United were at the One Call Stadium on Tuesday night and they were faced with a real pre-match problem as a crash on the M62 delayed their arrival plans.
Appointed referee Michael Salisbury was also snarled up, so much so, in fact, that he had to be replaced by Trevor Kettle who was able to make the short 50-mile journey from his home town in the nick of time.
Team wise keeper Paul Farman missed out with a slight thigh injury worry, and that meant a first league start for Magnus Norman, with first-year youth stopper Gabriel Breeze taking a place on the bench.
The side was otherwise unchanged from the weekend victory over Bradford, with the in-form Ozzy Zanzala once again called upon to lead the line.
Slick football from the off almost set United on their way as Riley tackled for and won the ball in midfield. Dickenson and Guy got it to Alessandra, but Perch did enough to stifle the attack.
Mansfield won a corner with the action flowing from end-to-end with Guy claiming that he'd been tugged by Bowery as he tried to deal with it, but it was easily cleared as it dropped inside the six-yard box.
United sent crosses into the mix during another good away spell, and they almost picked a way through when Zanzala touched it to Alessandra. He used Mellish, but the midfielder put his through ball the wrong side of the supporting run.
Carlisle came again when Guy ripped a beauty of a pass to Dickenson on the edge of the area. He had it nicked off his toe, but Mellish was quickly onto the loose pieces. He delivered on the run but it beat the stopper and crept just past the post.
More good work on the left flank saw Dickenson pull it back for Armer to cross, 18-yards up from the corner flag. It took a deflection before Zanzala twisted his boot to guide it at the bottom corner. Stone dived long to tip it away.
Even better came from the corner as it was recovered it at the back stick. The half-clearance was dropped over the rearguard by Tanner and Bennett took it down on his chest. He was under pressure immediately from Stone and he slipped as he poked his effort harmlessly behind from close range.
Magnus Norman showed good hands when Reid dropped a shoulder to create space at the other end. He shot low but the glovesman went to ground to scoop it up.
There was another scare when Charsley fed a training ground routine of a corner into space inside the area. Benning timed his run from deep to meet it but he scuffed his attempt and the target remained untroubled.
A 28-yard McLaughlin free kick - harshly awarded when Mellish beat Law to possession - whipped high and wide in what was an entertaining game to watch, and United were given a similar situation when Dickenson was dropped as he turned his man with the goal about to be at his mercy.
A short routine saw Guy and Riley touch it first, and Dickenson was disappointed to see his effort strike the advancing wall. It rebounded towards Bennett, but he sliced it into the advertising boards.
There was a scramble in the United area when Benning overlapped to cross from wide. Law had two instinctive stabs smothered, but the blue shirts stood tall to see it away.
Defences were on top in the 15-minute lead-up to the break, but Carlisle pressed in time added on for the period with Dickenson and Armer looking to get the ball into the mix. It didn't quite drop as it needed to and the stalemate was maintained.
Carlisle had the first chance of the second half when Dickenson took the ball away from Benning. A corner was won, as was a second when Rawson put it behind having gone shoulder to shoulder with Bennett. Corner number three from Guy was plucked out of the air by Stone.
The Stags broke and Norman was down smartly to save from Law when it was eventually worked his way for a shot. The keeper was in action again when it was recovered and crossed for Charsley to meet. His header had power but it was straight into the gloves of the alert stopper.
Chances were few and far between with both sides competing hard to keep things tight. A cross from Gordon was too deep for the Stags, and a pass on the spin from Riley was chopped away as Alessandra ghosted into a good position to receive it.
But it was the Blues who changed that when Riley and Mellish went hunting as Charsley dallied in midfield. Mellish raced away with it and his shot on the run took a wicked deflection. Ozzy Zanzala kept his cool as it came his way and he left Stone with no chance as he rifled goal number four in three games into the roof of the net.
Mansfield had a real chance to equalise as Bowery and Reid shielded possession with their backs to goal. Charsley came at pace and he had the width of the target to aim at. He leaned back as he pulled the trigger and the moment was gone.
Magnus Norman was superb to keep his side in the lead on 73 minutes when he first appeared to be fouled as he tried to punch a deep delivery clear. He was on his feet quickly as Perch let one fly from 17-yards, and he threw his hand up expertly to get enough of a touch to take it onto the bar.
Reid lashed one high at one end and Dickenson sent one wide at the other as the clock ticked on, and there was a spill from Norman as he bundled through bodies to try to make a clipped pass his. Charsley was deemed to have been fouled in the scramble that followed, and McLaughlin drilled the 19-yard free kick under the wall and into the bottom corner to level the scores with 10 minutes left to go.
A run and shot from Riley went too high with everything still to play for in the closing stages, and Bowery was wayward when a late, late chance came his way after he got onto a cross from Charsley. It was a half-volley but he lost his bearings as he rocketed it past the post.
Mansfield Town - McLaughlin (80)
Carlisle United - Zanzala (66)
Carlisle United - Dickenson (60), Zanzala (69)
Mansfield Town - Stone, Gordon, Rawson, Perch, Benning, McLaughlin, Quinn (Sarkic 76), Charsley, Law (Clarke 88), Reid, Bowery. Subs - Stech (gk), Sweeney, Wright, Ward, Sinclair.
Carlisle United - Norman, Tanner, McDonald, Bennett, Armer, Riley, Guy, Mellish, Alesandra (Walker 86), Zanzala, Dickenson. Subs - Breeze (gk), Anderton, Hayden, Patrick, Charters, Toure.
Referee - Trevor Kettle (replaced Michael Salisbury one hour before kick off)
Assistant Referee 1 - Rob Smith
Assistant Referee 2 - James Wilson
Fourth Official - Akil Howson
Observer - Brian Curson
Attendance - BCD