United were back at home on Tuesday night looking to turn improved performances into points, with Harrogate Town the opponents.
Captain Callum Guy was back from his one-game suspension, and Zach Clough returned from his concussion protocols, with Jack Armer ruled out through the leg injury sustained at Exeter at the weekend.
The first effort of the night came from distance from George Thomson when he put his left boot through the ball. He didn't quite catch it on the full and Howard was able to watch it fall into his hands.
A spin in midfield was followed by a run from Diamond as he angled his way from the left flank into the area for the lively visitors. An attempt at a cross was miscued and the keeper was comfortable once again.
United caused problems with a deep free kick from Clough which dropped into the hole between the defence and the nets. Oxley had to dive late and he got both hands to it as it bobbled off the surface.
The corner was cleared as far as Gibson and a lovely, dinked delivery was glanced by Young, just inside the six-yard area. The stopper was beaten, but it hit the bar and bounced away from the upright.
McDonald recovered it quickly and his punt was met on the leap by the Villa loanee. He was under pressure from Hall and his touch looped over the target.
Direct play from Pattison won a corner at the Warwick Road End for the away team when his sprint was closed down by Dickenson, and Clough marshalled the set piece away as black shirts converged in hope more than expectation.
United started to ping some crisp passes around as they kept the ball in the middle of the park, but it was a tight spell as neither side gave any ground.
Jordan Gibson took matters into his own hands on 25 minutes when high pressing brought the ball his way. He pulled the trigged from 26-yards but it whipped just past the post after it had skipped awkwardly off the slick surface.
Gibson and Mellor then worked room for another dink into the box, this time from the right, but Oxley stepped forward to get there before Abrahams could apply a touch.
A shot through a ruck of bodies from Thomson took a deflection as the Sulphurites tried to find inspiration, but the corner was cleared and United were suddenly on the attack. It eventually came to Gibson, and Oxley had to get both hands there to palm it away on the dive.
The action ebbed and flowed and Armstrong called for it when he had his back to goal. He twisted then crossed, but McDonald had tracked the run and he made the clearance.
Harrogate had to recycle the corner but Diamond did well to float the ball to the back stick. Muldoon found room but his close-range downward header was stopped on the line by Howard. The keeper took the sting out of it first before scooping it up at the second attempt.
It nearly opened up for the Blues when they pushed forward with Gibson and Clough providing angles. Young pulled off his marker but the measured through ball was touched by Burrell, and that took it into Oxley's hands.
There was disappointment for the hosts in time added on for the half when a pass from Muldoon just about made it through to Thomson, who had pulled wide into space. His first touch took him into the box and the winger made no mistake with a stinging drive from the angle that whistled into the bottom corner.
Into the second half and a fierce Dickenson cross on the volley was cleared by Burrell as two blue shirts pushed in. Gibson then did the same, when he linked with Clough, but it was the same defender who made the timely intervention.
The Cumbrians should have been back on terms on 49 minutes when Guy did well to beat his man and then pull the defence out of shape as he jinked and swerved. Young was with him, and the forward had just the stopper to beat when the pass came his way inside the area. He connected cleanly, but he sent his shot into the side netting, with a large section of the crowd cheering as they thought it had gone in.
Harrogate had two half chances as they looked to calm things down, with Thomson wasteful with a header when he perhaps had more time than he realised.
Carlisle were a whisker away again with a piece of sustained pressure that saw a Dickenson pass blocked then hacked clear. Clough got the second ball and he twice feinted to shoot as he edged closer and closer to the nets. He kept the thunderbolt low, when it came, and Oxley was well beaten, but it flashed agonisingly past the post.
Howard had a save to make from Pattison when he surged onwards with the ball at his feet, but it was easily caught as it came low at his legs.
There were loud appeals for a home penalty when Mampala dropped the floor moments after coming on, but the officials waved play on. The hosts kept the pressure on and Dickenson overlapped after a delivery from Mellor had been nodded away. Clough was there, and he was ready to celebrate as he thrashed a 16-yard shot at the top corner. Oxley went full length to parry it to safety.
Another top quality delivery from Dickenson begged to be put away with just under 15 minutes left to play. The ball had been moved from right to left and he found the perfect channel for the cross, but outstretched legs and boots couldn't find the touch that was needed.
Harrogate were ruthless on 78 minutes when they found themselves four against two in the middle of the park as a home move broke down. Diamond was played into the box by Pattison, but Howard got down to save when he thumped it low. Pattison couldn't believe his luck when he was able to stroke the pieces into the bottom corner to double the advantage.
Armstrong had an effort deflected wide late in the day, when he was closed down by McDonald, and Fishburn tried to finish a Clough clip at the other end as the clock ticked into added time.
Another great chance to score was spurned when a Clough cross was sent back across the face of goal by McDonald. Whelan was there, eight yards out, and the net looked set to bulge when he guided it at the top corner, but Oxley somehow recovered to make the save.
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Harrogate Town - Thomson (45+1), Pattison (78)
Carlisle United - Guy (57)
Harrogate Town - Sheron (41), Burrell (90)
Carlisle United - Howard, Mellor, McDonald, Whelan, Dickenson, Gibson, Guy (c), Devine (Charters 85), Abrahams (Fishburn 68), Clough, Young (Mampala 68). Subs - Simons (gk), Dinzeyi, Feeney, Bell.
Harrogate Town - Oxley, Page, Falkingham (c) (Power 82), Burrell, Thomson, Sheron, Pattison, Muldoon (Kerry 72), Hall, Diamond, Armstrong. Subs - Cracknell (gk), Orsi, Ilesanmi, Williams.
Referee - Sebastian Stockbridge
Assistant Referee 1 - Darren Williams
Assistant Referee 2 - Gary Hilton
Fourth Official - Simon Clayton
Observer - Russell Tiffin
Attendance - 3,172 (84)