Carlisle kicked off the New Year with the relatively short trip to the Globe Arena to face Morecambe in what is an always keenly anticipated local derby.
Over 1,700 Blue Army members made the trip, but they were disappointed to learn of the recall of Rotherham loanee Jerry Yates ahead of kick off as he headed back to his parent club to take a place on the bench for their game against Preston.
That brought Macaulay Gillesphey back into the starting line up with manager John Sheridan going for a 4-5-1 formation to face the Shrimps, with Etuhu briefed to drop deep to cover the back line.
Morecambe fashioned a chance with just 28 seconds on the clock when Ellison found space on the left. His low cross was touched on by Oliver but Collin did well to get down to make the save.
The Shrimps stayed forward and Cranston was urged to shoot by the home fans as he carried the ball towards the box. The shot was well struck but easy for Collin to gather.
A huge kick from Halstead caused problems for the Blues back line as it was headed on by Mendes-Gomes for Oliver to contest. It looked like the forward was set to lob Collin, but he miscued his initial shot. Gerrard was back quickly to clear the bouncing ball before the forward could apply a second touch.
An excellent break from the visitors brought them into the attacking equation when the ball was swept neatly from back to front. Etuhu, Devitt and Sowerby all had touches, before Nadesan overlapped to cross low. It was half cleared, but a Grainger thunderbolt had to be blocked as he lined his shot up.
A free kick followed, as Sowerby was felled 22-yards out, but Devitt's low effort hit the wall and Kenyon stepped in to hook it clear. A deep free kick had to be dealt with at the other end, as Lavelle nodded it back into the mix, but there was barely space to move as Devitt gratefully sent it long and into the opposition half.
The Blues took the lead in stunning manner when Jamie Devitt allowed a Gillesphey throw to roll across his body. He let it bounce three times and left Halstead with no chance with an unexpected ripping volley which hit the back of the net via the underside of the bar.
Carlisle calmed things down after the goal, but they gave Morecambe plenty to think about as they hit quickly on the break at very opportunity.
Cranston had a go from distance just before the half hour as the Shrimps continued to struggle to test the target, albeit at the same time as working hard to get into the game. A short corner from Cranston to Mills should have brought more, but two quickfire clearances from Grainger and Gerrard kept the red shirts at bay.
A Liddle shot was blocked at the other end as United worked a good position, 25 yards out, but there was little to show between the sides in terms of possession as the action stayed mostly in the middle of the park.
The Blues won a corner in time added on for the first half when Gillesphey sent a great cross in, and they almost made it count as Parkes made the Devitt delivery his own. His header had power but it rose high over the bar.
Both sides pressed at the start of the second half and a lovely pass from Hope put Nadesan on the overlap. His clipped cross teased the blue shirts as they sprinted forward in an attempt to get a touch.
Captain Danny Grainger sent a 28-yard free kick over the wall and into the stands as the away side maintained the upper hand, but Morecambe had a good spell of pressure where they peppered the box from left and right. There were plenty of red shirts in the area but the Cumbrians refused to buckle.
Collin had to watch a shot from distance from Mendes-Gomes as it took a deflection and bobbled low, and the keeper went long again to beat away a shot from Oates as he angled a run into the box.
Carlisle stayed patient but Liddle showed as an outlet when he got behind the defence to make an option. One such run from him brought a corner which Gerrard nodded down. There was nobody there, and the Shrimps broke at pace as they exploited a gap on the right wing. The cross found Mendes-Gomes but his close range volley was smothered by Collin.
A cross from Nadesan was half cleared to Devitt as the game picked up in pace, and Devitt tried his luck with a first time effort which was once again cleared before it could get through.
Danger man Kevin Ellison beat Parkes to earn his side a corner as it went from end-to-end, but the visitors once again held their concentration to shepherd the delivery to safety.
A run and cross from Nadesan deserved better when he went past his man before clipping the ball across the face of the target. Sowerby was on his heels as it skipped just past his toe.
The reprieve was short-lived for the hosts as Gillesphey took another quick throw, this time finding Jack Sowerby in space. He did what Devitt had done in the first half, as he allowed it to run across his body, before he found the top corner via a fingertip touch from Halstead.
It was almost a third for the rampant Blues as they tore the Morecambe defence to shreds with superb one-touch football. Nadesan bounced the ball off Devitt and the Fleetwood-loanee was a whisker away as he aimed a grasscutter at the bottom corner.
Striker Hallam Hope mesmerised everybody when he wound his way into the area, leaving two in his wake. Halstead had to commit, and he was relieved to see the ball dribble across the line untouched as it squirmed under his body.
Collin still had work to do at the other end, as a Cranston shot came at him from nowhere, but the Blues protected their lead and saw it through to make it five wins a row from a fantastic festive period.
And, it should be noted, there was a huge roar from the Blue Army as they saw their hero Jason Kennedy take to the pitch in time added on for his first appearance in just over a year, following a long road back to recovery from a troublesome injury.
Carlisle United - Devitt (15), Sowerby (76)
Morecambe - Cranston (89), Oliver (89)
Carlisle United - Etuhu (40), Gerrard (89)
Morecambe - Halstead, Mills, Conlan, Kenyon (Tutte 66), Old, Oliver, Ellison, Lavelle, Oates (Leitch-Smith 66), Mendes-Gomes (Mandeville 82), Cranston. Subs - Szczepaniak, Oswell, Yarney, Hedley.
Carlisle United - Collin, Gerrard, Parkes, Gillesphey (Bennett 87), Liddle, Sowerby (Kennedy 90), Etuhu, Devitt (Slater 82), Grainger, Hope, Nadesan. Subs - Gray, Miller, Jones, McCarron.
Referee - Mr Ben Toner
Attendance - 3,749 (1,784 away fans)