Paul Simpson’s winning start as Carlisle boss ended abruptly as Newport moved into the automatic promotion places with a narrow 2-1 Sky Bet League Two win at Brunton Park.
The Cumbrians were chasing a fifth-successive win under Simpson to further ease their relegation fears.
Instead, centre half Mickey Demetriou headed the Exiles into a 15th-minute lead from skipper Matt Dolan’s corner.
And Aston Villa loanee Finn Azaz doubled County’s lead after 65 minutes.
Third-placed Newport – now unbeaten in seven league games – should already have added a second before Azaz’s third goal in five games.
Instead, James Clarke struck the crossbar and on-loan Crystal Palace forward Rob Street miscued the rebound.
Boss James Rowberry took off 24-goal League Two top scorer Dom Telford after 57 minutes and it was his replacement Lewis Collins, who cut the ball back for Azaz to drive home from 18 yards.
Substitute Omari Patrick gave United hope of a comeback after 79 minutes for his sixth goal in nine matches, but time ran out for Simpson and the Cumbrians.