Kavanagh, faced with a big injury list, admitted that he had asked his players to "go out and be men."
The Irishman said: "There was concern before the game and it was less than two hours before kick-off when I knew the shape of the team.
"There were some of the youngest players this club has put out and we told them to go out and be men and they were brilliant.
"All across the pitch the level of play was top class. The players answered some huge questions.
"It was a hard-earned result and it could have been three points. It was a tough afternoon."
"Pascal was outstanding," Kavanagh added. "I've given him a bit of stick in the past and he took what we said on the chin. It was a magnificent performance."
Bees played a neat passing game, which gave them plenty of possession, but it was Carlisle who finally managed to test David Button in a lively spell after the break when the keeper had to keep out efforts from David Amoo, Liam Noble and Brad Potts in quick succession.
Brentford pushed forward in a bid to break the deadlock and Marcello Trotta just failed to turn a cross in from close range before Alan Judge hit a stinger of a shot from 25 yards, which Carlisle goalkeeper Jordan Pickford parried at full stretch.
Potts almost snatched victory for Carlisle with a fierce right-footed drive which flew narrowly wide.
- Sports & Recreation
- Pascal Chimbonda