It was the long trip to Newport for the Blues on Saturday afternoon as they came up against an in-form Exiles team at Rodney Parade.
The hosts had made themselves very hard to beat through the early stages of the season but United went in confident mood having got back to winning ways on their own patch against Oldham last weekend.
Manager Steven Pressley made two changes to the starting eleven with Jack Bridge, back from suspension, in for the injured Nathan Thomas as Hallam Hope stepped up to replace Harry McKirdy.
That meant a switch to a 3-5-2 formation with Gethin Jones, Byron Webster and Nathaniel Knight-Percival sat at the back. Christie Elliott, Jack Bridge, Mike Jones, Mo Sagaf and Jack Iredale comprised the five-man midfield with Hallam Hope and Olufela Olomola up front.
As it turned out the Blues ran the game only to be undone by a late sucker punch which left them with nothing to show for what was a very good performance.
Carlisle bossed it from the off, but an early deep free kick from Dolan looked dangerous until Webster got in the way to send it behind. The big defender was pushed in the back as he made his move and the whistle blew when he tumbled to the floor.
A promising run from Bridge saw him carry the ball forward, following good work by Elliott and Hope as they moved it quickly, but Haynes stepped across to stop the cross and the ball ran harmlessly behind.
Carlisle probed as Hope and Bridge worked it well on the right flank, and there was suddenly space for Bridge to exploit as he cut inside and then stepped into the box. Hope called for it, and his initial touch was heavy, but that set it up nicely for a shot from Bridge. It took a wicked deflection and King was able to calm things down by picking it up as it spun out of the afternoon sky.
The kick forward from the stopper brought the dangerous Matt into play and yellow shirts were quickly up in numbers to provide support. The ball rolled kindly for Amond and he was a whisker away as his volley from the edge of the area spun over the bar.
United kept probing and a clipped cross from Elliott had to be watched by King when the defender overlapped to deliver high following a neat reverse pass from Olomola. Back at the other end and Knight-Percival was needed to head clear when Haynes sent a teasing dipper onto the penalty spot.
The Exiles kept possession well midway through the half and an overlap from Sheehan saw him stride past Haynes before picking his pass. Webster cleared, but it came back the other way and Dolan tried his luck with a 22-yard effort. That hit a defender and dropped behind for a corner.
An intriguing game continued to ebb and flow and a deep free kick from Elliott caused a moment of panic when it spilled from King's grasp. He was mightily relieved when he spun uncontested to snaffle it up. Mike Jones then tried to take matters into his own hands as he made a surge from deep. He beat his man but his shot from just inside the area bobbled well past the upright.
A speculative effort from Amond - a hook with the boot as the striker stood with his back to goal on the penalty spot - had to be punched clear by Collin as it threatened to drop into his top corner, and the clearance from the low delivery sparked a great piece of visiting play as the ball was switched from left to right via Olomola, Hope and Bridge. Elliott took over but his cross was plucked out of the air by King as Olomola followed the move.
Fantastic skill from Mike Jones on 39 minutes completely outfoxed the home defence as the sprinting Jack Bridge made a run from deep. A lobbed, measured pass from the halfway line took Newport completely by surprise and it left Bridge with just the keeper to beat as he latched onto it just inside the box. He connected well with his volley but he got his bearings wrong and it bent away from the target.
United continued to play the better football and a charge down from Olomola in the centre circle sparked another meaningful attack. He combined with Bridge, and patient passing eventually brought a cross from Elliott. A half clearance came to Mike Jones but his shot from distance was charged down.
The second half took a while to get going, but a great block from Sagaf deep inside the Newport half allowed Iredale to break free and go on a run. His cross had to be put behind as two strikers made inroads in attempt to get a toe to the ball. The corner delivery once more found Iredale unmarked but his snapshot was too close to King.
United bided their time to nick the ball back as Newport tried to build with Matt and Amond and a break from deep, which saw Gethin Jones cover the full length of the pitch, ended with a delightful delivery to the back stick. His cross popped off a boot and dropped beyond King but there was nobody there to finish it off.
It was the visitors who once again played the better stuff as they carved a path with Bridge looking dangerous. His cut back brought a touch from Hope which set things up nicely for a volley. He caught it on the full but it was just an inch too high.
Another shot on target was registered when Knight-Percival came from deep, looking for options. Hope showed but the striker was disappointed to see King drop quickly to smother his effort.
The visitors looked dangerous as they ran the show rrom the middle of the park and Sagaf weaved his way out of trouble in midfield to give Elliott an opening on the right wing. The defender lined up his options before going for glory. It was heading for the bottom corner until Bennett got in the way.
A double delivery from Bridge after Hope had been dragged back by Howkins came to nothing with his first rasper blocked and the second headed to safety. And strong work from Sagaf saw him feed Iredale on another overlap. A dinked delivery brought a challenge from Hope but there was just too much to do.
A bad foul on Hope by Howkins, which could easily have been a second yellow, preceded more superb play from Iredale. He dropped a shoulder and beat his man but a lunge from Sheehan took his shot behind.
It was impressive stuff from the Blues, as they asked question after question, but they had to take care when Newport found a second breath on 67 minutes. Two crosses were cleared and Collin was then in the right place to take a deflected shot from Sheehan.
And Whitely was closer when a quickly taken free kick came his way. His shot steamed through the back line but curled past the angle of post and bar.
United still wanted the win and Elliott found himself well forward as Loft and Bridge exchanged short passes to create some space to work in. The defender struck it with venom but King was once again the man on the spot.
Carlisle pushed and pushed, and defended when they had to through the closing stages, but they were left with nothing to show for their efforts from a game they had controlled for long periods when late substitute George Nurse stole the headlines with a stunning finish from distance.
Newport County - Nurse (90)
Newport County - Haynes (42), Howkins (65)
Carlisle United - M Jones (90), McKirdy (90)
Newport County - King (gk), Haynes, Howkins, Willmott, Dolan (Nurse 87), Amond (Whiteley 69), Sheehan, Matt, McNamara (Abrahams 46), Bennett, O'Brien (c). Subs - Townsend (gk), Collins, Maloney, Poleon.
Carlisle United - Collin (gk) (c), G Jones, Webster, Knight-Percival, Elliott, Bridge, M Jones, Iredale, Sagaf, Olomola (McKirdy 68), Hope (Loft 80). Subs - Gray (gk), Carroll, Mellish, Branthwaite, Sorensen.
Referee - Antony Coggins
Assistant Referee 1 - Christopher Husband
Assistant Referee 2 - Ollie Williams
Fourth Official - Ross Martin
Attendance - 3,681 (167 away fans)