, and Jones was unlucky to see his drive from the edge of the box hit a body and spin away to safety.
Mansfield attacked in numbers on the quarter hour and they thought they'd done enough as a low cross skipped across the face of goal. Maynard threw himself at it but it was an inch in front of his toe.
Danny Rose had to be watched closely when he stole a yard as the Stags came again, but an excellent block from Knight-Percival allowed Collin to take his time as he took the ball into his arms.
The Blues crafted a real chance on 26 minutes as they carved their way through the static Mansfield defence. Bridge and Elliott were involved, and an inch perfect cross from Thomas found McKirdy arriving late on the penalty spot. He tried to guide his volley at the target but he couldn't keep it down and it flew over the bar.
Mansfield took the lead against the run of play moments later when a floated cross dipped late at the back stick. Danny Rose thundered through the packed box and he left Collin with no chance as he rifled a bullet of a volley into the top corner.
The game became scrappy as the visitors slowed things down, and a curler from Thomas just before the break was the culmination of a rare attack following the goal.
United tried to pass their way into the box as they moved the ball from right to left, with Thomas, Bridge and Jones at the heart of it, but the overlap from Iredale brought a touch from an outstretched leg as he tried to feed it into the mix.
The Blues were given a real mountain to climb in time added on for the half when the referee stunned everybody as he brought play to a standstill on the half way line, when he appeared to try to explain that the ball had hit his boot as Gordon tried to clip it through the lines.
He eventually dropped it at the feet of a Mansfield man and 20 seconds later it was in the back of the Carlisle net as a half clearance from a huge punt forward was smashed into the bottom corner by Nicky Maynard.
Mansfield kept a tight shape after the break and Logan was untroubled by a shot from Thomas which bent behind as he angled a run in from the right. McDonald volleyed wide at the other end as the game struggled to find any kind of rhythm.
Sorensen came on for McKirdy with 35 minutes left to play, to make his debut, but the next action was at the Waterworks End as Mansfield's Rose tried to make a cross from MacDonald count. Webster shadowed the run and nodded it behind before the forward could strike.
A pass from Elliott to Thomas gave hope that United were about to create something but the final ball for Loft had just too much on it. The striker got there on the slide but he couldn't apply any power.
Set pieces came and went for the hosts, with Thomas finding the wall and a deep corner cleared before Knight-Percival could head it, and a whipped delivery from Bridge had to be nodded over his own bar by Sweeney as Sorensen ran in. Jones poked a half clearance from that one over the target as it came at him through bodies.
A tussle between Webster and White in the Warwick Road End penalty area briefly raised temperatures, but a yellow for each player was a reasonable outcome.
United had plenty of the ball in the Mansfield half through the closing minutes, but they couldn't make an impression and the Stags were able to see it through to claim their first win of the campaign.
Mansfield Town - Rose (29), Maynard (45)
Carlisle United - Webster (79)
Mansfield Town - Sweeney (67), White (79), Tomlinson (88)
Carlisle United - Carlisle United - Collin (gk)(c), Elliott, Webster, Knight-Percival, Iredale, Scougall (Olomola 71), Jones, Bridge, Thomas (Hope 79), Loft, McKirdy (Sorensen 55). Subs - Gray (gk), Mellish, Branthwaite, Sagaf.
Mansfield Town - Logan, White, Benning, Pearce, Bishop (Khan 90), MacDonald (Smith 86), Maynard (Hamilton 71), Tomlinson, Sweeney, Gordon, Rose. Subs - Stone (gk), Clarke, Sterling-James, Law.
Referee - Carl Boyeson
Assistant Referee 1 - Mark Cunliffe
Assistant Referee 2 - Billy Smallwood
Fourth Official - Adam Herczeg
Attendance - 4,576 (292 away fans)