The Cod Army of Fleetwood were the visitors for the second of United's group games in this season's Papa Johns Trophy competition.

United boss Paul Simpson used the opportunity to get valuable minutes into legs, with just Owen Moxon and Omari Patrick involved from those who had battled their way to victory against Wimbledon at the weekend.

Youth second year prospect Ryan Carr was handed his first ever appearance in senior competition for the club, having trained with the first-team and appeared on the bench on four previous occasions this season. It was one heck of a birthday present for a young man, who turns 18 on Friday.

United started on the front foot with Stretton on the move with his back to goal. He waited for Carr to overlap, and there were loud appeals for a foul as the wing back was upended Edwards. The referee ignored the shouts.

Idehen was needed at the other end when Batty fed a lovely pass towards Hayes. The defender stretched out a leg to put it behind before any damage could be done. The corner from Batty was initially cleared, but he got a second chance to deliver as it came back his way. Wiredu was on the end of that one, but Kelly pulled off a beauty of a save to keep the bullet of a header out. 

The influential Dan Batty was in charge of the set piece once again, and Rooney was in acres of space when the delivery went deep. His header was angled at the near post but Kelly got himself in the way.

Carr did well to recover and tackle as Edwards threaten to break clear, and that sparked a blue attack with Stretton calm in possession. He dropped a shoulder to cross but that was blocked at source.

Garner nodded a Devlin floater straight at Kelly as the away side probed sporadically, and Patrick won a corner as he controlled a sweeping pass from Carr on his instep at the other end. Stolarczyk was off his line smartly to pluck that out of the air.

The visitors attacked in numbers and Hayes miscued a low pass that came in from the right, when he had the goal at his mercy. The same player jinked inside two markers to make space for a shot and Kelly watched in relief as it skipped just past his upright.

Striker Jack Stretton was gifted a chance on 21 minutes when Josh Edwards sent a wayward pass into his path. He took two steps before letting fly but it sailed the wrong side of the nets and into the Waterworks End.

Carlisle closed players down and pounced again from the goal kick and Hilton suddenly had a clear sight when he ghosted into space. He kept his 25-yarder low but the keeper parried and Devlin mopped up the pieces.

More careless stuff on the halfway line from the visitors, this time from Wiredu, allowed Patrick to steal possession. He used his pace to eat up the yards but his attempt at placing it in the bottom corner brought a comfortable save from Stolarczyk.

There was a wonderful ball from Moxon on 27 minutes as he clipped it from just inside his own half for Stretton to contest. It needed a touch, but it jumped off the surface and skittered away to safety.

A surging run from Charters brought a free kick when he was unceremoniously scythed to the ground, and Moxon was a whisker away with a dipper that had the keeper scrambling. It flew dangerously over the bar.

Fleetwood went close 10 minutes before half time when Nsiala flighted an arrowed pass to Rooney. He pulled it back for Batty to strike, but it took a deflection and went wide.

17-year-old second year YTS forward Nic Bollado was on for his debut five minutes before the break when Omari Patrick appeared to signal that he was struggling. 

The Cod Army picked up the pace after the substitution and Rooney dinked a ball into the six-yard box for Garner to head. It was going in and Kelly had to go full length to tip it onto the post.

Carlisle responded with a quick exchange of passes which saw Carr bounce it off Stretton and Harris before angling his run into the box. He went down under a heavy tackle, but just the corner was given. Hilton went for a training ground routine for that one, with Moxon running across the defensive line before drilling it low on the volley. A timely block prevented what looked a certain goal.

The start to the second half was delayed when keeper Jakub Stolarczyk was told to change his top, and the halt proved to be an advantage that the red shirts used as Rooney met a deep corner. The ball was going in, but Joe Garner showed his predatory instinct as he helped it on its way.

United needed a response, and they won a corner when Moxon worked hard to try to find a way through. It eventually came to Stretton but he got his bearings wrong and the header went astray.

A pull back from tight by the corner flag from Hilton invited Harris to volley, but it was a difficult chance and he guided it into the advertising boards.

Kelly was able to watch a speculative effort bend wide when Hayes tried his luck from 22-yards, and a great run from Charters took him into the mix as he feinted past one, then checked as it looked like he was going to shoot. He chose to cross and that was cleared by Baker, who was there to rescue his stranded stopper.

Tenacity from Harris saw him close Nsiala down and then bully his way into the area, turning possession over and winning the corner. Garner was back to do his defensive duties on this occasion.

Chances started to dry up for both teams, and Rooney looked to inject some ipmetus when he got his head down to set off on a run. He made it all the way into the box but his shot was charged down.

More good work from Harris put Fleetwood on the back foot and Bollado showed confidence in the way he stepped inside and went for glory. The keeper was well beaten and pleased to see it curve away.

It was almost two goals in two outings for Callum Guy when the ball was worked his way from a throw. It was 17-yards out, and it had real venom and power. Stolarczyk threw himself at it to complete a magnificent save.

United kept going, and Bollado teamed up with Mellish to bring Gibson into range. The keeper was spared the work by a brave block.

Substitute Jon Mellish was everywhere, and he broke through the lines to get onto a pass from Charters. Another dangerous pull back was smothered by Vela before Gibson could rattle it.

United equalised on 90 minutes when a Guy corner caused absolute panic. Whelan's header was blocked on the line, as was a follow up from Harris, and a third touch from Whelan. Duncan Idehen could well be the one to take the honours as the ball was eventually scrambled over the line.

It was suddenly like basketball, with a Carlisle break that was snuffed out, and it was quickly up the other end with Morton in space. Kelly had to take the sting out of his piledriver.

With the game at a stalemate, it went to a penalty decider.

Penalties (Warwick Road End)

Gibson - smacked it onto the bar; 0-0

Morton - straight down the middle; 0-1

Stretton - power, top corner; 1-1

Andrew - low, into the bottom corner; 1-2

Whelan - sends keeper the wrong way; 2-2

Batty - Kelly dives low and saves with two hands; 2-2

Mellish - leathered it low and hard; 3-2

Vela - onto the bar; 3-2

Charters - a real beauty, top corner, won it for his team; 4-2



Carlisle United - Idehen (90)

Fleetwood Town - Garner (47)



Carlisle United - Harris (90)

Fleetwood Town - Nsiala (90)



Carlisle United - Kelly, Ellis, Whelan, Idehen, Carr (Gibson 68), Hilton (Mellish 80), Moxon (Guy 67), Harris, Charters, Stretton, Patrick (Bollado 39). Subs - Holy, Armer, Back. 

Fleetwood Town - Stolarczyk, Wiredu (Raffie 68), Devlin (Morton 79), Vela (c), Garner (Muskwe 68), Hayes (McMillan 79), Nsiala, Batty, Rooney, Edwards (Andrew 53), Baker. Subs - Lynch (gk), Teale.


Match officials

Referee - Rebecca Welch
Assistant Referee 1 - Ivan Stankovic
Assistant Referee 2 - David Avent
Fourth Official - Shaun Taylor
Observer - Russell Tiffin


Attendance - 1,089 (69)

Read Time: 7 mins