Town were denied by an injury time equaliser from Owen Moxon that earned Carlisle United a share of the spoils in a rollercoaster of a game that finished 3-3 at The Envirovent Stadium.
Taylor Charters had given the visitors an early lead before Luke Armstrong equalised on the half-hour mark only for Ryan Edmondson to restore the lead minutes into the second-half. A Warren Burrell header and solo strike from Jaheim Headley looked to have given Town the win before Moxon struck in what was the final action of a pulsating game.
Town were forced to make one enforced change to the eleven that defeated Bradford City in the FA Cup on Saturday. Alex Pattison missed out due to illness with Josh Austerfield coming into the side. Rory McArdle also returned to the bench after missing the win at Valley Parade.
For the visitors Fin Back, Ryan Edmondson and top scorer Kristian Dennis came back into their starting line-up in place of Jack Ellis, Tobi Sho Silva and Jordan Gibson.
Town started off full of confidence once again and Armstrong had the first effort of the night when he fired at goal after good initial play from Matty Daly.
The opening ten minutes were predominantly spent in the Carlisle half and another good passage of play resulted in a chance that didn’t quite all for Armstrong.
Town found themselves behind on 12 minutes following Carlisle’s first attack of the game. Charters was played in by Dennis 25 yards from goal, took a steadying touch and arrowed the ball into the top corner beyond the reach of Pete Jameson.
Within 30 seconds Town were almost level. Kayne Ramsay tore through the United defence before releasing Armstrong, with his cross finding Danny Grant at the far post but he failed to connect and the ball fell to safety.
With goals in his last four appearances Matty Daly was brimming with confidence and his neat feet fashioned a left-footed effort from distance that Holy fisted away.
The visitors responded on 25 minutes when Callum Guy crossed low to the near post but Corey Whelan’s sliding effort failed to get the necessary touch to diver the ball goalwards.
Just before the half-hour mark Town were level. Armstrong was played through from a Jack Muldoon flick and he calmly slid the ball under the advancing Holy. It was no more than Town – and Armstrong deserved.
And buoyed by his strike Armstrong almost added a second a minute later. He out-muscled the defender and struck firmly but narrowly wide.
Edmondson responded by breaking the Town offside trap but Burrell and Joe Mattock cleared the danger from the resulting shot from Charters.
Armstrong was again a threat five minutes from half-time when he raced on to a Muldoon through ball and struck well but straight at Holy.
Edmondson then went into the book for hauling back Ramsay before Town went inches from taking what would have been a deserved lead into the break when Daly saw his powerful effort crash back off the post to safety.
Paul Simpson made a change at the break that saw Whelan replaced by Gibson.
And five minutes into the second half Town again found themselves behind. After giving the ball away in a strong position the ball was played out to Jack Armer who delivered a pin point cross for Edmondson to head home.
The goal didn’t deter Town who continued to play in positive fashion and a strong run from Jaheim Headley saw Paul Huntington desperately clear his lines.
And they got the rewards – again – on 55 minutes when Burrell’s towering header from Grant’s corner left Holy with no chance.
Roared on by a vociferous crowd Simon Weaver’s side sensed a chance for all three points and Josh Austerfield curled an effort inches wide of the post.
In response Charters fired a left-footed effort just past Jameson’s near post to prove they themselves were not out of the game either.
With twenty minutes remaining the visitors made two further changes when Dennis and goalscorer Charters were withdrawn with Sho Silva and Jayden Harris entering proceedings.
Moments later United almost delivered a carbon copy of their second goal when Armer again found space to whip in a ball to the near post. This time Edmondson couldn’t meet the cross and the ball flashed across the Town goal.
Town were finally ahead on the night thanks to a marvellous solo effort from Headley. He picked the ball up deep in the Carlisle half, advanced all the way to the edge of the area before driving home beyond Holy’s right-hand.
Simon Weaver sought to shore up the advantage shortly after when McArdle came on for Grant. The visitors were almost immediately level when Huntington powered a header goalwards that Jameson superbly tipped over.
Muldoon went close late on for Town before a late penalty shout for handball in the Town box was waved away before Moxon's heartbreaking injury time strike.
TOWN: Jameson, Ramsay, Burrell, Mattock, Headley, Falkingham, Austerfield, Daly, Muldoon, Grant (McArdle, 77),Armstrong.
Substitutes: Oxley, Welch-Hayes, Horbury, Folarin, Frost, Coley.
Goals: Armstrong (28), Burrell (59), Headley (70)
Carlisle United: Holy, Armer, Moxon, Feeney, Huntington, Guy, Edmondson, Dennis (Silva, 70), Charters (Harris, 70), Whelan (Gibson, 45), Back.
Substitutes: Hilton, Ellis, Kelly, Idehen.
Goals: Charters (12), Edmondson (50), Moxon (90+2)
Booked: Edmondson (42)
Referee: Thomas Kirk.
Grant (McArdle, 77)
Dennis (Silva, 70)
Charters (Harris, 70)
Whelan (Gibson, 45)