Tranmere were reduced to 10 men after 35 minutes when Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro was sent off for kicking out at Frank Simek. Loy made the most of Carlisle's one-man advantage just before the break when he connected with Matt Robinson's cross.
Bournemouth closed the gap on Tranmere and second-placed Doncaster as they recorded a 3-0 win over 10-man MK Dons.
Lewis Grabban opened the scoring before Ryan Lowe was sent off just before the break. Marc Pugh still had time to score the Cherries' second before the half-time whistle, with Harry Arter adding the third in the 84th minute.
Bury beat Doncaster 2-0 thanks to goals by Andy Bishop and Nick Ajose, while bottom side Hartlepool were victorious against Notts County and secured only their second home win of the season with a 2-1 victory.
Crawley Town were held to a 1-1 draw with Paolo Di Canio's Swindon Town in the late kick-off at Broadfield Stadium as Billy Clarke's penalty was cancelled out by substitute Adam Rooney, who netted on the hour mark for the visitors.
Yeovil claimed their fifth successive league win with a 3-0 victory over Brentford and Colchester saw off the late challenge of Portsmouth to win 3-2 after they scored three early goals at Fratton Park.
Shrewsbury came from behind to beat Preston 2-1 at Deepdale, while Walsall also came from a goal down to beat Oldham 3-1 at the Banks's Stadium.
Debutant Lee Barnard headed Oldham into the lead in the 19th minute before James Baxendale levelled with five minutes of the first half remaining.
Jamie Paterson fired home a brilliant goal from outside the area in the 75th minute before he made sure of the win in stoppage time with another strike.
Elsewhere, Ajay Leitch-Smith's goal was enough for Crewe as they beat Scunthorpe 1-0 while Leyton Orient were 1-0 winners at Stevenage thanks to Dean Cox's 10th minute effort from inside the six-yard box.
- Sports & Recreation