Manager James “Jim” Nichols is keen for Carlisle City to respond after their disappointing opening-day defeat when they travel to West Allotment Celtic tonight.

After they were laterally moved from Hallmark Security League First Division North, the Sky Blues had a disastrous start to life in Northern League, Division Two as they lost 3-0 at home to Chester-le-Street on Saturday. Andrew Clarkson netted twice for the away team after a goalless first half at Gillford Park, while Anthony Lee was also on target for the Cestrians.

“I’m disappointed, really. We never really got going,” City boss Nichols said.

“It took us 15-20 minutes of the first half to get a bit of a foothold. We created a couple of half-chances, but we never really kept the ball at all.

“In the second half, we started poorly and we just couldn’t get going. I thought, to be honest, we got what we deserved.

"We weren’t able to defend against their style of play and we created very, very little throughout the game, and probably got what we deserved.”

Nichols added to the club website: “I think the most disappointing part for me was that I think we have gained a bit of reputation in pre-season of playing good football.

“Whether it’s because we are inexperienced in this league, I don’t know, but we didn’t want to get on the ball, we didn’t look to try and play and we turned over the ball really, really cheaply. We didn’t value possession and, in the end, we got punished for that.”

City will look to make amends and get their first league points of their 2019/20 campaign on the board this evening (7.45pm kick-off) when they play West Allotment Celtic.

When asked if he was pleased with the quick turnaround, Nichols, who is also head coach of Cascadia, added: “I think so. We haven’t become a bad team overnight, we still have really good footballers.

“I think it’s a bit of a shock to the system, and it’s maybe what we needed. We have, obviously, come into a new league, against different players and different styles of football.

“We have let ourselves down a little bit. We have to regroup and go again tonight. We travel to West Allotment, we have a good squad and we have some players that come back in now.

"I’m hopeful that we can pick up three points to get us up and running.”