United opened their pre-season campaign with a home game against Scottish Premier League side Hibernian.
Manager Steven Pressley used four trialists through what was an entertaining game to watch, with all seven new arrivals also playing some part during the fixture.
The Blues went with a 4-3-3 formation with captain Byron Webster the anchor of a back four with Jon Mellish by his side. Branthwaite and Iredale completed the defensive quartet, with a midfield three of Bridge, Jones and Dixon charged with patrolling the length of the pitch.
McKirdy and Buckley-Ricketts were up front, along with a striking trialist, and a high pressing and energetic approach was adopted from the off with the hosts looking to get at the away side at every opportunity.
The green shirts created the first opening of the day when Horgan found himself in space on the edge of the area. A firm shot took a deflection and Gray was able to watch it head wide.
The same player arrived late for a cross from the right moments later, but his header lacked power and United’s stopper was able to gather it in.
It became nip and tuck as both sides attacked with purpose and Carlisle had to take care when Shaw overlapped to get into a good area. His driven effort struck Webster and spun away for a corner.
The Cumbrians started to edge on top, with good possession and use of the ball, and McKirdy was an inch away from putting it on a plate for Buckley-Ricketts as he skipped past a challenge and delivered low. A defensive touch was just enough to take it beyond the advancing wide man.
A testing corner just past the quarter hour from the away side brought Newell into play as he ghosted off his marker with the ball spinning free. His shot was rushed but it was always heading wide.
Carlisle were next to probe when Iredale went on a sprint down the left flank. He bent it in low as he reached the edge of the box and McKirdy got a touch as he made a near post run. The keeper was beaten but it flashed agonisingly just past the upright.
The Blues took the lead on the half hour when Jack Bridge shielded the ball before unleashing a crunching grasscutter which had Marciano scrambling. The keeper got a hand to it but it wasn’t enough as it squirmed under his body and over the line.
Penalty appeals were waved away moments later when McKirdy appeared to be chopped to the floor, and Gray had to be at his best at the other end when Shaw angled his run having beaten the offside trap. A full length dive and a strong hand kept the ball away.
But the Hibees were back on level terms just before the break when a misplaced pass eventually allowed Kamberi to break free. He stayed calm before slotting it into the bottom corner.
Carlisle reclaimed the lead with their first meaningful attack after the break when Scougall fed Hope on the edge of the box. The striker flicked the ball into the air and stunned everybody with an unstoppable volley which flew into the top corner.
The lively Hope was denied a second by Marciano when he cut in from the left, and the hosts thought they’d sealed a win when second year youth team player Jamie Armstrong whipped the ball in from the right. Kerr flicked it on and McGregor could do nothing as it ricocheted off his chest and bounced into his own net.
The game really started to open up and Hibs were right back in it when a high ball over the top was claimed by Allan. He stuck a toe out and Gray could do nothing as it smashed into the net.
Things really came to life in the final four minutes when Doidge jumped highest to thunder a corner past the static United back line. And the Scottish giants claimed a last-ditch victory when Josh Campbell pulled the trigger on an accurate effort. The large travelling contingent celebrated noisily as the ball crossed the line.
Carlisle United - Bridge (30), Hope (47), McGregor (68)
Hibernian - Kamberi (37), Allan (73), Doidge (87), Campbell (90)
Carlisle United: Gray, Iredale (Duffus 45), Mellish (Birch 59), A Trialist (Hope 45), Buckley-Ricketts (Charters 59), Jones (Reeves 45), McKirdy (Scougall 45), Webster (c) (Knight-Percival 45), Dixon (Armstrong 59), Bridge (Kerr 59), Branthwaite (Elliott 45). Subs – Collin.
Hibernian: Marciano, Horgan (Allan 59), Newell (Moon 45), Mallan, James, Jackson, Kamberi (Murray 59), McGregor, Shaw (Doidge 59), Mackie (Doig 80), Campbell. Subs – Maxwell, Stirling, Sadiki.
Referee - Anthony Backhouse
Attendance - 2,631 (1,065 away fans)