Colchester United lost just their second home league game of the season on Saturday, after being defeated by a single Carlisle goal.
The game was always going to be a tight one, with the two sides separated by one point and one position before the game got underway.
And so it proved, with the sides closely matched throughout the ninety minutes.
The U’s had their chances over the course of the game, but couldn’t find the net, meaning Jamie Devitt’s second half strike was enough to give the visitors all three points.
The U’s made the better start of the two teams, with both Kyel Reid and Brandon Hanlan having efforts saved by Cumbrian keeper Jack Bonham in the opening exchanges.
Carlisle had their first real chance of the game midway through the first half, when Shaun Miller had a powerful shot from the edge of box blocked by a combination of Tom Eastman and Frankie Kent.
Sean Murray was looking for his third goal in as many games, and almost got it when he was slipped in by Mikael Mandron, but only to see his shot obstructed and then deflect back off him for a goal kick.
The last chance of the half fell to Nicky Adams, but he could only skew his long-range volley well wide of Sam Walker in the U’s net.
The visitors came out for the second half strongly and almost broke the deadlock when Adams had another chance fall the wrong side of the post.
With 57 minutes gone, Carlisle opened the scoring when a long ball fell to substitute Devitt who lashed past Walker into the far corner.
The U’s almost hit back immediately through Eastman, but his strike from distance was always rising over the bar.
Shortly after Eastman was in the thick of it again, however this time up the other end of the pitch, with the centre back making an excellent last-ditch tackle to prevent Shaun Miller getting his shot on goal.
Entering the final 15 minutes, the U’s started some strong attacking pressure and a looping clearance fell to Drey Wright, who smashed his volley goalwards and forced Bonham to parry wide.
Despite the increased pressure, Carlisle managed to hold on to their lead and take all three points back to the north west.
The U’s will hope to bounce back from this defeat on Tuesday night when they travel to Newport.