Eric Kinder admitted Carlisle United’s progress in the Cumberland Cup was ill-deserved after the young Blues scraped past Northbank.

Academy boss Kinder’s under-18s needed a penalty shoot-out to get through after they were held to a 1-1 draw.

Kinder admitted Cumberland County League side Northbank proved difficult opponents for his players, who struggled to make headway in the second round tie.

Matthew Coombe put the city part-timers ahead on 30 minutes before Taylor Charters levelled from the spot after the break. United then won 4-3 on penalties.

Kinder said: “That was a poor performance. Full credit to Northbank – they set their stall out, they disrupted us, never let us get into any sort of rhythm, and we got more frustrated and actually didn’t do one thing that we’d talked about for the last couple of days, which is frustrating.

“You thank your lucky stars we got through.

“We were poor from the word go and never stuck to our game plan. We have three parts of a game – a kick-off, a free-kick and a throw-in, and we made a mess of all three from the word go.

“It looked like, to me, we thought we were better players and a better team than we actually are, because we were up against a local side from a local league. We played as a team of individuals, not as a team.

“It is a learning process for these young players and I hope they’ve got something out of that. If I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t think we deserved to go through.”

Kinder admitted his plans to change his team at half-time had to be shelved because of the test Northbank gave his team.

He did make a double substitution but said that was to try and get back into the tie rather than rest legs ahead of Friday’s Alliance Cup game against Mansfield and next Monday’s FA Youth Cup second round clash with Bradford.

He added: “We never got into a rhythm at all, our passing and use of the ball was very poor, we looked like we didn’t really know what we were doing which is surprising, but the same problem has come back again to haunt us tonight as it has all season – we are going to struggle to score goals.

“If I’m being honest we didn't really look like scoring.

“If we take one positive out of the game it’s that we’ve had the chance to practice penalties for Monday night, if we get that far.”