Jason Kennedy scored his first goal in a Carlisle shirt for 18 months as the Blues progressed to the semi-finals of the Cumberland Cup.

The midfielder, continuing his comeback after a long injury lay-off, scored United’s second goal in the 55th minute of their 3-1 win at Cleator Moor Celtic.

It was his first strike in competitive football since August 2017 when his last Blues goal came at Morecambe in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Kennedy also completed a welcome full 90 minutes as Taylor Charters and Keighran Kerr also found the net, a United side mostly comprise of youth team players coming from behind to win after Tom Mahone's opener for the hosts.

In a game played in difficult conditions with heavy wind and rain at the JBV Stadium, county cup holders Cleator Moor created the best early chances of an even first half, Ryan Hall twice denied by Louis Gray saves.

United responded with chances for Charters, who headed a good Jay Kelly cross over, before home keeper Craig Devine did well to save from Charlie Birch and Charters in quick succession when the Blues teenagers were put clean through.

The west Cumbrian outfit then took the lead on 31 minutes when Mahone’s low attempt from the left flew past Gray and in off the far post.

Frontman Leigh Dunn almost added another but Gray saved – the keeper then showing an impressive leap to tip over another Mahone attempt.

Carlisle then levelled on 38 minutes when Charters stepped in from the left and swung it left-footed into the box, the ball sailing over Devine and into the top corner.

Right-back Kelly fired over towards the end of the first half for Carlisle.

Kennedy then put the Blues in front early in the second half, scoring from close range at the second attempt after his initial shot had been saved.

Two minutes later striker Kerr made it three with a superb chip from the edge of the box.

Kerr was denied another nine minutes from time by a good Devine save.

Cleator Moor Celtic: Devine, Charlton (Barnes 82), Close, J Little, Corkhill, Tatton, A Kelly, Mahone, Dunn, Hall, D Little. Subs: Johnston, Ward, Rule.

United: Gray, J Kelly (Fawcett 76), Brockbank, Casson, Lightfoot, Branthwaite (J Ward 83), Charters, Armstrong (Wombell 72), Kerr, Kennedy, Birch. Subs: R Ward, Paul.