A damp squib of a Galpharm contest – strange given Carlisle’s desperation for points in their fight against relegation from League I – looked destined to finish goalless until Michael Flynn floated a right-wing cross towards his fellow substitute with 78 minutes gone.
Booth had been troubling centre-back Peter Murphy in aerial jousts ever since his 37th-minute introduction for the injured Anthony Pilkington.
And he got the better of the Carlisle stalwart once again to head home his fourth goal of the season and 146th for the club. It sealed a victory which Town deserved – they hit the woodwork twice in the opening five minutes of the second half – but didn’t look like achieving.
And the chance of doubling the lead disappeared when 11-goal top scorer Gary Roberts unexpectedly returned the ball to Michael Collins after being given a clear sight of goal by the midfielder’s 82nd-minute pass.
Roberts, after all, had struck a sizzling winner at Scunthorpe on Friday and curled a cute shot against the inside of Carlisle keeper Ben Williams’ left-hand post in the 50th minute of this showdown, so there was no reason for him to lack the confidence to shoot.
That chance, which was created by Collins and finished with the ball thumping back into play off the upright before being hacked clear, came just three minutes after Nathan Clarke hit the bar to start a scramble in which Williams scooped away former Town loan man Richard Keogh’s wayward back header before Collins headed just wide as the ball was returned to the danger zone.
In between the two opportunities, Carlisle left winger Jeff Smith shot wide after Michael Bridges picked him out in plenty of space.
And five minutes before Booth struck, visiting substitute Lewis Neal somehow contrived to miss both the ball and a gaping goal after an incisive low cross from right winger Cleveland Taylor.
Other than that little was seen of Carlisle as an attacking force, with Greg Abbott’s team looking strangely lethargic and Town January transfer window target Danny Graham having a quiet game.
Town struggled to find any rhythm in the first half, when a string of passes went astray and Roberts had a 14th-minute volley blocked before boss Clark had to deal with the loss of right winger Pilkington to a groin strain.
His solution was to switch Cadamarteri from his lone striker role to the right and put Booth up front, with the 35-year-old’s ability to hold the ball up proving useful, although Jim Goodwin was unable to keep his shot on target when set up in the 45th minute.
In other first-half chances, Pilkington shot over, picking up his injury in the process, and Collins headed wide from Liverpool loanee Martin Kelly’s cross before having a well-struck shot saved by Williams after linking with Roberts.
Meanwhile it was frustrating that Town couldn’t find a way through when forcing four corners in two minutes midway through the opening period.
The home side certainly looked livelier after the half-time pep talk from Clark, who made it clear in the build-up to the game how much he wanted to set the record straight after Town’s dismal 3-0 defeat at Carlisle on Boxing Day.
His side have certainly chalked up more handsome victories, but as noted in the post-match discussions, sometimes wins have to be ground out and at least Town showed they can do that.
Now they are up to ninth in the table, their second-highest placing of a frustrating campaign, and will aim to continue their strong finish to the League I programme by forcing another win at Walsall on Saturday.