United were the hosts for the first round FA Youth Cup meeting with Chester FC with the game played under the floodlights at Brunton Park.
And the hosts played some good football but they were made to work hard for their victory and Chester, who had been through four preliminary rounds to get to this stage, played their part in an entertaining encounter which went all the way to the wire.
Calum McIntyre’s hard-working team picked up the pace from the off, but they were rocked with just seven minutes on the clock when Ryan Swailes picked out Charlie Watt with a raking diagonal pass.
The young wide man took a neat touch before clipping his finish past the advancing Joe Smith.
The Seals refused to crumble, despite the setback, and Giani was a whisker away when he nodded a near post cross from Turner just past the angle of post and bar.
It was a good spell for the away side, but strong defending from the hosts kept the clear-cut chances at bay.
United weathered the mini-storm and they doubled their advantage on 19 minutes when Adam Walton set off on a sprint. A measured through ball sent him through two defenders and he left Smith with no chance as he drilled the ball into the bottom corner.
Chester refused to roll over and a winding run from the dangerous Sam Turner and his cross on the move took a touch off Steele as Giani raced in. The ricochet sat up nicely for Tyler Sutton and he composed himself before picking his spot.
With the deficit halved the away side threw men forward, and they were caught on the hop when as an incisive and fluid move left Ryan Swailes with just Smith to beat. His first touch was sublime and the advancing keeper could do nothing as a bullet of a touch was smashed into the net.
The game became a real battle between two sides who gave no quarter, and Robinson had to concentrate as Hughes unleashed a long-range thunderbolt. It skipped off the surface and the young stopper beat it behind to safety.
A lapse of concentration followed from the resulting corner and Will Harrison was allowed the space to make enough of a contact to send the ball bouncing over the line.
Half chances came and went as United calmed things down, and it was the Cumbrians who progressed as they saw the game out to book their place in round two and a home game against Bradford City.
Carlisle United - Watt (7), Walton (19), Swailes (34)
Chester FC - Sutton (31), Harrison (65)
Carlisle United - Robinson, Ellis, Kilsby, Leslie (c), Steele, Day, Watt (Garvey 82), Walton, Fishburn (Taylor 78), Swailes, L Bell. Subs - Breeze (gk), Simons (gk) Hill.
Chester FC - Smith, Buckley, Buckley-Benbow (K Bell 35), Hughes (Walters 88), Harrison, Sloane, Turner, D Lowe (c), Giani (Packer 76), Sutton, Heywood. Subs - Hansen, Taylor, A Lowe.
Referee - Mr Chris Joyce