Carlisle United's reserves scored in added time to grab a draw against Wigan in their second Central League Cup group game today.

Youth team defender Charlie Barnes netted from close range in the dying seconds to salvage a point.

It came shortly after Charlie Jolley had seemed to have given the visitors victory with an 89th-minute header.

Barnes, though, turned home a Jayden Major cross right at the end of what had been a mediocre second-string display.

The game, at Penrith’s Frenchfield Park, saw United hand 90-minute outings to first-team squad players Louis Gray, Mo Sagaf and Christie Elliott.

Olufela Olomola and Elias Sorensen also both started but both were substituted in the second half after struggling for opportunities up front.

United, watched by head coach Chris Beech and with Gavin Skelton and Eric Kinder taking charge of the side, lined up in a 4-1-3 2 formation with Sorensen and Olomola up front and Sagaf sitting in front of the back four.

Wigan’s under-23s had the better of the first half with an early blocked attempt from Olomola a rare opening for Carlisle.

Nick Chadwick's visitors looked the likelier scorers with Kenzie O’Neil shooting wide after a cross was allowed to reach him at the back post.

Ollie Crankshaw shot straight at Gray before the Carlisle keeper pulled off a close-range save from Divin Baningime.

Three players, including United’s Charlie Birch, were booked in a feisty first half-hour in which Taylor Charters had a shot blocked for the Blues.

Carlisle struggled to create anything else and O’Neil drew an excellent save from Gray when he fired towards the near post.

Wigan should then have gone ahead on the stroke of half-time after a free-kick caused a scramble, but Jack Sanders miscued his shot from a great position then saw a follow-up deflected wide.

United moved right-back Elliott further forward after the break and he fired over from 25 yards early in the second half.

Wigan were denied a strong penalty shout shortly afterwards, before Carlisle made a double change, introducing Keighran Kerr and Major, the latter a youth forward on work experience from Burnley who went to the left of the Blues’ attack. They replaced Olomola and Jamie Armstrong.

O’Neil wasted another decent Wigan opening after the hour mark and then Tyler Golden fired over from the edge of the box, with United still unable to make enough attacking headway despite the efforts of Sagaf and Elliott from midfield. O’Neil then went even closer for the visitors with a low shot from the right.

Sorensen struggled for opportunities up front and was replaced by Carlisle with 20 minutes to go, youngster Kyle Soper taking his place, but Sanders almost broke the deadlock when United failed to clear a set-piece, firing just over the bar.

Carlisle, with Tom Wilson impressive at centre-half, looked to have contained their opponents but they were punished a minute from time when Jolley reached the ball at the back post and sent a header looping over Gray.

Barnes, though, struck two minutes later as United remained second in their group. Their next game is at Blackpool next Monday.

United: Gray, Barnes, Birch, Sagaf, Wilson, Lightfoot, Elliott, Charters, Armstrong (Major 57), Olomola (Kerr 57), Sorensen (Soper 70).

Wigan: Jones, Golden, Webber (Galvin 70), Sanders, Long, Smith, O’Neil (Aasgaard 82), Weir, C Jolley, Crankshaw, Baningime. Not used: H Jolley, Obi, Perry.