Marc McNulty struck five minutes after half-time to lift Coventry up to fifth in Sky Bet League Two with a 1-0 win that ended Carlisle's three-match winning sequence.
McNulty, however, was guilty of wasting the chance to give the Sky Blues a two-goal cushion as his 76th-minute penalty was saved by Carlisle goalkeeper Jack Bonham.
Both sides struggled for the ascendancy in the early stages, with a distinct lack of goalmouth action.
Coventry produced the first shot in anger in the 17th minute when McNulty's firmly struck 18-yard drive cannoned into a defender and was cleared.
Carlisle finally forced their way into the game as an attacking force with Tom Parkes bursting forward to keep City's goalkeeper Lee Burge busy dealing with his volleyed effort.
The visitors' best effort in the opening period came from Tom Bayliss, whose stinging shot was parried by Bonham at the near post.
A defensive mistake let in McNulty to give Coventry the lead five minutes after the restart.
Clint Hill misjudged the bounce of a ball over the top leaving the Coventry striker with the simple task of slipping the ball past Bonham from well inside the area.
It should have been 2-0 in the 58th minute when Coventry broke quickly for Bayliss to hit the post.
And Bonham kept Carlisle in it with a 76th-minute penalty save from McNulty's spot-kick after Mike Jones had brought down Bayliss in the box.