New United boss Steven Pressley took charge of his first away game with the club when the Blues travelled to Burslem to face Port Vale on Saturday afternoon.
A knee injury ruled defender Gary Liddle out for a second game, but new arrival Arthur Gnahoua was in the match day line up to help to bolster the squad.
The team was unchanged from last weekend's success over Cheltenham, with Jamie Devitt continuing in the 'false 9' position favoured by the new boss. Midfielder Jack Sowerby was in a Carlisle shirt for the last time, with his current loan spell ending at full time.
United were on the attack with just 30 seconds on the clock when Slater won possession deep inside his own half. McCarron set off on a 70-yard sprint and he had the awareness to roll the ball across the face of 18-yard box when he spotted players in support. Sowerby set himself for the shot and he was disappointed to see it hit a Vale defender as it headed for the target.
The home side responded with a good spell of possession but they struggled to find a way through as the Carlisle defence stood tall. Luke Hannant tried to take matters into his own hands with a shot from distance but Collin was happy to watch it drift wide.
McCarron was a good outlet on the right flank and he combined with Miller to create another opening. His cross was a teaser but Kay got to it first to make the clearance.
The Blues were let off the hook on 13 minutes when a one-touch move released Ricky Miller as he ghosted in behind the back line. He had just Collin to beat but he lost his bearings and thundered a poor effort high over the bar.
The same player found himself in acres of space moments later when he controlled a long ball forward on his toe. He was at an angle but completely unmarked and he wheeled away in frustration as he drilled his volley straight at the Carlisle keeper.
Hope and Devitt combined to excellent effect midway through the half as the pair bounced the ball off each other, with the striker cutting a track inside from the left wing. The lay off from Devitt invited the shot but Brown got down sharply to parry it away.
Another angled run from Hope took him past his man as he made his way into the box, but his hurried shot lacked power and it bobbled harmlessly wide of the upright.
The Cumbrians were on the break as Etuhu stepped out to nick the ball on the edge of his own box and Hope peeled away screaming for the pass. He took it down well on the outside of his boot but could only find Brown's midriff as he went for a shot whilst running at full tilt.
Controversy reigned on 32 minutes when Brown raced off his line, only to be beaten to the ball by Hope. The forward tumbled to the floor, but was shown a yellow card for simulation instead of being given the penalty everybody in the ground expected.
Gerrard was needed to clear a low shot from Oyeleke off the line as Vale tried to capitalise on the Carlisle annoyance, but Vale had frustrations of their own to contend with when they were reduced to 10-men just before the break as Ricky Miller appeared to go high on Danny Grainger.
The referee took an age to make his decision but eventually produced the red card, having first walked the offending player into the centre circle before pulling it out of his pocket.
Sowerby skewed a shot wide in time added on for the half, but much of the talk during the break was about the decisions given - and those not given - during what had been an incident packed 45 minutes of football.
Arthur Gnahoua came on to make his debut at the start of the second period, and his impact was almost immediate as he beat his man before crossing into the area. It had to be hooked away as Hope launched himself at it.
Carlisle looked dangerous on the hour as they found a way through a packed defence with Hope and Devitt once more at the heart of it. Sowerby checked his run before showing for it, but he had another well struck effort blocked.
The Cumbrians kept trying to find a way to pick the lock, as they faced two banks of players determined to defend, and they got their reward with ten minutes left to play when Devitt looped a lovely pass over the top. Hope took it down, and his rifled cross was helped over the line by Connor Simpson and two defenders slid into the path of the ball.
United saw the game out, to take their points against the stubborn 10-man Valiants, and they almost added to their tally late in the day when a deflected Parkes shot dipped towards the bottom corner. Brown got across acrobatically to tip it away.
Carlisle United - Simpson (79)
Carlisle United - Hope (32), Parkes (90)
Port Vale - Miller (41 - dangerous tackle)
Port Vale - Brown, Gibbons (Elliott 84), Joyce (Worrall 46), Kay, Oyeleke, R Miller, Hannant, Rawlinson, Crookes, Smith, Clark (Harris 45). Subs - Hornby, Montano, Legge, Conlon.
Carlisle United - Collin, G Miller, Gerrard, Parkes, Grainger, Sowerby (Jones 66), Slater, Etuhu, Devitt, McCarron (Gnahoua 46 (Simpson 73)), Hope. Subs - Gray, Kennedy, Glendon, Gillesphey.
Referee - Mr Charles Breakspear
Attendance - 3,881 (492 away fans)