Plymouth have made themselves hard to beat with four wins and five draws from their league outings so far, and United made the mammoth journey to Home Park looking to put a dent in their current four-game unbeaten run.
The visitors were without the injured Harry McKirdy, who was still suffering from an ankle injury picked up during the Blackpool game on Tuesday night, but teenager Jarrad Branthwaite was handed his league debut at the tender age of just 17-years and 114 days old.
Jon Mellish was recalled to make his first league appearance since August and Stefan Scougall was back into a starting shirt following his eight-game injury lay-off and successful 90-minute performance in the midweek Leasing.com Trophy outing.
The first chance of the day fell United's way when a long throw from Iredale was headed out of the box. Jones put his boot through the 20-yard volley but it cannoned into Webster and bent behind for a goal kick.
It was Webster who tried to catch keeper Palmer off-guard when the Blues won a free kick on the halfway line. He placed it and went for the shot in almost one swift movement but it dropped well wide of the upright.
Carlisle had settled well and a great move down the left flank saw Hope get chopped to the floor by Wootton as the build up developed. The referee chose to wave play on, and Olomola did well to cut inside and wait for the overlap from Bridge. The midfielder took over and he was unlucky to see his pilderiver whisk just past the post.
Plymouth got forward on the break and in numbers on 17 minutes when a kick from Collin was nodded back over the defensive line. Rudden was onto it but he rushed his volley and the big stopper was able to watch it swirl into the crowd.
United were opened up when an underhit pass from Mike Jones caught Branthwaite unguarded. The hosts were suddenly three against one but a superb covering run from Bridge enabled him to slide in and touch it onto Cooper before the Plymouth man could shoot.
The home side sparked into life and Rudden found space to send a wicked delivery into the mix. Joel Grant challenged, but Collin did well to smother the ball as Sarcevic also tried to finish it off.
The ball was half-cleared, and recycled, and it came back again from the left flank with United looking set in their defensive shape. But Joel Grant showed excellent movement to shake his man off before slotting it into the net from very close range.
A marauding run from Mellish ended with a goal chalked off for offside as he played a one-two before drilling it into the bottom corner, and Gethin Jones was judged to have pushed a defender as he tried to cushion a header from an Iredale cross for Olomola to hit.
Carlisle had to defend their own area just before the break when a corner was headed back across goal by Sawyer. Rudden scampered to recover it and it eventually came to Riley, who had time on the edge of the area. He clipped it towards Sawyer but his header rose over the bar.
A nasty clash between Joel Grant and Byron Webster moments after the second half restart left the defender writhing on the floor in agony, and the Blues got forward from the resulting free kick with Iredale available on the left. His cross dropped onto the top of the bar and Sawyer was happy to be able to sweep it away.
United stayed forward, and Olomola was left to ponder what might have been when he took a ball on his chest inside the box. He turned away from his man to shoot but it took a deflection and spun wide. The corner delivery was met by Webster, as he jumped highest, but the woodwork was in play again as it smashed against the cross bar and bounced down to be hooked high and out for a throw.
The Cumbrians were the better side as they kept the ball well, and Webster went close again when he got on the end of another deep Bridge corner. His header lacked direction and Palmer was comfortable as it bounced away from his post.
United had a series of crosses to deal with midway through the half, and the Pilgrims were denied a penalty when Rudden and Collin went head to head in a race to get to the ball. Collin got there first, and the striker hit the floor thereafter, but the referee quickly waved the appeals away.
Carlisle carved the hosts open on 73 minutes when Gethin Jones reacted quickly to take a loose ball on his toe. His touch sent Hope on the run, but his cross was just too high and Sorensen could do nothing about it.
The Cumbrians upped the pace and good wing play from Iredale and Sagaf on the left and Gethin Jones and Hope on the right brought more good deliveries. Frustration mounted as the opportunities came and went.
A late shot from substitute Nathan Thomas arrowed straight at Palmer, and a corner from the same man was cleared as hopes of an equaliser, which would have been fully deserved, started to ebb away.
And Iredale was left with his head in his hands in the last minute of normal time when he took a ball under control as he beat the offside trap. His shot needed to hit the far post area but he got it too close to the stopper and the save was made.
Salt was rubbed into the wounds in time added on when it opened up from nowhere for Sarcevic to shoot. Collin had no chance as it bulged the back of his net.
Plymouth Argyle - Joel Grant (22), Sarcevic (90)
Plymouth Argyle - Wootton (12), Rudden (29), Edwards (41)
Carlisle United - Branthwaite (40), Iredale (69)
Plymouth Argyle - Palmer (gk), Riley, Sawyer (c), Wootton, Canavan, Sarcevic, Edwards, Joel Grant (Josh Grant 87), McFadzean, Cooper (Clarke 80), Rudden (Moore 68). Subs - Cooper (gk), Aimson, Randell, Wilson.
Carlisle United - Collin (gk) (c), Branthwaite, Webster, Mellish, G Jones, Bridge (Thomas 80), M Jones, Scougall (Sagaf 72), Iredale, Hope, Olomola (Sorensen 58). Subs - Gray (gk), Elliott, Loft, Knight-Percival.
Referee - Alan Young
Assistant Referee 1 - Simon Shaw
Assistant Referee 2 - Samuel Ogles
Fourth Official - Justin Amey
Attendance - 8,446 (139 away fans)