United were back at Brunton Park on Saturday afternoon looking to build on the second half performance from Orient last weekend which had seen them bite back to earn a draw with a strong second half display.
Manager Steven Pressley made one change to the starting line-up from that away game with Olufela Olomola coming in for the suspended Byron Webster.
That meant a return to the 4-3-3 formation which had been so effective in the second half at the Breyer Group Stadium.
Macclesfield created a good opening on four minutes when Archibald centred from the left flank. Stephens was there to meet it but his volley on the run flew into the Warwick Road End.
United looked good moments later when Mike Jones feinted to pass to Olomola. The defender was wrong-footed and Olomola steamed forward with the ball at his feet. A neat pass to Bridge saw him find McKirdy, and Thomas was next in line as he pulled away from his man. A burst of pace took him into the box but his shot was blocked as he looked for the far corner.
Right back Gethin Jones was next to be invited to carry it forward as the away back line sat deep, and calls for a shot increased in decibels with each step he was allowed to take. He pulled the trigger but it was always curling wide.
Left back Jack Iredale tried his luck from distance as the Blues found plenty of open spaces, but it was another shot that started beyond the upright and carried on heading the same way.
Quick thinking from Thomas saw him send a fantastic pass towards the penalty spot as the visitors held a high line. It was a race between Olomola and keeper Owen Evans as to who would get there first, and the stopper got a hand to it just in the nick of time.
United dealt well with crosses into the box as the Silkmen tried to up their game, and Adam Collin had to be careful when Archibald rattled a dipping shot from 25-yards. The keeper dropped low to gather it in.
More good work from Iredale saw him sweep a delivery into the mix as he strode forward on the left wing. Olomola sprinted forward and jumped to meet it, but his header went over the bar as he also took the full force of the advancing keeper.
There was no such luck at the other end when the Carlisle defence came under siege as six Macclesfield bodies arrived in the area. Ironside was twice thwarted as he put his boot through the ball, the first from a block and the second from a full-length Collin save, but it sat up nicely for Archibald when a half clearance from Bridge came his way. The wide man connected firmly and Collin could do nothing as it whisked into the top corner.
It could have got even worse for the hosts on the half hour when Mike Jones was judged to have stopped a 23-yard free kick from Osadebe with his arm as he jumped to do his job in the defensive wall. The referee pointed to the spot, but Adam Collin won the war of nerves as he went the right way to save the Ironside penalty.
The game stuttered along to half time, with neither side fully taking the bull by the horns, but the Cumbrians were back at level pegging when what appeared to be a mishit corner from Thomas somehow found a way through. Harry McKirdy was taken by surprise but he was able to celebrate as it was guided off his cheek into the back of the net.
United had set piece defending to do immediately after the break, but a clearance from Thomas and a block from Gethin Jones kept Macclesfield at arm's length.
A training ground free kick routine, after Thomas had been chopped down by Osadebe, saw the ball put behind for a corner before Gethin Jones could pounce, and Mike Jones volleyed the resulting clearance high over the bar.
Harry McKirdy tried to find a curler as he cut inside on the left, with United starting to take control, but he got his foot underneath it and the keeper was able to watch it float away.
United were the better side and a burst from Thomas took him past two as he looked up before cutting the ball back. Sagaf and McKirdy had shots blocked as they tried to finish it off. Thomas then took matters into his own hands with his next run but he was at a tight angle and he blazed it into the Warwick.
For all of the good work the Blues were caught out at the back when Archibald was given acres of space and plenty of time. His low shot took a deflection, and bounced down off the underside of the bar, but Ben Stephens was flagged offside as he nodded the rebound over the line.
The Cumbrians wasted a good chance of their own when they spread the play from left to right when Sagaf spotted Gethin Jones waving for the ball. His incisive pass found Olomola, but his first touch was heavy and Evans was able to reach out and pluck it in.
A better home spell followed, with Thomas and Olomola feeding deliveries into the area, and concentration was still needed at the other end as the visitors looked to break. Kirby led one such charge but an excellent recovery and intervention from Iredale meant that nothing was to come of it.
Substitute Hallam Hope got on the end of a great cross from Thomas as the home team looked for a breakthrough, just six yards out, but he lost his bearings and his header dropped wide of the mark just as the crowd set itself to celebrate.
Jarrad Branthwaite tried to write his name in lights as he stole possession on the halfway line. There was room, so he took a touch then let fly. The effort was goal bound but O'Keeffe was in the way.
The Cumbrians got in front for the first time on the afternoon when substitute Ryan Loft charged down a defender as he dallied over a clearance. It smacked into the forward's midriff, but he was suddenly free and clear with just the keeper to beat. He kept his head and calmly picked his spot.
Carlisle held their shape through the closing stages and loud cheers accompanied the full time whistle.
Carlisle United - McKirdy (45), Loft (82)
Macclesfield Town - Archibald (25)
Carlisle United - Jones (30), Carroll (86)
Macclesfield Town - Osadebe (50)
Carlisle United - Collin (gk) (c), G Jones, Branthwaite, Mellish, Iredale, Bridge (Carroll 85), M Jones, Sagaf, Thomas, Olomola (Loft 75), McKirdy (Hope 67). Subs - Gray (gk), Hayden, Knight-Percival, Sorensen.
Macclesfield Town - Evans (gk), Kelleher (c), Vassell, Ironside (Gomis 66), Stephens, Archibald, Welch-Hayes, Kirby, O'Keeffe, Osadebe, Cameron. Subs - Charles-Cook (gk), Clarke, Horsfall, Ntambwe, Fitzpatrick.
Referee - Andy Haines
Assistant Referee 1 - David Avent
Assistant Referee 2 - Paul Newhouse
Fourth Official - Barry Gordon
Attendance - 3,880 (143 away fans)