Coventry City's impressive run of consecutive away wins came to an end at Brunton Park courtesy of Matt Robson's first-minute winner.
The Sky Blues were stunned by Robson's looping header in the opening seconds and were unable to convert the chances they did create as they were unable to make it seven away wins on the spin.
Boss Mark Robins made just one change to the starting line up that beat Preston in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in midweek, bringing in Franck Moussa to replace the injured James Bailey.
City got off to a nightmare start though when, in the first minute, a cross from the right found Matt Robson who outbattled Jordan Clarke and sent a looping header over Joe Murphy and into the net.
It was nearly two just a minute later when a poor backpass from Blair Adams to Murphy saw the 'keeper try to clear the ball in haste and smash it against Lee Miller with the rebound rolling just wide of the post.
City started to find their feet after the early shock though and Gary McSheffrey tried to get his sights on goal after dispossessing Bradley Potts in midfield and pushing forward before dragging his effort well wide on six minutes.
An equaliser looked almost certain two minutes later when a whipped in cross from Jordan Clarke on the right flew low through the area and found John Fleck at the back post although the Scotsman could only slide his effort across the face of goal and inches wide of the foot of the far post.
Franck Moussa went closer after 19 minutes though when he struck an effort from 25 yards which forced Carlisle 'keeper Mark Gillespie to tip the ball onto the post and behind for a corner.
Gillespie had to be on his toes again from the resulting corner when Leon Clarke powered a flush header straight down the goalmouth from ten yards only to see the ball tipped over the bar.
Murphy had to produce an equally impressive reaction stop two minutes after the half hour when a clever flick over the top of the back four by Miller picked out Potts who tried to dink a finish past Murphy who got down quickly to flick the ball wide of his post.
Carlisle went close again seven minutes before the break when Moussa brought down Chantler on the edge of the Sky Blues area and earned a yellow card for his trouble before Jon Paul McGovern stepped up and curled the dead ball just the wrong side of Murphy's near post.
The hosts continued to push after the break but the first effort of note in the second half did not come until the 57th minute when James Berrett's long-range effort rose just over the bar.
Murphy was then required to make a save at his near post just after the hour after Richard Wood's wayward pass to William Edjenguele was intercepted by Miller who quickly fired from the corner of the area.
Jordan Clarke then had to make a goalline clearance when Danny Livesey connected with the corner delivery to head at goal only to see Clarke head it clear.
Leon Clarke was holding his hands in bewilderment after 66 minutes though, wondering how his touch off Baker's right wing cross did not find the net.
Baker swung in a quick delivery which beat all but Clarke whose touch popped over the bar from six yards out.
Moussa then tried his luck from distance with 13 minutes to go with a half volley that steadily rose to clear the crossbar.
City's best chance of the second halfto that point though fell to Leon Clarke after 78 minutes when substitute Stephen Elliott floated a cross to the back post which the unmarked striker headed downwards, the ball hitting his thigh and going wide.
The referee's six minutes of added time seemed to galvanise the Sky Blues into one last push for an equaliser but committing so many forward meant Robson was able to catch them on the break and lift an effort over Murphy but onto and over the crossbar as well.
And the chance was the last of the game as Carlisle saw out the remaining moments to be the first team to take three points from a visiting City side since October.
Attendance: 4,071 (520 Sky Blue Army)
Coventry City: Murphy, J Clarke, Wood, Edjenguele, Adams, Moussa, Jennings, Baker (c) (Wilson 75), Fleck (Elliott 53), McSheffrey (Thomas 69), L Clarke
Subs: Dunn (GK), Cameron, Barton, Christie
Carlisle Utd: Gillespie, Simek, Robson, McGovern (Symington 88), Livesey, Noble (Cadamarteri 81), Miller (c), Potts (Thirlwell 77), Berrett, O'Hanlon, Chantler
Subs: Collin (GK), Welsh, Loy, Beck
Bookings: Fleck (COV), Moussa (COV), Wood, (COV), Baker (COV), Elliott (COV)
Referee: D Webb
Assistant Referees: G Liddle, D Markham
Fourth Official: P Kettlewell