The Sky Blues, who were without midfielder James Bailey, were a goal down in 67 seconds when Matty Robson was given all the time in the world to loop a free header over Joe Murphy.
In a game which saw a stack of bookings from a referee who used cards rather than common sense, City were content to lump the ball forwards in the direction of Leon Clarke. .
City did have a 16th minute header by William Edjenguele from a corner pushed over by Gillespie and substitute Conor Thomas, Franck Moussa and Leon Clarke failed to give their 520 strong support anything to cheer by wasting the chances that fell to them before Robson hit the bar in second half stoppage time and Carlisle took the win
Speaking to Sky Blue Player's Nick Connoll, City boss Mark Robins said; "Again I don't think there was a lack of effort or commitment on our part and maybe there was a bit of mental fatigue from Thursday but every team's tired at this point in the season and we're fit enough to be better than we were
"We just have to take this on the chin and learn from it and make sure we are better, starting with Wednesday.".
City:Murphy, J Clarke, Adams, Edjenguele, Wood, Baker (Wilson 76), Moussa, Jennings, Fleck (Elliott 53), McSheffrey (Thomas 69), L Clarke. Subs: Cameron, Dunn, Barton, Christie
Carlisle:Gillespie, Simek, Chantler, O'Hanlon, Livesey, Potts (Thirwell 78), Berrett, Noble (Cadamarteri 82), Robson, McGovern (Symington 89, Miller. Subs: Collin, Welsh, Loy, Beck
HT CUAFC 1-0 CCFC FT CUAFC 1-0 CCFC ATT 4,071.
Goals Matty Robson 2,.
Referee D.Webb Booked Fleck, Moussa, Wood, Baker, Robson, Elliott