United were back at Brunton Park for their derby-day meeting with Barrow on Saturday afternoon.
Right back Kelvin Mellor retained his place having scored his first goal for the club on Tuesday night, as did Tristan Abrahams who was partnered up front by Brad Young.
A bright late Autumn sun meant the teams swapped ends after the toss, with the Blues kicking towards the Warwick.
United had their first chance with just 11 seconds on the clock when a ball forward was nodded down towards Clough. He volleyed on the bounce from 17-yards but Farman went long to palm it away.
Armer overlapped on the left flank when he combined with Abrahams in what was a fast-paced start, but his cross on the run was too close to the keeper.
Tenacity from Young saw him nip in front of Brown to keep the ball in when Mellish clipped it onwards, and Armer was there to help as the pair then won a corner. Farman punched the first delivery, and the second was hooked away by Platt.
United came again when Abrahams went past his man on the right. It was fed out to Armer, and his dipping cross was cleared as far as Clough. His effort was blocked, and the follow up from Guy whipped past the target.
Carlisle had defending to do when a deep cross spun awkwardly after Zanzala had challenged. McDonald nodded the second ball away, and the same defender stepped in as Stevens drifted another one into the mix.
Captain Ollie Banks was wild with a shot from distance after Brown and Stevens had wound their way to the corner flag for the away side, but the hosts broke and a backheel from Young meant that Clough could cross. Brough closed down quickly and the moment was gone.
Barrow had a good spell midway through the half and Jamie Jones could have scored when Brown swerved a testing cross into the area. Completely unmarked, dead central and just seven yards out, the forward somehow glanced it wide of the far post.
There was bad news for the Blues on the half hour when Zach Clough went to ground with a problem, and that brought Brennan Dickenson, fit again after a dead leg, onto the field.
The away side missed another good opportunity when a huge ball over the top from Farman found Zanzala on the sprint. With just Howard to beat he got his bearings wrong, and his close-range tap off the end of his toe took it into the advertising hoardings.
A twist from Gordon had McDonald worried as a low pass whipped through Armer's legs, but he kept his eye on it to shephered it away.
Abrahams was there again to cause problems in forward areas at the other end, and Dickenson took over when the ball came his way inside the box. His fierce grasscutter spun untouched across the face of the target.
Blue shirts stayed forward and Young got to a loose ball as Farman sprinted off is line. He lifted it over the advancing stopper but he was at an angle and it dropped into the side netting.
The first attack of the second period came from Barrow, with Gotts in charge of a deep free kick. Jones got to it first as it dropped from high, but his header zipped over the bar.
United had a corner at the other when Gibson sent a free kick to the far post, and Mellish was there to greet it. It came off a defender, and Gibson lurked to get onto the loose ball. His first-time shot struck Platt and spun away.
Armer, urged to shoot by the crowd, was on the end of a flowing move which saw the ball played across the back line before being fed back towards Abrahams. He let it roll but the left back got his bearings wrong from distance.
Wide man Brennan Dickenson then took a run down the right, and Jones was relieved to see his intervention spoon over his own bar as it took a nasty turn off his laces.
Gibson mishit two shots from distance as the Blues tried to build up a real head of steam, and Abrahams almost picked out Young when he stole a yard before delivering on the volley.
Platt powered a header over as the game remained in the balance, and there was a loud shout for a penalty at the other end when Abrahams was held back as he tried to get on the end of a Mellor cross. The referee showed no interest.
Crosses rained in from left and right as Gibson and Guy tried to pick out their men, and it was a good spell of possession which came to an end when Mellish rifled one high from 25-yards out.
United had the balance of power in terms of possession but there was more frustration for Dickenson when his punt from range curled away.
Carlisle thought they'd won it on 86 minutes when a ball into the area was contested by McDonald. It bounced up, hit Alessandra, and the big defender was there to thunder an unstoppable volley from the favourable ricochet past Farman. It struck the underside of the bar and bounced the wrong side of the line as far as the home side were concerned.
Barrow utilised their long throw in time added on, but it was well defended, with an infringement in the box ending any thoughts of a last gasp winner.
And there was half a sight for Fishburn at the other end when Mellor and Dickenson exchanged passes before sending it towards the penalty spot. The first touch from the young striker was followed by a hurried volley, and Farman gratefully gathered it in.
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Carlisle United - Guy (90)
Barrow - Gordon (61), Gotts (90), Brough (90)
Carlisle United - Howard, Mellor, McDonald, Whelan, Armer, Gibson (Charters 85), Mellish, Guy, Clough (Dickenson 30), Young (Alessandra 72), Abrahams (Fishburn 72). Subs - Simons (gk), Devine, Feeney.
Barrow - Farman, Brown (Hutton 80), Brough, Platt, Zanzala (James 84), Gordon (Kay 61), Jones, Gotts, Grayson, Banks (c), Stevens. Subs - Lillis (gk), Taylor, Ellis.
Referee - Martin Coy
Assistant Referee 1 - Chris Isherwood
Assistant Referee 2 - Anthony Moore
Fourth Official - Peter Wright
Observer - Barry Sygmuta
Attendance - 7,470 (1,629)