United's second home game in the space of four days brought promotion chasing Newport County on the long trip north looking to protect their six-game unbeaten run.
But they were being hosted by a team also in good form with four wins from four for new manager Paul Simpson.
There was a change to the starting line up for the first time under Simpson, with the busy run of fixtures a definite factor.
Centre back Rod McDonald was in at the heart of the defence, with Mitch Roberts at left back, and Jack Armer and Jon Mellish took a place on the bench.
Further forward it was Brennan Dickenson and Tobi Sho-Silva in for Jamie Devitt and Kristian Dennis to complete the quartet of switches.
United sprung the first attack of the night when Gibson stayed wide. He combined with Riley to make space, but Demetriou got a touch on the cross. Dickenson shielded it, but it bobbled away as he spun his man and Clarke made the clearance.
The Exiles showed on nine minutes when a cross from the left found Telford on the edge of the area. An ambitious header flew high and wide.
More probing from the visitors resulted in a shot from distance from Azaz, but Howard had seen it early. United broke from the clearance and Patrick overlapped to clip one into the centre. Sho-Silva rose to meet it but Townsend gathered the looped header into his chest.
United were undone on the quarter hour when a near post inswinging corner from Dolan was met with a diving glance from Demetriou. It was a bullet of a touch and Howard stood no chance.
Sho-Silva charged down a clearance as the Blues worked hard to make a mark from the restart, and it almost fell kindly for Patrick as it spun clear, but Townsend was off his line to make it his.
Feeney had to go for safety first when Azaz used Telford to create an outlet. A low cross was poked behind before an amber shirt could get to it.
Newport looked dangerous on the half hour when Street streaked forward with the ball at his feet. Waite waited for it, and he went for an early piledriver which flew through legs. Howard dropped low to parry, and Feeney was on hand to provide extra cover.
There was half a sight for Gibson as much of the action remained in midfield when determination from Patrick and Sho-Silva prevented Clarke from stifling a move. The effort had power, but Clarke recovered to get a leg in the way.
Another chance came Gibson's way after Patrick had raced onto a sliderule pass up the left flank from Roberts. The forward twisted and turned his way past two challenges then stroked it with the outside of his boot to the wide man. He dropped a shoulder and struck it with venom but he got his bearings wrong.
Riley did well to get something onto a Telford volley inside his own area just before the break, when the lively striker was picked out by a cut back from Haynes. It was dangerous, but the lunge did enough to avert the danger.
A long-range grasscutter from Dickenson signalled an end to the half, with the Cumbrians knowing there was work to do in the second period.
Carlisle looked lively from the first whistle and Riley, Patrick and Guy kept the ball moving as they looked for space. Dickenson very nearly opened the door with a whipped delivery, but Clarke twisted to hook it clear.
Guy did well to track a sprint from Azaz moments later as one-touch toe pokes provided food for thought at the back. His tackle led to a corner that was eventually met by Clarke, when Dolan lofted the ball deep. It hit the bar, and the off-balance Rob Street was left with his head in his hands as he somehow stabbed the rebound wide from just three-yards out.
United were a whisker away from an equaliser on 57 minutes when a Guy corner was guided towards the far stick by Feeney. McDonald checked his movement, and he unleashed a rocket of a volley from just inside the box. Townsend was beaten and mightily relieved to see it go just an inch too high.
The hosts went close again with another Guy corner that found Feeney as he challenged under pressure. Patrick tried to get power to his header but it was straight at Townsend.
Newport countered and Howard had to drop low to palm a stinger from Azaz round the upright. Back up the other end and Omotoye won a corner when he teased his way towards two defenders. That was cleared as Gibson stretched to keep it alive.
The Carlisle revival was rocked back on its heels when a misplaced pass in midfield allowed the away team to spring forward. A low teasing pull back was met by Azaz and he made no mistake with a thunderbolt into the roof of the net.
Substitute Tyrese Omotoye did the leg work to cut his way past three yellow shirts late in the day, and Patrick got involved with a bounce ball that gave him a sniff at the nets. He lost his balance and sent it wide from a tight angle.
The in-form Omari Patrick gave his side a lifeline with just over ten minutes left to go when he followed a fantastic run from Danny Devine. A feint, a stutter and a burst from the midfielder was followed by a cross that took Waite by surprise, and the big front man didn't need to be asked twice. He dragged it back, shifted it and sent it through a gaggle of legs into the bottom corner.
Howard and McDonald combined to keep a low shot and a follow-up out late in the game, and the defender wasted no time in getting into the opposition half as he ripped a tester of a cross at the area. It shaved Feeney's head and Haynes got rid of it.
Patrick clipped a volley over from Riley as the Blues kept going, and a late break had the crowd on its feet as Patrick and Dickenson both tried to find the leveller. Townsend dropped onto the delivery with much relief.
United threw men forward, but Newport sat deep in numbers to see the game through.
Match Sponsor - Lloyd Motors
Click HERE to visit the official Lloyd Motors website.
Match Ball Sponsor - The Kings Head
Click HERE to visit the official Kings Head website.
Match Ball Sponsor - Bimson Haulage
Click HERE to visit the official Bimson Haulage website.
Match Ball Delivery System - Ascott Transport Ltd
Click HERE to visit the ATL official website.
Carlisle United - Patrick (80)
Newport County - Demetriou (15), Azaz (65)
Carlisle United - Howard, Riley, Simeu, McDonald, Feeney, Roberts (Omotoye 54), Gibson (Devine 69), Guy (c), Dickenson, Sho-Silva (Dennis 69), Patrick. Subs - Norman (gk), Armer, Mellish, Whelan.
Newport County - Townsend, Norman, Haynes, Clarke (Lewis 75), Dolan (c), Street (Fisher 89), Bennett, Azaz, Telford (Collins 58), Waite, Demetriou. Subs - Day (gk), Abraham, Ellison, Karadogan.
Referee - Martin Coy
Assistant Referee 1 - Conor Brown
Assistant Referee 2 - Alan Clayton
Fourth Official - Helen Edwards
Observer - Eddie Ilderton
Attendance - 4,445 (144)