Macclesfield Town 2 Carlisle United 1: At the moment, the only thing predictable about Carlisle United’s season is its unpredictability as the Blues became the first League Two side to be beaten by Macclesfield Town this term.

In recent weeks, United have struggled badly at home. But they have, at least, been in good form on the road, winning their last three league matches.

That all changed on Saturday, though, against a Macclesfield team who had started the day at the bottom of the Football League and without a league victory all campaign.

Despite Ashley Nadesan giving John Sheridan’s men the lead, the Silkmen hit back to claim their first three points this season through Michael Rose’s penalty and a Peter Vincenti winner.

Sheridan made a single change from the side which had lost 2-0 at home to rivals Morecambe last time out. Anthony Gerrard returned from suspension and replaced Gary Liddle who, alongside Hallam Hope, were added to Carlisle’s injury list.

Youth left-back Charlie Birch, the son of Academy foundation phase coach Mark, was, as expected, placed on the bench alongside fellow youngster Liam McCarron.

The match began slowly with Jerry Yates having the first chance of the game with five minutes on the clock. The 21-year-old Rotherham loan man fired wide of Rhys Taylor’s right-hand post.

Indecision in the home defence then presented the visitors with their next opportunity nine minutes later. Assuming the ball had rolled out of play, the Macclesfield defence stopped, but Macauley Gillesphey was alive to the situation and found Mike Jones, with the former Oldham midfielder’s effort flashing narrowly wide.

Jones took a Carlisle corner from the right on the 18th minute which was met by Tom Parkes, although nobody in a purple shirt was on hand to convert at the back post.

Having set-up a chance for Jamie Grimes which was cleared by Gillesphey on 22 minutes, veteran home midfielder Rose had a go himself a minute later, firing wide Malachi Napa’s cutback.

And just as Macclesfield started to grow into the match, the Cumbrians were dealt another blow when Parkes hobbled off and was replaced by George Glendon as the 26-year-old was added to Sheridan’s growing injury list.

That switch also saw Gillesphey move into the heart of defence and Kelvin Etuhu in at left-back.

The hosts had the ball in Adam Collin’s net for the first time on 25 minutes when Vincenti headed in Tyrone Marsh’s cross, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.

With both teams creating opportunities, an Etuhu long-range effort stung Taylor’s palms on the 36th minute before, soon after, Blues keeper Collin denied Town’s Marsh at the other end.

There was still time for winger Yates, playing alongside Nadesan and Richie Bennett in a front three, to twice fire wide but the sides went in level at the break after an even first half.

With injuries piling up, particularly in defence for the thin Carlisle squad, there were sharp intakes of breath when first Gerrard, and then Yates, both took knocks. But no major long-lasting damage appeared to be caused to either party.

Then, against the run of play, United took the lead in the 50th minute when Etuhu lofted a high ball into the area.

Bennett flicked on and Nadesan scored his fifth goal of the season, with the home fans furious, believing keeper Taylor had been fouled in the build-up to the goal.

As Macclesfield looked to hit back, the influential Rose found David Fitzpatrick with a raking pass from near the centre circle. Fitzpatrick, though, could not hit the target from an acute angle just after the hour.

Five minutes later, Jared Hodgkiss’ right-wing cross found Vincenti who headed wide.

Big striker Harry Smith then came off the bench for Macclesfield and, really, should have scored with two clear-cut chances.

The first saw Smith power a Rose corner on to the crossbar on the 73rd minute before, two minutes later, he broke behind the Carlisle backline, only to fire his shot straight at Collin.

But having put the Cumbrians under pressure, the home side did level 12 minutes from time. Carlisle's Sam Adewusi made his league debut as he came on to replace Gary Miller and was straight in the action for the wrong reasons, fouling Ben Stephens as referee Michael Salisbury pointed to the spot. Rose then coolly sent Collin the wrong way with the penalty.

With their tails up, chasing a first league success of the season, Macclesfield then took the lead on 83 minutes as Smith crossed for Vincenti who found the bottom corner of Collin’s net.

United desperately tried to hit back in the closing stages, having fallen behind.

Appleby winger McCarron enjoyed another brief cameo appearance and nearly marked it with a goal. He was unable to reach Yates’ cross, though, before Taylor denied Jones in stoppage-time.

There was still time for Macclesfield to nearly add a third, only for Nathan Blissett to strike at Gillesphey who was on the goal-line. But the home side held on for the victory, a result Blues boss Sheridan had little complaints about after the game.

Carlisle remain 11th in League Two after that defeat, still only three points outside the play-offs.

Next up for Sheridan’s side is a trip to league leaders Lincoln tomorrow night with a threadbare squad. But would an away victory come as a surprise? Probably not.

Match facts

Carlisle United: Collin, Miller (Adewusi 77), Gerrard (c), Parkes (Glendon 26), Jones, Gillesphey, Bennett, Yates, Sowerby, Etuhu, Nadesan (McCarron 88).

Carlisle unused subs: Slater, Campbell, Birch, Gray.

Macclesfield: Taylor, Hodgkiss, Fitzpatrick (c), Lowe, Grimes, Marsh (Stephens 70), Blissett, Napa (Smith 70), Maycock, Vincenti (Welch-Hayes 88), Rose.

Macclesfield unused subs: O’Hara, Kelleher, Wilson, Pearson.

Attendance: 2,153

Ref: Mr Michael Salisbury