Sky Blues lose half time lead to slip to first home defeat of 2014 against the Cumbrians at Sixfields
Coventry City slipped to their first home defeat since November after they let a first half lead slip to go down 2-1 to Carlisle United at Sixfields Stadium.
Franck Moussa gave the Sky Blues the lead midway through the first 45 minutes but Liam Noble levelled for the Cumbrians ten minutes after the break before substitute Sam Byrne used his first touches off the bench to grab the winner with 20 minutes to go.
Sky Blues boss Steven Pressley rang three changes to his side for the midweek visit of the Cumbrians, handing full debuts to loan signings Chuba Akpom and Michael Petrasso while bringing in Jordan Clarke to replace the ill Blair Adams.
The loan youngsters certainly kicked off their City careers with youthful enthusiasm as Petrasso used his pace to pull defenders out wide while Akpom athleticism allowed him to win balls in the air and hold up the play for the supporting midfield four.
City had the first real effort of the game after 11 minutes when Cyrus Christie whipped a troublesome low cross into the box which found its way to Franck Moussa, the midfielder getting a solid connection with the delivery but unfortunately steering the ball into the hands of Jordan Pickford.
For all of the game's energy though there was no real threat of an opener at either end until 32 minutes when the Sky Blues got themselves in front courtesy of Moussa.
A neat interchange of passes on the edge of Carlisle's area eventually fell to Conor Thomas to play the final ball through to Moussa who squeezed a finish under Pickford and give City the lead.
The goal certainly seemed to kick the Sky Blues into gear and they would have gone close to a second, again through Moussa, with eight minutes of the half to go only for a deflection to guide the ball behind.
Petrasso then registered a shot on target on 39 minutes when he latched onto a lofted ball down the left and ran at his man as he headed into the area only to finish his run with a shot straight at the feet of Pickford.
It was Christie's turn to pull the trigger with three minutes of the half to go when he picked up a crossfield ball and cut across both Matt Robson and Brad Potts before shooting low, Pickford getting down to save well at his near post.
The Cumbrians 'keeper then did superbly to deny City a second yet again as the first half ticked to a close, first when he batted away Christie's cross from just under his bar and then when he tipped Akpom's header over the bar from close range on the follow up.
The second half was five minutes old when Carlisle fashioned their first real cast iron opportunity. Pascal Chimbonda was set down the right flank to flash a low ball across the face of the six yard box but Lee Miller could not stretch his boot out enough to make the connection which would have handed the visitors an equaliser.
The equaliser came on 55 minutes though with a quick break that was finished off by Liam Noble. Potts skipped a challenge from Jordan Clarke to get down the right and although City looked to have contained the threat, three quick passes stretching out to the left ended with Noble who steered the ball home despite a touch from Sky Blues 'keeper Joe Murphy.
Murphy was required to make a solid reflex stop six minutes after the hour when some slick one-touch football allowed Robson to play a ball across the edge of the area for Noble to hit first time, Murphy though parrying the save and Dan Seaborne clearing the danger.
Carlisle took the lead with 20 minutes to go though through substitute Byrne who had only been on the pitch a matter of moments. John Fleck's header towards goal was intercepted by the striker who rushed forward before finishing confidently past Murphy.
With the lead, the visitors then began to sit back and invited City to come forward. They nearly did so at their peril with three minutes to go when Courteny Meppen-Walter was required to clear Cyrus Christie's header off the line after Moussa did well to chip a cross into the box.
Attendance: 1,603 (191 away)
Coventry City: Murphy, Christie, Seaborne, Webster, Clarke, Baker (c) (McGeouch 73), Moussa, Fleck (Daniels 73), Thomas, Akpom, Petrasso
Subs: Burge (GK), Barton, Willis, Haynes, Maund
Carlisle United: Pickford, Robson, Noble (Chantler 87), Miller, Ekangamene, Potts, O'Hanlon (c), Redmond (Amoo 79), Meppen-Walter, Drennan (Byrne 67), Chimbonda
Subs: Fleming (GK), Symington, Guy, Novo