Darren Edmondson praised the role of Jason Kennedy in helping a young Carlisle United side into the semi-finals of the Cumberland Cup.

The experienced midfielder played the full 90 minutes and scored the Blues' second goal as a mostly youthful United team beat holders Cleator Moor Celtic 3-1.

Youth team players Taylor Charters and Keighran Kerr were also on target after Tom Mahone’s opener for the hosts in a game academy boss Edmondson described as an excellent learning curve for his players.

He also praised the efforts of United’s west Cumbrian opponents after a game played in difficult conditions with a strong wind and heavy rain.

On Kennedy, the coach said: “We’ll find out as the week unfolds what he said to [the younger players] during the game, as you can’t always hear when conditions are like they were.

“But towards the end, when we were killing the game off, he was always showing for the ball and moving, and got his goal with his forward running which we know he can do.

“It was great to have Louis [Gray, United’s goalkeeper] and JK in there offering their advice and giving them the gee-up.

“In the last 10-15 minutes it was just a case of getting [Kennedy] to anchor it, to save his own legs, making sure he got 90 minutes, and keeping us moving and ticking over.”

The victory meant United were the first side to reach the county cup's semi-finals, with other last-eight contests – Penrith v Whitehaven, Keswick v Wigton Harriers and Bransty Rangers v Netherhall – still to be played.

On the match, Edmondson said: “These games, I think, are excellent for different reasons.

“To come here on the pitch as it is and conditions as they are, with tackles flying everywhere, it’s great and a good learning curve.

“I thought the discipline and way the players moved the ball was excellent. You can get caught up in the occasion, knocking it long, using the wind, blaming the conditions etc, but what we’ve been trying to work on in training in the last few months has been about finding positions to get on the ball and playing through, rather than long all the time.

“Full credit to Cleator Moor as well. They played some good football at times. This football club gets a lot of stick for being a certain way and playing a certain way over the years, and I think it’s a bit unjust at the moment.

“I know the manager, John George, is trying to change the mentality of people, and you could see there were some good passages of play, and a last-ditch tackle and a good save from Louis kept it to 1-0 at the start of the game.”

Edmondson says he hopes United get another away tie in the semi-finals.

He said: “I think it’s good to come away and pit ourselves on these pitches, and give these teams the chance to play against us.

“I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way. If this had been a Saturday game, Cleator Moor would have had a few hundred people and made a lot of money off it.

“It’s good that teams can play against Carlisle United, because we’re the big team in the county.”

Edmondson also said United’s squad included some players from their Park View Academy partnership, due to injuries to his main youth squad.

“We’ve only got nine fit outfield players at the moment,” he said.

“If JK and Louis hadn’t been playing, we’d probably have been struggling for numbers overall.

“That’s the nature of it. We have to patch things up, and with no youth game at the weekend everyone can have a good rest up and get ready for a down-to-earth game at Port Vale next weekend.”