Peter Murphy's first-half header was enough for Carlisle to claim a hard-fought victory over Stevenage.
Murphy scored from six yards when he found himself unmarked to convert Danny Livesey's floated cross.
Stevenage could have equalised but substitute Guy Madjo's pull-back failed to find a team-mate after a clever run to the edge of the six-yard box.
Francois Zoko nearly added a second for Carlisle, but shot into the side netting after a 40-yard run.
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Carlisle United boss Greg Abbott tells BBC Radio Cumbria:
"It's nice to get a win at home however it comes, it was never going to be pretty.
"Stevenage are a difficult side to play against, they have their strengths and they stick to them.
"The game was always going to be a little bit untidy at times but we asked our players to stand up to that and to play as best we could when we could."