Caretaker boss Gav Skelton made two changes to the starting eleven for the visit of Oldham with Jack Armer and Corey Whelan back in for Morgan Feeney and Taylor Charters.
United pushed on from the kick off with Guy picking the ball up deep. He fed it to Mellish, who spotted Dickenson on the overlap. An early cross had Alessandra interested but Leutwiler was quickly off his line.
Howard showed safe hands at the other end when a popped effort from Couto came his way, and the Blues broke from his kick with Gibson in an advanced position. He exchanged passes with Alessandra, and Riley was suddenly behind the back line and with room to deliver. That was cut out at the front stick.
The Latics won a corner when Couto used pace to move onwards, but Bahamboula was wasteful as he drilled a wild effort into the side netting.
Another good home forage saw Clough pull off his man before trying to pick out Gibson. It went beyond, Armer recovered it, but his clipped cross was cleared. That was lobbed back to Dickenson by Guy, but he couldn't find room to shoot as he was closed down by the long legs of McGahey.
Alessandra then beat the offside trap against a high line to spark another attack. Piergianni ushered the pass behind as Dickenson steamed in.
Wonderful one-touch football saw Gibson and Alessandra unlock the door for Mellish, but another near post dink was intercepted before a final touch could be applied.
Alessandra drifted unnoticed and wide on the right and he dropped a shoulder before picking out Gibson, who had his back to goal close to the six-yard box. His cushioned touch was followed by a volley from Clough, but he couldn't keep it down and it sailed over the bar.
A roll-out from Howard to Riley sent the right back on the sprint, and a lovely crossfield pass put Dickenson in play. His feathered delivery was begging for a touch, but the away captain got there first.
Oldham had a great chance to register on 19 minutes when Vaughan came inside to help Couto. It was suddenly there to exploit but his 18-yard shot was miscued and it zipped into the Warwick.
United worked space in response as they switched play from right to left, and back again, but Mellish was rushed as he put his boot through it and the ball spun towards the corner flag.
Dickenson was a willing outlet once again as he utilised the space on the left wing, and he bided his time before sending it long. Gibson jumped high but he glanced the dipping ball past the post.
There was a scare for the hosts when a deep free kick was floated into the area. Piergianni tussled, but McDonald did enough to put him off. Howard gratefully picked up the loose pieces.
Carlisle came again and both Armer and Gibson tested with Alessandra challenging for their balls into the area. Oldham defended the corners that followed.
Tenacity from Gibson saw him rob possession from Couto just past the half hour, and a yellow card was shown as the United man was dragged to the floor. Clough ripped the 22-yarder over the wall but Leutwiler dived across to palm it away.
Armer was first to the corner from that, but his deft touch ricocheted away off Clarke. The second inswinger from Dickenson was going in until Callum Whelan got his boot in the way, and the third much deeper punt was controlled by Clough. He gently guided it back into the mix but neither Gibson or Alessandra could meet it.
The Cumbrians thought they'd done the trick on 38 minutes when Riley strolled into acres of room. The cross from him was a beauty, and Dickenson steered a net-bound volley low on the ground. McGahey made a vital block to turn it away just in the nick of time.
A fantastic one-handed save from Howard denied Keillor-Dunn a goal when his 25-yarder threatened to creep into the top corner. The rebound was tapped in by Bowden, but the flag was up with him having started his run from too deep.
Howard was in action again when Piergianni nodded a free kick from the half way line through bodies. Hope pounced with a fierce thunderbolt, but the keeper spread himself to make sure his goal was protected.
It was Hope who created the first chance of the second period when he dropped a shoulder before sending the ball low. McDonald put it behind. The corner was cleared as far as Bahamboula, and McDonald was there again to get himself in the way as the striker shaped to rifle it.
United used the Armer overlap at the other end as Dickenson and Mellish worked hard to keep the ball, and the left back found a great cross to meet the run from Clough. His touch took the ball across the face of goal but Leutwiler was able to marshall it on its way.
The game became a midfield battle, but Keillor-Dunn tried his luck from the halfway line when he spotted Howard on his penalty spot. The keeper scampered back to claw it to safety.
A run from Bahamboula earned the visitors a corner on 69 minutes, and Hope nodded that back as it came his way. Piergianni went for an elaborate scissor kick but it was never going to trouble the nets.
Midfielder Taylor Charters put Gibson into a dangerous area as the Blues looked to up their game, but his delivery on the run was dealt with.
Howard gathered when Bahamboula put his head down with 15 minutes left to play, with a direct sprint at the box. The shot had venom but the keeper was well placed.
Guy whisked a great cross from the right when he provided an option for Riley as the clock ticked down, but Young was bundled over by McGahey before he could put a head on it.
Keeper Mark Howard was rescued by Riley when he slipped as he cleared. Bahamboula was ready to gobble it up until the defender took the ball off his toe.
And it was Riley who created at the other end when he beat his man before curling it behind the back four. Young launched himself at it but he couldn't quite get there.
Abrahams and Young combined to carve a through late in the day, but McGahey was there once again to send the ball over when the delivery came in.
Two corners followed, but the orange shirts flooded their own area to keep the danger at bay. And Oldham had a chance in time added on from a training ground free kick routine. It eventually came to Piergianni, but he got his bearings wrong and he put his volley, which should have been a cross, straight at Howard.
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Oldham Athletic - Couto (31)
Carlisle United - Howard, Riley, Corey Whelan, McDonald, Armer, Gibson, Mellish (Charters 60), Guy (c), Dickenson, Alessandra (Young 55), Clough (Abrahams 77). Subs - Jensen (gk), Devine, Feeney, Bell.
Oldham Athletic - Leutwiler, Clarke, McGahey, Piergianni (c), Callum Whelan (Bettache 87), Hope, Keillor-Dunn, Bowden, Bahamboula, Couto, Vaughan (Da Silva 62). Subs - Danielewicz (gk), Dearnley, Fage, Diarra, Edwards.
Referee - Benjamin Speedie
Assistant Referee 1 - Paul Newhouse
Assistant Referee 2 - Matthew Parry
Fourth Official - Simon Clayton
Observer - Colin Webster
Attendance - 4,272 (420)