The Blues were back at Brunton Park on Saturday afternoon to play host to Cheltenham Town with new manager Steven Pressley in place in the dugout having taken up his post with the club on Wednesday afternoon.
The home side were without right back Gary Liddle, who picked up a knock in training in the lead up to the game, and Macaulay Gillesphey was also on the bench as Regan Slater and Gary Miller stepped into the starting eleven.
It was a bright start to the encounter as teenager Liam McCarron found plenty of purchase on the right flank, and the passing was crisp as the midfield five got forward effectively to keep the Robins busy.
Grainger, Etuhu and Sowerby all had efforts from distance which whipped over the target at the Waterworks End, and Cheltenham also had good moments as they tried to get early balls into the box.
Collin had to tip over from a Hussey shot, as he wound his way into the area before letting fly, and Flinders had to do the same at the other end when Devitt drilled a powerful effort from distance.
The Blues had half chances from the resulting corner when a poor clearance landed at the feet of Gary Miller. His shot was blocked, and the reaction from Gerrard was quickly smothered as he tried to make something of the loose ball.
Carlisle continued to use a patient, probing style of approach and that allowed Hope to cut inside and find a way into a dangerous position. He dropped a shoulder as he went for a dipping, considered shot, and Flinders was relieved to see it drop the wrong side of the upright.
Hope then hit post just as an offside flag went up following another well-worked attacking move, but things became tight as the teams started to cancel each other out through what was a tense spell of the game.
A good run from McCarron saw him latch onto the ball behind the back four just before the break, and a rolled pass to Slater brought a teaser of a delivery. Alcock got a touch, and Hope was disappointed to see his header, from a very tight angle, fall into the side netting as he tried to guide it at the waiting target.
United enjoyed some good possession at the start of the second half and they got their reward with another superb build up down the right wing. Devitt, McCarron and Slater were involved and it was an exchange of passes between Devitt and Slater which took the latter into a very promising position. His cross took a deflection, but Devitt controlled it, with his back to goal, before stepping away from his man. His shot on the spin left Flinders with no chance as it found its way across the line via the inside of the post, taking him to nine goals for the season.
Cheltenham tried to respond immediately as Barnett found a yard outside the area. Collin dived low to tip it wide of the target.
But it was Carlisle who celebrated again as Jamie Devitt took advantage of hesitancy in midfield to rob possession. He came away with the ball, and his pass for Hope was inch perfect as the forward raced into the area. Flinders raced off his line but he could do nothing as Hope kept his cool before popping a calm shot into the bottom corner.
Varney gave Carlisle a scare when he worked room for a shot from just 12 yards out as Cheltenham threw bodies forward. Collin seemed comfortable as it zipped over his bar.
The afternoon got even better for the hosts when a mix-up in defence gave Devitt a sniff at picking up possession. He didn’t disappoint as he came away from his cheeky challenge with the ball at his feet and Hope raced into space with just one thing in mind. The pass was perfect, and the forward took his tally to nine for the season with the calmest of finishes as he dinked it past the advancing keeper.
The home side were dangerous again when captain Danny Grainger sparked a move from deep inside his own half when he went past his man tight by the touchline. Four passes later he was on the end of a dinked pass from Devitt with just Flinders to beat. He was on his wrong foot and he spun away in despair as his volley somehow crept past the post.
Striker Hallam Hope was next to be wasteful when he was put clean through once again by Devitt. It was a tighter angle but there were sighs of frustration as his shot dragged away from the nets.
Cheltenham broke and two blocked efforts left the ball spinning free with an invitation to shoot. Substitute Jacob Maddox hit it well from the edge of the area but Collin was equal to it with a two-handed save.
It was a good spell for the away side and Collin had to be on his mark again when Broom thundered a volley through bodies. The keeper parried it and Gerrard did the rest as he swept it away.
Substitute George Glendon almost enjoyed a fantastic introduction to the game when a reverse pass from Jones left him with a clear sight. He caught his shot well but the keeper was well positioned to beat it away.
United saw the game through, to claim the three points for their new boss, but they were somehow denied the icing on the cake of a third goal when a run from Hope left Slater with a close range shot. He appeared to have done everything right until his cruncher was blocked on the line.
Carlisle United - Devitt (49), Hope (56)
Cheltenham Town - Alcock (35)
Carlisle United - Collin, Miller (Glendon 81), Gerrard, Parkes, Grainger, McCarron (Jones 75), Slater, Devitt (Simpson 83), Etuhu, Sowerby, Hope. Subs - Gray, Kennedy, Gillesphey, Egan.
Cheltenham Town - Flinders, Hussey, Tozer, Thomas, Broom, Waters (Maddox 65), Raglan, Clements, Barnett, Alcock (Dawson 86), Varney (Addai 65). Subs - Lovett, Mullins, Forster, Pring.
Referee - Mr Carl Boyeson
Attendance - 4,458 (110 away fans)