I was thrilled to see Chris Beech begin life as Carlisle United head coach with an FA Cup second-round 2-2 draw at Forest Green.

If somebody had offered most Blues supporters that before kick-off, I think they would have been happy with it.

I know this is Beech’s first time in the hot seat, but he seems to know what he is doing.

Even though he has only been in charge for a matter of days, you can tell Beech has done his homework on the side.

In my opinion, when Carlisle played out a goalless draw against Forest Green in September, I felt the Cumbrians showed Mark Cooper’s men a bit too much respect.

But on Saturday, Beech played both Mike Jones and Stefan Scougall in more advanced positions in midfield.

That seemed to prevent some of Forest Green’s players from getting on the ball. In the end, I think United were unlucky not to win at the New Lawn.

Nathan Thomas scored both of Carlisle’s goals and, hopefully, that has given him a bit of confidence. When the 25-year-old is on form, he looks too good to be playing at League Two standard.

Now, the two sides will meet again on Tuesday night at Brunton Park for an FA Cup second-round replay, with the victors of the tie then travelling to take on Championship team Cardiff City in round three.

The draw hasn’t been particularly kind to United.

For the Blues fans, they will face a long trip to the Cardiff City Stadium if they reach that stage of the competition.

But, despite saying that, there have been plenty of bigger FA Cup shocks than Carlisle going to south Wales and getting a result.

And a third-round clash against Neil Harris’s team will still be a massive incentive for the Cumbrians, with plenty of prize-money at stake in the competition.

Looking ahead to United’s return to League Two action at Morecambe tomorrow, with where they are in the league table, we have to face facts and accept the clash against Morecambe is a six-pointer.

By 5.30pm tomorrow evening, the Blues could have moved eight points clear of the Shrimps in the table, or only be two points away from Morecambe who occupy the only relegation place this season.

The two teams last met in a competitive fixture at the Globe Arena in a Leasing.com Trophy group match which Morecambe, now managed by Derek Adams, won 3-1.

And it proved to be Steven Pressley’s last match in charge of Carlisle, with Pressley sacked the following day.

I think United will need to be positive, like they were in the first period of that game, before goals from Andrew Tutte, Aaron Wildig and Luke Conlan sealed a Shrimps success after the restart following Jarrad Branthwaite’s first senior goal in the first half.

There is expected to be well over 1,000 Carlisle fans in the away end for the derby, as well.

That will help to create a great atmosphere for the encounter. Once the United players step out on to the pitch, hopefully, the fans can help to make it feel like a home game for them.

Elsewhere, Annan Athletic claimed an impressive result last weekend when they beat Scottish League Two leaders Cove Rangers 6-1.

Peter Murphy’s side are now in the play-off places and I’m pleased to see Murphy doing so well.