There was late heartbreak for the U's once again on Friday night as Carlisle grabbed an injury time equaliser to salvage a point.
The home side had been dominant in the first half but saw the Cumbrians fight back in equally impressive style after the half time interval.
Both teams had been unbeaten coming into the match, and retained that record in a hard fought encounter.
For the U's, there was the frustration of another foregone lead but they showed once again the promise that this season holds.
The U's made one change to their league starting eleven for the game against the Cumbrians, with Pat Baldwin coming in for the injured Paul Reid.
Marc Tierney, Andy Bond and David Mooney returned to the side after missing the game against Sunderland in midweek.
As with the first home game against Sheffield Wednesday, the U's mobility on the ball enthused those watching from the sidelines, with warm applause in the early stages for some of the home side's play.
Mooney went in the book after just four minutes, with the referee adjudging he had dived on the edge of the box under a challenge as he weaved his way through.
The U's were in the early ascendancy, and Hurst had to be on his toes to get the ball back to his goalkeeper under pressure from Henderson.
Following Mooney's early booking, Baldwin escaped censure from referee Ward for a push on Zoko on the halfway line, just as the striker looked to be getting away from the U's man.
Bond was in the right place in the right time to intercept on the edge of the U's box, before making a lung bursting run down the left to almost set Henderson on his way.
Tierney embarked on a similar run down the left on 19 minutes, but acted only as a decoy to Henderson, who cut in off the wing before flashing a shot well wide of the target.
A minute later and a well crafted move saw Mooney turn on a sixpence and Bond break through the Carlisle defence, only to be flagged for offside.
The visitors should have taken the lead on 21 minutes as a cross to the far post was headed back into the danger area by Madine, only for Curran to miss from close range under pressure from Okuonghae.
The U's went down the other end and went close with Bond and Perkins desperately trying to bundle their way through the Carlisle defence as Taiwo did well to clear.
After a quieter period, the U's had a Wordsworth free kick from distance blocked by the Cumbrian back line.
Then a superb angled ball by Wilson found Henderson, whose header went straight into the arms of Collin.
The U's were not to be denied though and took the lead on 29 minutes. A great ball came in from Wilson again, as the home side took a short corner and, after Okuonghae missed the ball, Mooney made no mistake to bury his effort.
The U's - and their supporters - were vibrant as the half came to a close, looking to build on their lead.
When on the ball, Ward's men were lively, when off it, they were tenacious.
They nearly got a second goal on 41 minutes as Mooney skipped around his man and sent over a cross that saw Wordsworth power in a header.
This time Collin stood strong, clawing the ball away from danger with a fine stop.
The U's mobility on the ball was catching out the Cumbrians who were pulled up more than once for fouls on Perkins in particular, but escaped yellow cards.
The U's started the second half looking for that vital second goal, but Curran was first to sting the keeper's hands, with a sharp shot from the edge of the box.
The visitors had started the half brightly, but the U's went close again on 52 minutes. A nice move from Mooney and Wordsworth saw Henderson slotted through but, under pressure, he fired wide.
Curran, who had had the earlier shot, turned provider on 54 minutes flicking a header from Zoko cross from the right over the bar.
Taiwo then had a sight of goal on the right, but let the ball run slightly past him before hitting a smart shot that Cousins saved with a tidy stop.
The U's fans sensed their side was under a bit of pressure and responded in kind, with vocal support coming from the stands.
And Cousins, who had come under criticism for his errors at Sunderland, made a superb stop on the hour mark as he clawed away a Madine header with an acrobatic stop.
The U's keeper was then happy to watch a Harte free kick pass by the post as another free kick was given to the visitors.
And, as the referee whistled once again on 64 minutes, he booked Izzet - despite not getting the cards out for Carlisle players for similar fouls in the first half.
The visitors were well on top at this point, with Collin having had a trouble free second period, but Berrett went into the book for a foul on 68 minutes as he hauled back Izzet.
The U's needed a change to redress the balance and made their first change on 70 minutes.
Perkins, who had had a quiet second half, was the man to make way as Beevers was introduced to shore things up.
The visitors then made two changes of their own, introducing the tricky Robson in place of Berrett and Murphy for Harte.
The U's then had a huge escape as a Zoko volley eluded Cousins and came back off the bar, before the U's keeper scuttled across to collect the ball as it hit the deck.
As the substitutions continued, the U's introduced Odejayi for Wordsworth, as the home side went 4-4-2 for the final fifteen minutes.
But Carlisle remained in the ascendancy, winning a string of corners, as the pressure continued to build on the back four.
Kavanagh was introduced just after a U's counter attack, as the experienced Kavanagh came on for Taiwo.
The U's then had the ball on the back of the net with four minutes remaining, but the linesman's flag cut short any celebrations as Henderson slotted home.
White was introduced with the game coming to a close, goalscorer Mooney was taken off as the U's looked to see out the match.
The U's were eager for the final whistle, but were left to face five minutes of additional time - much to the chagrin of the home support.
Kavanagh's cross in injury time was headed over his own bar by Bond as the pressure cranked up on the U's and the visitors got a deserved equaliser deep into the added time.
The U's attempted desperately to clear their lines and, as the two teams thrashed away at the ball in the area, Thirlwell's stabbed effort found its way into the back of the net.
The home side had the ball in the back of the net even later on in additional time, but the ref had called it up for a foul, much to the U's disappointment.
So close and yet the U's efforts had gone unrewarded - but the visitors had certainly deserved something for their second half application.